Part 6: Effervescent
Hailey flinched as her vision cleared. Upon regaining consciousness, she had found herself zooming in mid-air under the clutch of a purple and black clad Lilithmon. “No…” Hailey’s words were almost lost to the wind as she realized what must have happened. Her hair-tie had long come undone and now Hailey’s blonde locks flowed. “Hmhmhm” the gold clawed digimon laughed
“STOP RIGHT THERE” D’Arcmon and Kazemon had seemed to materialize from out of nowhere. Caught off-guard, Lilithmon came to an abrupt halt
An onslaught of tiny attacks bombarded Lilithmon; the baby digimon had emerged from Hailey’s outfit. Attempting to swat them away, her grasp on Hailey slipped. Swiftly, D’Arcmon swooped. Catching Hailey, digimon and partner landed by an approaching group. The digidestines gathered around.
“Rahhh, not so fast” Lilithmon hissed “Nazar- ooff” Lilithmon’s attack was stopped with a swift kick from under her chin. Performing a backflip in mid-air, Kazemon gave a stern expression. “HOW DAR-”
“Celestial Arrow” Angewomon interjected. The attack had been a warning shot.
“You think your flimsy dart is going to scare me, hah!” with a wave of her hand, two purply-black cloud masses materialized. Solidifying, they became Pteramon.
“Pteramon digivolve to!…” the two became a deeper red, a shock of hair-like features sprouting from their heads. Legs elongating their claws became more pronounced. Black feathers sprouted. “Velgemon!”
“I see you haven’t changed, sending in minions to do your bidding” Kazemon’s voice seemed to be laced with an undertone of familiarity. Lilithmon suddenly became unnerved. From the Velge-mon’s mouths charged red glowing attacks.
“Kazemon digivolve to!…” Kazemon’s boots became more armoured, her outfit less pronounced. On her right formed shoulder and arm pads, with a holy ring appearing around her wrist. Fragment-ing, her lower wings turned gold whilst her upper wings doubled and grew, turning a translucent, pearlescent tone. Hair growing out, only the tips remained purple, with the rest blonde. Adorned on her head was what seemed like a portion of a golden crown. Visor shattering, lavender eyes blinked “Tiamon!”
“It can’t be!” Lilithmon exclaimed
“Hurricane Gale! March of the Butterflies!” a ferocious storm disintegrated the Velgemon before they could attack, bombarding them with butterfly shaped lights. The two attacks continued. In a growl, with one eye half opened, Lilithmon fazed away
“Don’t think you’ve won this round, or any round for that matter, not before, not now and not ev-er. I’ll make sure of that, hahahahaha” came Lilithmon’s disembodied voice. Tiamon fluttered down.
“Hailey, are you OK?”
Next to D’Arcmon, Hailey gave a small nod. As Tiamon continued to land, Perri stared up in awe “Wow! So you were Tiamon this whole time!?” Chad exclaimed. Tiamon nodded.
“In the attack, I lost my memories, but de-digivolved to Otamamon and someone whisked me away. The next thing I remember is waking up by a pond, with Perri appearing soon after. When I regained my memories from the potion, I shielded Perri from knowing to protect her. If Lilithmon knew or sensed who I was, she’d target Perri”
Suddenly, Ogremon and Leomon collapsed. Glowing they de-digivolved.
“Frimon. In-training. Gremlimon, In-training” one of the digivices spouted. Frimon, Leomon’s in-training form was comprised of a golden head, frill and tail. Meanwhile, Gremlimon, Ogremon’s in-training form was a greenish head with fangs, jutting chrome spikes and a tuft of hair
“That fight with Lilithmon must’ve exhausted them more than we realized” Rex stated. Around, the baby digimon bounced. Picking one of them up, one of the digidestines spoke
“Our party’s grown quite a lot” Delphi laughed. With a glow the baby digimon and Hailey’s digivice reacted. In a flash, the baby digimon were stored. Joyous laughter emanated.
