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A Digimon Epic: The Gathering of Heroes (PG-13 Tentative)

Discussion in 'Non-Pokémon Stories' started by Tundra_Wolfmane, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. The guild master’s room was a simple room. It wasn’t meant for meetings with large groups or for anything other than paperwork, which is what the guild master usually did anyway. It was equipped with one simple armchair and a long desk full of drawers, papers, pens, documents and even a lamp. On the other side of the desk were two more chairs for any guests he would have had to entertain. The room was meant for administrative work. It wasn’t like he could do anything else, with his rather large bulk.

    The guild master was one of the largest Digimon in the guild. He towered over many other Digimon, both with his tall watermelon red body and with his yellow protruding belly. He had a very prominent bellybutton, comically adorned with two bandages positioned into an x mark. Around his neck were many large leaves, and projecting from his shoulder blades and over his shoulders were two, large yellow horns that he usually used to gather the guild member’s attention. His hands and feet were large and webbed, although they had accustomed themselves to daily manual labor quite well. Above a big mouth, he had a red mustache that didn’t look like it suited him at all and a pair of yellow eyes with a glazed look that belied the intense focus that the guild master had. Finally, behind his head protruded a long thick stalk that bent over his head and ended with many purple frills. Geo Dornae, master of the Traveller’s Guild and one of the two leaders of the town, was a ShogunGekomon.

    It was turning out to be another usual day until he heard a knock on the door.

    “Harumph,” the large amphibious Digimon grunted, glancing at a reused-broken-then-fixed-again clock on the wall closest to him. “Too early for dinner, too late for mail. Either a guest or a guild member,” he noted as he turned back to the door. “Come in!”

    The door opened slowly, and the head of a Floramon popped in.

    “Rise, what is it?” Geo asked, putting down his writing pen.

    “It’s Taranis Valthor, sir. He wants to speak with you,” the flowery Digimon said with a light tone.

    “Taranis? Again?” the ShogunGekomon asked with a raised eyebrow. “What now?”

    “He did not tell me, sir, but he says it’s important. And judging from the logs he just gave me, he has a very interesting story to tell,” the guildmaster’s secretary and head archivist said, a twinkle in her eye.

    “It should be if he’s already coming to see me before his probation is over,” Geo told her, putting his large palms together. “Let him in.”

    “Yes, sir!” the Floramon said, pulling away and closing the door behind her.

    Whistling a carefree tune, she walked down the hallway and down a flight of stairs. At the end, Taranis was waiting nervously. “The guild master will see you now,” she told the insect Digimon. “Good luck,” she told him with a smile.

    “Yeah, thanks Rise,” Taranis replied as he walked up the stairs and down the hallway towards the guild master’s office. With a deep breath, he rapped the door three times.

    “Come in, Valthor,” came the guild master’s booming voice.

    “Okay, relax,” Taranis told himself. “Don’t make any jokes about his horns again,” he reminded himself as he opened the door and coming in. The Beetlemon grinned at the ShogunGekomon even though he knew that the toad Digimon would not be able to see it behind his helmet.

    “Good morning, master Geo,” he said, nodding as he walked over between the two chairs in front of the desk. He didn’t dare try to sit on either one, though.

    “It would a better morning if you have any good news for me, Valthor,” the red Digimon said, looking at him and evaluating his person. He raised an eyebrow ever so slightly, too subtle for Taranis to notice even with his exceptional eyesight and memory, when he observed a change in the Beetlemon’s countenance compared to the last time.

    “Well, it depends, which do you want first: the good news or the bad news?” Taranis tried with a chipper tone.

    For one long, silent moment, the ShogunGekomon gave Taranis a long unnerving look. The Beetlemon was already half-ready to bolt out of the room before Geo could give him a weakened but nonetheless stinging “Horn Howling” attack that he always used whenever he got especially annoyed. The Beetlemon had already been at the receiving end of one a multitude of times.

    “Let’s start with your bad news,” Geo suddenly said, the sound of his voice causing Taranis to cringe.

    “W-what?” the Beetlemon said, blinking.

    Geo chuckled and folded his arms. “The bad news first, Valthor. Then maybe your good news will make it seem less bad,” the ShogunGekomon said as he looked down at him.

    “Oh! Uh, right!” Taranis said with a grin, letting out a sigh of relief in his head. One landmine down…

    “Well, remember the new mapping materials and tools you just got me after the last incident in the port town?” he asked, rubbing the back of his neck. The guild master grinned.

    “Ah, yes, paper made from top quality wood that will last long and absorb ink well, measuring tools made with the durable metal and with the most exact measurements, pens of various colors, thickness and depth to make optimal maps with, all made by our very best craftsmen with the very best materials,” Geo said with glee. It was obvious that he was proud of the accomplishments of his guild members when it came to them. “Have they served you well, Valthor?” he asked with a smile.

    “Er, yeah,” Taranis replied with a nervous smile. “Up until I lost them anyway.” Geo blinked silently at him, his smile still on his face. After a minute of silence, Taranis had to say something. “S-sir?”

    ”You lost them!?” the ShogunGekomon shouted, standing up and slamming his palms onto his desks as his horns blared, sending a wave of sound that pushed Taranis off of his feet and onto the ground.

    Taranis’ eye twitched as he pushed himself back up, knowing that downstairs, Rise had counted, “One.” He was determined not to get another ‘Horn Howling’ enhanced yell. He was especially determined not to be that month’s member who got the most Horn Howling Yells in one session with the master…again. Buri forbid he break the record of seventeen in one session, although he never really got that close.

    “I’m sorry!” the Beetlemon apologized as he stood back up. “It was an accide- well, no, it wasn’t, but I have a very good explanation for it!” he said before Geo could prepare another yelling blast. He even bowed his head and clapped his hands together.

    “Then explain,” Geo said, sitting back down and folding his arms over his large chest.

    Then quickly and in detail, Taranis started to narrate the events that had happened since he entered his last target location, which was the Enigmatic Woods. He told the guild master about already starting to map things out – bringing out all his materials so that he knew what was where - before meeting with a Wisemon, being captured by the insects of the insect village, meeting an EmperorGreymon, and then getting escorted to the insect villages. He wasn’t allowed to bring his materials with him that time, and he lost his materials then. He was only able to bring his old mapworks and a few other old tools.

    Then without meaning to, he started to talk about the events that had transpired in the forest. Silently, Geo listened to Taranis’ tale, not moving or talking once. He knew Taranis’ habit of telling a story like this one; it was usually best for him to listen until he gathered all the information he could get. It wasn’t until Taranis reached the part where he was invited by Tiwaz to join their group did they stop.

    Taranis took deep breaths as he finished his story. He looked down and blinked; he hadn’t even noticed when he had taken a seat on one of the chairs.

    “Hum…so to sum it up, you lost track of your materials,” Geo said with an unsmiling expression.

    “Uhhhh,” Taranis muttered. He couldn’t really say anything to oppose Geo’s conclusion. “Y-yeah…I lost it,” he said lamely with a grimace.

    “And you are on probation, Valthor,” Geo said, folding his arms and looking at Taranis harshly. “I hope you know what the consequences are.”

    Taranis winced. “Y-yeah. I’m suspended from the guild for a whole year, and I’m not allowed to go on any guild jobs or use guild resources during that time,” the beetle Digimon said with a grimace.

    The ShogunGekomon nodded. Then to Taranis surprise, he smiled. “That should give you enough time to travel with your new companions at your leisure without having to report back or deliver any logs for archiving,” he told the Beetlemon.

    Taranis had to give a wide grin that could even be seen through his eyes. “Hey, you’re right!”

    “That should pacify the need for you to be punished according to guild law, and with your…special memory, I am sure you will be able to map out every detail of your journey. And since you have made old maps, I am sure you will not need to use any of the guild maps, which also means you are allowed to make any additions or changes in them and only make new changes onto our maps when you get back,” Geo told the Beetlemon as if he didn’t know them. “Of course, since you are no longer a part of the guild for a one year duration, you are now a paying customer. I am sure you will be able to purchase supplies from our guild and other branches in other towns. Why, you might even pave way for more branches to be made in more towns… Yes, I am sure that you will become a valuable asset to your companions,” he then added with another nod.