“It’s alright, it’s like a playground in there” D’Arcmon mentioned
“You mean, we could’ve done that this whole time?” came a grumble. Gremlimon had just woken up. “Ahh, what happened, wait, don’t answer that” Gremlimon complained “So wait, now that you’re back to being Tiamon, we can probably go defeat Lilithmon” Gremlimon stated. Tiamon shook her head
“She’s still too strong, plus she’s still got some of the others under her control” Tiamon replied
“So what’s the plan now?” Frimon joined
“Lilithmon would’ve sealed the gateways again, we should try to find a way out of this forest” Falco suggested. In a bright glow, all the digidestined’s digimon de-digivolved to their rookie stages.
“Harpyiamon” a digivice indicated. Amongst the group was a digimon with a beret, long platinum hair, a pale-toned, human face with a beak-like nose, wings for arms, and an upright, feathered body with seemingly no feet. Colour scheme resembling that of a swan.
“And I guess flying’s out of the question” pointing upwards, Wyatt indicated what seemed to be glowing hexagonal tiles which would appear every so often; a light seeming running along the top of the forest path.
“Of course there’d be a force field” Chad stated, exasperated
“If Lilithmon’s sealed this place off, I’m guessing she’s also trapped us in here with one or more of her flunkies. Otamamon, does this place look familiar to you?” Delphi asked. Moving her head from one view to the next, a look of familiarity overtook Otamamon’s previous expression. Before the tadpole digimon could talk, a persistent whispering permeated the silence.
“Digidestines… Digidestines!...” to the side, from a door amongst the trees peered a pale digimon with what seemed to be a purple cap with yellow rings “Through here” it beckoned
As Chad moved towards the door, Falco stopped him. “Wait. It could be a trap”
“Raarrrr!” a fair distance down the path which they stood, a brown digimon with a golden nose ring and a metal apparatus on its arm charged towards them
“On second thought” swiftly the digidestines ran through the door. Slamming shut behind them, the door glowed as the purple capped digimon held out its hands
“There, it’s sealed shut now” the digimon stated
“Won’t he just be able to go around?” Perri pointed out
“Well…no…we are in a different part of the forest” the digimon answered
“Mushroomon?” Otamamon shuffled out from behind Perri.
“Good to see you again Tia- I mean, Otamamon” Mushroomon smiled
“So my suspicions were correct, this is the ‘Forest of Doors’ ” Otamamon said
“It’s been a long time” Mushroomon mentioned
“Indeed. You usually don’t take this form” Otamamon looked amused
“I could say the same about you”
“Gggrrraa” a roar interjected
“Vajramon!” Mushroomon warned.
“Treasure Blade!” overlapping its swords, the red-armour-clad digimon fired an x-shaped beam. Jumping out of the way, the digidestines quickly shuffled to their feet
“Mushroomon digivolve to!...Kogamon! Kogamon digivolve to!...Piximon! Pixi bomb!” Vajramon’s shielded itself “Quickly, to the left! Now right!” Though Piximon said right, he blocked the group’s path and directed them left. Opening a door along the walkway, they were met by a face
Quickly slamming the door, Piximon turned them one right, then another. To their left, they en-tered through a door.
“What was that?” Rex asked
“A Wendigomon” Piximon answered
“Muhahahaha” came a chilling laugh
“Ahhhh! Can’t we get a break!” Falco shouted in frustration
Before them stood a digimon of mid athletic-mid-slender build. On his face he wore a Venetian mask, with flicks of hair on either side of his head. His billowy shirt had frills around his cuffs and down his plummeting neckline. Tight, black leather pans and dark-brown boots completed his at-tire
“Nesferamon. Virus. Rumoured to be the corrupted version of Casanovamon. Known attacks Casanova Bite” a digivice relayed
“Harpyiamon digivolve to!...” Hailey’s digivice did not glow “D’Arcmon! Dancing Sword!” Silver slashes of metallic light from D’Arcmon’s sword disintegrated Nesferamon. “Amulet’s Aria” from D’Arcmon’s staff, icy cold sound waves shattered an incoming barrage of Woodmon
“Good reflexes D’Arcmon” Piximon praised “Hey! There it is. We’ll be safe there; the centre of the forest” the digidestines rushed through a nearby door. Sealing it, they found themselves facing a quaint little clearing. Stepping stones dotted a babbling brook, which emerged from a waterfall tumbling off of a cliff-face in the back. Beside the waterfall rose a fine oak with a treehouse occupying its boughs. Another tree by the nearby stepping stones provided shade for the cabin beneath. Three masses of land. Each with a stone fire pit. The second and third connected by a bridge.