    Taranis had to chuckle. Even when he was supposed to be suspended, the guild master still had work for him to do. Not that he minded.

    “Oh, and master Geo,” Taranis then said, garnering the attention of the ShogunGekomon. “The Enigmatic Woods should be safe to traverse now. Without them having to protect their artifact anymore, they don’t need to keep anyone out,” the Beetlemon said with a grin.

    “They will also want to learn as much of the world which they have not visited in a long time,” Geo said, more to himself than Taranis. Then he grinned widely. “I will dispatch some of our members as soon as possible; I am sure that we will be able to learn from them as much as they will learn from us!” he decided.

    The ShogunGekomon gave Taranis a proud smile. “You have done the guild a great service, Taranis Valthor.”

    Taranis had to chuckle, blushing hard inside his helmet. It wasn’t every day that he the guild master praised him. “Thanks, but my friends did most of the work,” he told the ShogunGekomon. “Which reminds me, I think I should see how they’re doing. They’re planning on leaving as soon as I’m done here.”

    “I see,” Geo said, folding his arms. “I would have liked to meet your friends, but if they are in a hurry to complete their quest, then I won’t keep you. Just keep yourself out of trouble, and don’t give them any trouble,” he told the Beetlemon.

    “I won’t,” Taranis told his guild master.

    For some reason, as Taranis told that to Geo, he had the strangest feeling that he didn’t really have a choice in the matter.

    -​

    “Thank you very much,” Odie said, nodding to the man that took his letter. He hoped he had given an accurate and detailed enough direction for whoever would send the letter back to his village. He told them that his name would most probably get the postmen in, especially since he had become a bit of a novelty in the forest. He was travelling with the man- no, the men of the prophecy after all.

    “You’re welcome, mister Hayashi,” the postman, a bird-like Digimon that he recognized as a Toucanmon, told him. The avian Digimon had black feathers, an overly large and colorful beak, short black wings that didn’t look like it could support flight, and a body that was encased by a red egg shell, which had been painted to look like overalls. On the top of his head was a postman’s cap, which Odie assumed was because of his occupation.

    The Shurimon smiled and turned back to Pavamana, who was waiting by the door. As he walked towards the PileVolcamon, however, he noted a serious expression on his face.

    “Is there s-s-s-something wrong?” the ninja asked.

    “There’s something going on outside,” the larger blacksmith said, looking out the door. He was looking down a street where he could see a number of Digimon running away. He could faintly hear yelling and screaming that was slowly growing. From the looks of other people and storeowners, he wasn’t the only one that noticed.

    Odie frowned and looked as well. “Should we g-g-go check?”

    “I’m not usually curious, but Tiwaz and Cogwej must be influencing me,” Pavamana said with a small smile at the Shurimon. “Let’s go,” he then said, jogging out of the building and towards the commotion. Odysseus followed suit quickly, his hand shurikens falling from his leafy mantle before he grabbed them with practiced ease.

    To their fortune, both Pavamana and Odie were given a wide berth, which made it easy for them to pass through the crowd to see what was causing the commotion. Odie couldn’t help but think that the sounds of many loud footsteps should give him a clue of what was happening; it was definitely too loud and heavy to be the many Digimon running past them.

    In front of him, Odie heard Pavamana say the word ‘Gah!’ and then skidded to a stop, turned to his back, and started running towards him. “The other way, Odysseus! Run the other way!” he called out.

    Odie was too surprised by the sudden turn of event to react properly, and instead of doing what he was told to do, Pavamana quickly decided to grab the Shurimon by the torso. In quick succession, the PileVolcamon proceeded to carry him over his shoulder, careful not to impale the Shurimon on his spikes. It also allowed Odie to see what Pavamana was running from.

    The Shurimon had to blink a few times to register what he was seeing. They were being followed by a stampede of Bullmon, cape-wearing, blue-armored and helmeted bull Digimon with large golden horns. Odie couldn’t even do a headcount of the Digimon. The dust they created made it hard to. They also left a trail of destruction behind them.

    “O-oh dear,” was all Odie could say.

    “We need to stop them!” Pavamana said the obvious, looking around. He just didn’t know how. He was physically strong, but even with Odie’s help, he couldn’t take all of them. “We need a plan!”