“Scissors, Paper, Rock!” Delphi and Falco shouted in unison
“Scissors beats paper” Delphi stated smoothly; a cutting motion with her fingers
“Aw dude, she beat you again” Rex laughed
“Was that some sort of attack?” Piximon queried
“No, it was more like a game, one that helps humans decide” Otamamon replied
“Guess we’ll be taking the treehouse” Delphi mentioned
“C’mon Hailey” smiling, Perri linked arms with her as the three girls made their way over some stepping stones. Crossing the bridge they noticed a hollow entranceway at the second tree’s base. An inclining, curving path lead up to the treehouse. Beyond, the path branched out behind the waterfall; another door waiting at the walkway’s re-emergence.
As dusk fell, the three girls gathered around the first fire pit
“So…Harpyiamon…” From Hailey’s expression, it was clear that she had expected this topic to come up. Gazing over at the second fire, Hailey watched as Harpyiamon and the other digimon played. It was melancholy that met Perri as Hailey’s gaze returned.
“Our paths just kept crossing. I met her on the same day I’d met Wyatt. I was by the lake when I’d stumbled upon a part of it I hadn’t noticed before” Hailey recounted “She was nestled by the wa-ter, sleeping, when suddenly there was this glow…”
“Please, don’t be afraid” the feathered digimon seemed to be talking to air. Behind one of the trees, Hailey kept silent “I’m Harpyiamon” looking around, she was met without a response; her shoulders slumped, head bowed. Peering out at the creature, Hailey recognised a sort of loneli-ness in its mannerisms. Emerging from her hiding spot, Hailey flinched as the digimon looked up
“H-Hello, I’m Hailey. I-I’m sorry I didn’t answer before” Hailey greeted
“That’s OK” the creature replied “It’s nice to meet you” Suddenly something attached to Harpyiamon began to glow. Hailey took a step back “It’s alright. Please don’t go. It just does that sometimes” Harpyiamon held out the device to give Hailey a better look
Cautiously, Hailey moved closer “What…is it?”
“I’m not too sure. But usually something nice happens when it glows” Harpyiamon explained. In the nearby water, a glitter of glistening scales sparkled
“Wow” Hailey exclaimed. Moving to the lake’s edge, Hailey and Harpyiamon knelt as they watched the school of fish swim back and forth
“Oh” Harpyiamon said suddenly. Turning, she retrieved two plastic-encased sandwiches from a box hidden amongst a bush. Opening the packaging, she tore half of one of the sandwiches and scattered it over the lake. Eating the other half, she turned to Hailey, holding out the other sand-wich
“Thank you” Hailey replied. The packaging felt cold. Copying Harpyiamon, she scattered part of the sandwich over the lake. The other half however, Hailey held, still in its packaging.
“You can have some too you know” Harpyiamon giggled
“Uh…” Hailey pondered something over in her mind
“Hey, it’s OK, you don’t have to” Harpyiamon smiled
“I’m sorry…it’s just…I’ve already eaten…and I didn’t want to be mean” Hailey admitted sheepishly
“No worries” Harpyiamon’s stomach grumbled. Hailey dug her hands into her pocket.
“Here you go” Hailey handed over an assortment of fruit in a rounded box
“Mmmm, these are yummy” Harpyiamon commented
“I’m glad you like them. I helped grow them in our garden”
“Wow, that’s neat. A baker gave me the box after I protected him from some bad men” Har-pyiamon relayed
“Wow! You must be really strong. Hey, wanna know a game about a baker?” Hailey asked. Harpyiamon nodded. “It’s called Pat-a-cake”
After a few minutes of playing, Hapyiamon suddenly flinched
“I’m sorry I kept you. Your other friends must be wondering where you are” Hailey’s eyes drooped at Harpyiamon’s remark “What’s wrong?”
“I don’t have any” Hailey admitted
“Why not?” Harpyiamon asked
“I don’t know how”
“It’s easy, just smile, say hello and ask them if they want to hang out”
“But what if they don’t want to be my friend”
“You’re very kind. I’m sure you’ll be able to make friends” unclipping the now non-glowing yellow device, Harpyiamon handed it to Hailey “For good luck” Harpyiamon smiled “Now go get ‘em”
Rising, Hailey headed for the swings
“After I’d moved, when I was a bit older, there were these rat digimon behind the new school, they were attacking something, so I grabbed the nearest branch. Turns out what they were attack-ing was Hapyiamon. I brought her home and took care of her, and when she was better she con-tinued on her way”
“But then you guys would keep meeting…or, running into each other again” Delphi pieced
“Mmhmm. Small encounters, like catching her after a misbalance, or a mysteriously generous catch whilst fishing. It wasn’t until a ski-trip with the class a few weeks later that we’d catch up again. Some of the girls with digimon had heard rumours and were accusing me of lying…”
“Please. Why would a digimon hang around you?” A light-pink haired girl jabbed, her Crowmon snickering
“Yeah, digimon are partnered with humans from birth. If a digi-egg doesn’t appear then they’re not your digimon” a platinum haired girl with a Quetzalmon pointed out
“You don’t even have a real digivice. Digivices look like this” the third girl with coffee-brown hair held out a hexagonal device with two smaller hexagons, one at the second edge, the other be-tween the forth and fifth, her KoDokugumon on her shoulder
“Yeah. Your rich parents probably paid someone to steal away a digimon from a DESERVING kid, a REAL digidestined” partnered with a Kyukimon, the apple-green haired girl scowled
“Give it back!” the girl with platinum tresses lashed out
A breathy “Ahh” escaped Hailey’s lips as the other girls shoved her around. Insults blared from every direction
“Leave her alone!” a voice shouted. From atop a snow-powdered pine tree Harpyiamon frowned.
“Tsss” The apple-green haired girl had scoffed. Leaning back on the tree, it bent until Harpyiamon was almost to the ground. Letting go, the tree smashed the ground nearby before returning to its original state. Though nowhere near harm, the girls had dove away
“Ugh. What the freak ?! Who do you think you are ?!?!” the light-pink haired girl shouted
“I’m Harpyiamon, I’m Hailey’s digimon, and you bring insult to all those who’ve been partnered with digimon. You should be ashamed” standing in front of Hailey, Harpyiamon held out her hands; Yellow digivice glowing momentarily. Unfazed, the coffee haired girl stood up and dusted herself off
“Prove it” she challenged “Force her to digivolve”
“Hng. Hnnnggg” came a bellow “Bone Boomerang!” the newly appeared Mojyamon shouted
“Ahhh” the four bullies squealed as they ran from the attack
“This Mojyamon territory!”
“Ahh, eww, what are you just standing there for? Go get him!” the apple-green haired girl or-dered. The four bullies’ digimon leapt into action.
“KoDokugumon warp digivolve to!...Dokugumon! Dokugumon digivolve to!...Arukenimon!”
“Qutzalmon digivolve to!... Sandiramon!”