    Odie bit his lip behind his mask. He looked around, trying to think of one that could help them. Then he saw what he needed. “I g-g-g-got one, but I don’t know if the people w-w-w-w-will approve,” he told the PileVolcamon.

    “Their city is going to get destroyed. I doubt they’ll mind,” Pavamana told him.

    “Okay,” Odie replied a bit shakily. “P-please let me go on ahead, and d-d-d-do not let them stray from this path,” the Shurimon said as Pavamana loosened his hold. It allowed the Shurimon to climb onto the PileVolcamon’s shoulder and vault himself onto the building’s rooftops. Pavamana had to admit; it took a lot of skill to climb onto his shoulders while he was running and then be able to jump off of them with faultless grace.

    The blacksmith continued running, along with other Digimon beside him, down the path. He noticed a few other people turn to alleyways and inside buildings, but the Bullmon didn’t seem to follow them. Apparently, he wasn’t the only one that noticed, and others decided to do the same. It didn’t take long for him to be the only one left being chased by the stampeding Bullmon. He heard a few people tell him to get inside a building or an alleyway, but he didn’t listen. He didn’t know if the Bullmon would change direction with him if he did, and Odie told him not to let them move from the path. He trusted Odie enough to keep himself from getting out of the way, even if he felt the stampede get closer to him.

    “Pavamana!” he suddenly heard.

    The PileVolcamon turned his head to see Odysseys waiting inside another alleyway. “In here!” he called out with a raised hand. “Before they pass by!”

    Pavamana had to take a deep breath. He would need to jump, but his legs were already tired from having to run for so long. If he didn’t time it right and give enough effort, he would get trampled. He gritted his teeth.

    “Here goes,” he muttered before taking one long step and using it to steady both of his legs before jumping towards Odysseus with a loud yell. It only took a heartbeat before he found himself tumbling beside the Shurimon. He had to wince his eyes at the impact of his body meeting ground, but he would take that over getting ran over by a multitude of heavy and hard-footed bulls.

    As he pushed himself up to a sit, he heard Odysseus give a triumphant cheer. He also barely registered a lot of surprised yells and the sounds of more bodies hitting the ground. He looked over his shoulder to see what Odie had done.

    The scene outside of the alley was a sight. Bullmon were on the ground, on their sides, on their backs or bellies, some over one another and Pavamana swore that he saw one right-side up with his horns embedded on the ground. “What did you…?” the PileVolcamon started, glancing at the Shurimon.

    “Tripwire,” the ninjamon said sheepishly, pointing at a thick rope made of twisted cords of black wire that looked vaguely familiar. It was connected to a tree trunk on the other side of the street, while the one on their side was connected to one of the electric posts. Then he realized where they came from. “You cut the electric wires?” he asked in surprise, turning to the Shurimon.

    “L-l-l-like I said, I don’t know i-i-i-if the people would like it,” Odie replied with a mutter, looking down and tinting a bit. “I r-r-r-remember mister Uren telling me they were strong and d-d-d-d-d-durable, so I thought they could handle the force,” he informed the larger and older Digimon.

    “We can explain it to them later,” Pavamana said, standing up. “We should incapacitate them before they start another stampede,” the PileVolcamon said as some of the Bullmon began to get up.

    “H-h-h-how?” Odie asked, turning to him.

    To answer his question, Pavamana dashed towards the nearest standing Bullmon and hammered the four legged mammal’s head with two fists clenched together, causing the Bullmon to slam back down on the ground. It was also apparent that the Bullmon was not going to stand back up anytime soon. Pavamana didn’t even look at his handiwork; he was already on his way to sending another Bullmon to lala land.

    “P-P-P-P-Pavamana!” Odie couldn’t help but call out as he ran out of the alleyway, grabbing the thick cord of wire that he had used to trip the Bullmon. The PileVolcamon was going to need help if he was going to knock out around twenty Bullmon unconscious. And that was only a rough headcount. It didn’t help that the Bullmon were standing up faster than Pav could put them back down.

    -​

    “Um, granny Cher?” Kaleth asked, looking around.

    “Yes, Kale?” the Babamon replied, too surprised by her surroundings to correct the Knightmon.