With a swift pummel from his attack, Mojyamon sent the four digimon flying. “Ice Blow” striking a sharp ice club into the ground, he just missed the four bullies as they lunged away screaming, clos-ing their eyes they shivered
“Mojyamon warp digivolve to!...Jijimon! Claw of -”
“Harpyiamon digivolve to!...” Hailey noticed that the digivice did not glow as the others did “D’Arcmon! Divine Sword!” Jijimon scattered into data
“Ever since then we’ve been hanging out. But I know it wouldn’t be right to keep her from her true partner. I’ve tried to tell her, but she’s always just changed the subject before I could. And now I don’t know what to do. I just don’t want to hurt her. Whoever her partner is will be the luckiest, and Harpyiamon deserves so much more than…”
“Don’t say that about yourself Hailey” Delphi comforted “You are such a great person. And I know there’s at least one person other than Harpyiamon who thinks so, by a whole lot, even if he doesn’t say as much”
Hailey started to turn a shade of pink.
“There’s something that I’ve noticed; Sanzomon looks like other Sanzomon, but she doesn’t have a red dot on her forehead…or beads…” Perri wondered aloud
Hailey’s sadness seemed to return “Sanzomon…she…can’t use any attacks. It’s all my fault. She couldn’t digivolve properly and now she can’t use any attacks because I’m not her true partner”
“No, no, oh, there there” Delphi comforted as she and Perri came in for a hug “With what you guys have been through, you sound like partners to me; regardless of the digivice”
“Yeah, everything will work out” Perri reassured.
As dusk rolled on, and the digidestines had all drifted off to sleep, they were awoken by a massive tremor. Leaves rustled. Bird digimon fled in a flurry of feathers. A spine-chilling howl called out to the full moon’s glow, then…silence…
“Sangloupmon” the digidestines flinched. Two separate digivices, one in the cabin, and the other in the treehouse, had activated. “Champion. Virus. A vampire beast digimon; it is able change the structure of its body into data fragments, allowing it to bypass most barriers. Its bite is as bad as its bark”
“Don’t worry, he won’t be able to get in here” Piximon reassured through the digivices “But Sangloupmon are generally light footed. Those tremors…they were caused by something…or someone…else…”
With the quakes ceasing, sleep soon returned, albeit, uneasily. No sooner has light peeked over the horizon *STOMP* *STOMP*… *SLAM* the digidestines all jumped out of bed. *SLAM* rushing outside, the sound continued. The door they had come through previously was bolted but now lurching. Quickly the digidestines rushed to the path behind the waterfall. Opening the door, they hurried through the frame; Piximon helping them traverse through the forest. 2 lefts, a right, a curving path and 5 doors; with a swift turn the exit was in their sight *STOMP* before they could reach it, a hefty figure had crashed down, blocking their path. The digidestines did their best to hold their stance as a powerful earthquake sent shockwave after shockwave.
Before them loomed a large, gruff, bulky man wearing an oxen hide. Armour and boots of gold digizoid, he pounded his fists into the ground, weapons in hand. “Auroxmon. Data. Mega. Wields two double headed tomahawks” a digivice had stated
“You will go no further digidestines” Auroxmon roared, raising his weapon
“Otamamon digivolve to!...Kazemon! Hurricane Wave!”
“Pixie Trick!” Piximon shouted. Twirling his spear, stars flew out like comets. The attacks from Kazemon and Piximon caused Auroxmon to slide back as he braced himself. An unsettling grimace lined his steer-like face.
“Aw look. It’s Wendy and Tinkerbell” Auroxmon ridiculed. Piximon gritted his teeth at being referred to as Tinkerbell
“Uh-oh” Kazemon held Piximon back by the wings
“Tinkerbell. Tinkerbell?!? I’ll show you Tinkerbell! Even when we were on the same side you were always an insufferable…I oughtta…” Piximon’s speech had accelerated beyond comprehension as he furiously waved his spear
Throwing his axes, they dug into the ground, completely blocking the exit “Hm hm, you can thank your loud mouthed friend for that, rahhh” leaping forth, he pummelled away Kazemon and Pixi-mon
“What?!” Perri exclaimed
“He’s much faster now” Chad stated in horror
“Rahhh” Auroxmon raised his fists
“Ahhh” the digidestines ran
“Oof” Kazemon and Piximon had thrust Auroxmon into the maze wall
“Good job guys” Perri lauded. Suddenly the two fell to their knees as they held their arms. To alleviate the digidestines’ concern their gave a huge grin and thumbs up. Auroxmon began to lum-ber
“Let’s help them out” Falco stated
“Right” Monodramon agreed. Beside them, Chad and Kotemon nodded at each other
“Monodramon digivolve to!...Coredramon!”
“Kotemon digivolve to!...Wizardmon!”
“Burst Breath” glowing blue energy exploded from Coredramon’s mouth
“Thunder Ball” lightning erupted from Wizardmon’s staff
Before the attacks could reach, Auroxmon had leapt up. Now beside his tomahawks, he lifted them out of the ground “Turns out I underestimated you. But no longer, ha!” leaping into the air, the axes glowed
“Wizardmon digivolve to!...Mistymon!” Blocking the attack with his sword, Mistymon held Auroxmon at a standstill
“Coredramon digivolve to!...Cyberdramon! Cyber Nail!” Together he and Mistymon pushed Au-roxmon back. Repeating his attack, Auroxmon’s axes glowed as he became airborne
“Core Blast” Silver lightning boomed out from his floating crystal ball. Auroxmon found himself engulfed and twitching. Auroxmon’s axes clanged backwards out of his grasp as he himself was walloped back. Weapons singed and smoking Auroxmon lunged forth “Bovine Beserker!” Misty-mon found himself blocked by another figure. On the ground, Cyberdramon found himself being thrashed over and over. An effort to intervene by Mistymon saw himself being punched away by the rage engorged Auroxmon. Strike after strike, with each blow the digidestines seemed stuck, their digimon’s efforts to stop the onslaught only seemed to make Auroxmon madder, stronger. With a trunk-like arm in the air Auroxmon fist began its final strike. Falco leapt in front of the attack.
“Cyberdramon digivolve to!...” Cyberdramon’s red wings became scarf-like. Becoming more hu-man shaped his helmet turned silver and rounder. Chest-plate now white, the front of his legs and feet bore the same colour; the rest of him, mostly indigo. One arm became more mechanical, en-cased in metal “Justimon! Justice Burst!” A behemoth of a punch was encased in lightning, sending Auroxmon flying into the stratosphere before his attack could hit Falco. “Hyper Tornado!” An ener-gy comprised cyclone throttled Auroxmon about before twisting and slamming him into the earth. A shadow dispersed and dissolved from out of Auroxmon
“nghhhhhh” Auroxmon complained.
Auroxmon had awoke with a start. On his head was a damp towel. Leaning against one of the trees was Falco, with Ketomon, the fresh/baby form of Justimon, resting on his shoulders. It had been hours since the fight.
“I’m so sorry” Auroxmon apologized. Falco’s eyes remained closed “Please. I had no control over my actions” Auroxmon pleaded
“Shh, it’s OK. It might just take some time” Kazemon comforted
“No kidding, I think Falco’s asleep” Cadomon pointed out. Slumping down, Falco had indeed dozed off.
“You…you seem familiar” Auroxmon noted about Kazemon.
“Yeah, no kidding big guy” Piximon stated
Kazemon nodded to confirm Auroxmon’s guess
“I’m so glad you’re safe and well Tiamon” holding his head, Auroxmon fell down again, the tremor causing Falco to wake “Digidestined, I’m sorry for the pain I caused you and your digimon” Auroxmon apologized
“You…” an inhale, Falco closed his eyes again and sighed.
“Were under that witch’s control and probably didn’t know what he was doing” Chad suggested
“Yeah…” Falco complied, though still visibly angered
“Th-there’s a pass…beyond this maze’s exit which leads to a valley. You should find the next one of us there. I know it won’t compensate for what I’ve done but…”
“Thank you” Kazemon smiled to reassure Auroxmon.
“You’re doing a great job digidestines. That vile cowardess is furious. With each one of us you defeat her power wanes. I wish you the best of luck on your journey ahead”