    “I might be wrong, but I think there’s something going on,” he told her, frowning a bit behind his helmet.

    “Of course something is going on!” Cher replied, stamping the end of her broom against the ground. “Not only are my crafters asleep, but so is everyone else!” she cried, pointing at the scene before them with her broom.

    It really was an unusual sight. Digimon everywhere around them were asleep, some on their stalls, some sleeping against walls or sitting on chairs but most were passed out right in the middle of the street. Whatever spell was cast upon the denizens of the craftsman and their clientele, it spared no one.

    “What do you make of this?” Fenrir asked Cogwej. Unusual happenings were the Wisemon’s expertise, so Fenrir thought it apt to ask him.

    “Hmm,” the cloaked Digimon sounded, walking over to one of the Digimon. The first thing he did was nudge the body with his foot. When that got him no reaction, he got into a crouch and poked the body in different places multiple times. He turned to look at Fenrir. “Well, they’re not dead! They’re all in a deep state of sleep!”

    “We knew that, Cogwej!” Fenrir growled back, folding his arms.

    “Then why did you ask?” Cogwej replied, walking over. “Why waste my time when you are already aware of the situation? And I had thought that between you and Treegas, you were the intelligent one. As much as I hate to admit it, apparently, I was wrong,” the Wisemon said, folding his arms and trying look dignified. Fenrir kept himself from reaching out to strike the Wisemon on the back of his head; he didn’t need him to go on another ranting spree.

    Deciding that he needed to gauge the situation himself, the Beowolfmon walked past Kaleth and Cher towards the most concentrated part of sleeping Digimon. He then closed his eyes and took a big whiff of his surroundings, taking in the various smells and searching for any unusual or out-of-place scents. He frowned and opened his eyes just in time to see something white shooting towards him. His reflexes kicked in and he was able to duck in the last second, the white projectile flying past his head. He looked where it came from, but he failed to see the one that sent it towards him.

    “Fendrear, I just recalled- bah! What is this offending ball of wool!? I have never been so insul-“

    The next thing Fenrir heard was a body falling down to the ground followed by loud snoring. He looked behind him to see that the Wisemon had succumbed to the same spell that affected the other Digimon. “Cogwej!”

    “Evade, wolf!” Cher called out, pointing behind Fenrir. The Beowolfmon knew better to look behind him; that would cost him valuable seconds. Besides, he didn’t have to be a genius to realize that it was the same kind of projectile that caused Cogwej to suddenly become narcoleptic. He immediately jumped to the side and into a roll that allowed him to unsheathe his Beo Saber. He had also come up in time to see something pink and short jump behind a large body of a sleeping Digimon. Fenrir growled; so that was why he wasn’t able to spot them.

    “Show yourself! We know you’re there!” he called out, staying in a crouching position. He was a smaller target that way.

    “Looks like the jig is up!” a squeaky voice called out, although this one didn’t come from behind the large body.

    “We better come out before the big baaaaaaad wolf gets angry!” another one said, coming from a different direction. Then right in front of Fenrir, a number of Digimon came out from hiding.

    They were all very short Digimon, and their body was hidden by a sphere of pink wool. They had black, hoofed legs with tufts of wool around their ankles. As their bodies suggested, they had black, sheep-like heads a pair of yellow eyes, and large, red, inward curled horns. Mounted on their backs were machinery that reminded Fenrir of a jetpack, although it looked like it had been customized to become some sort of miniature cannon. The base of the machine was a simple trapezoid, and on each side were barrels with fanned out ends and smiley-faced ports.

    “Sheepmon! Just as I suspected!” Cher’s voice suddenly shouted from behind Fenrir.

    “There’s a whole herd of them!” Kale said, also close by. Fenrir had to stand up; he needed to do a proper headcount.

    “Fourteen,” Fenrir said, stepping back so that he and the other two were close. It looked like he couldn’t rely on Cogwej to wake up anytime soon.

    “Watch out for their attack! One hit, and you’re a goner!” the Babamon said, her back towards Fenrir and Kaleth.

    “Um, isn’t this a bad position?” Kaleth suddenly asked, taking out the medium sized blade from his hip. “I mean, we’re surrounded, and we’re also all huddled up together.”

    “Kaleth, this is a bad time to become smart!” Cher shouted, realizing the same time.

    “Incoming!” Fenrir shouted just as all fourteen Sheepmon aimed their cannons at them.

    Wool Grenade!

    Using their agility to their advantage, both Fenrir and Cher jumped into the air to avoid the balls of wool that were shot towards them. Not having the same kind of speed, Kale opted to run towards one of the Sheepmon in hopes that he wouldn’t get hit, only to trip on a sleeping Digimon’s leg and fall flat on his face with a large clang. Whether by fate or fortune, his fall helped him avoid the fire of sleeping projectiles. It also helped that he had a large shield strapped on his back.

    Baaaaaa, we missed!” one of the Sheepmon cried.

    “Get baaaaaaack!” another yelled, prompting all the short Digimon to suddenly run all around.

    Fenrir growled, his eyes darting from one Sheepmon to another. They surprised him with their speed. He would be able to catch them, but it would take a lot of considerable time. He couldn’t even attack properly; it would only take one good short for them to take him out of the battle.

    “Just take one of them out!” Cher’s voice cried. “They’re fast, but they have absolutely no combat ability! Just unnerve them, and they’ll scatter like the squealing sheep that they are!”

    Fenrir ran towards one of the closer Sheepmon, only to jump away as another Sheepmon shot another ball of wool at him. “Damn it,” he cursed.

    “You’re a wolf aren’t you!? Scare these sheep into submission!” the Babamon shouted from across the street, avoiding balls of wool that were shot towards her as well.

    “Don’t be like that, mister wolf!” one the Sheepmon cried as he ran away from the Beowolfmon. “Wool you not like a nice dream instead?”

    “Gosh!” Kale’s voice shouted from another end of the street, using his shield to keep from getting hit from any wool balls. “These sheep are as baaaaad as Taranis!”

    “Don’t make me come over there and whack you with my broom, Kale!” Cher shouted as she jumped from vending stall to vending stall, using the obstacles to make it hard for the Sheepmon to aim for her. “I hear enough puns from my craftsmen after Taranis came along!”

    “Come on, they’re not that baaaaad!” Kale replied as he swung his sword at the nearest Sheepmon, only for the smaller and faster Digimon to avoid it easily.

    They want bad? I’ll give them bad,’ Fenrir thought, his frustration finally peaking. He let out a howl that stopped the Sheepmon in their tracks. Surrounding Fenrir’s body was the light of digivolution, and the sheep Digimon weren’t able to act fast enough before Fenrir revealed his lither and flight-capable form that was MagnaGarurumon.

    “MagnaGarurumon’s not as strong, but it’s fast,” Fenrir said out loud, taking to the air and glaring at the Sheepmon around him. “Start running,” he growled out, taking to the air and pointing his armaments at the trembling Sheepmon.

    Run awaaaaaay!

    -​

    “So basically, we usually get to pick out jobs and missions from the big black bulletin board, or the Four B which I like to call it, but if we get really popular, then some people might start asking for us specifically,” Rickshana told Tiwaz as she sat on the railing of a balcony, swinging her legs freely. She, her uncle and Tiwaz were on a part of the guild house that was usually frequented by air-able Digimon, although some Digimon like she and Ashe liked visiting the place from time to time.

    “We’re still relatively new to the guild though, so that’s going to take a while,” Ashemon added, looking at the cityscape in front of him and holding onto the bars of the railing, which was actually too tall for him. It made him look like a caged rabbit, and it took all of Tiwaz’s willpower not to rush over and give the Gargomon a bone crushing hug.

    “What about Taranis and the others?” Tiwaz asked, leaning against the wall across from them. He was folding his arms tightly to keep them from straying. It helped distract him by talking.

    “What about buggy?” Rickey asked, looking over her shoulder, looking very cute.

    “Do they get requested too?” he asked, his fingers twitching.

    “Sometimes. It usually depends on how good their work is, and Taranis makes really really good maps thanks to his memory,” she replied.

    “Of course, it also means he has a few enemies in the guild,” Ashe said a bit forlornly. “Well, you can’t really help it. Everyone here is trying to support themselves and their families, so if someone does a better job than you do, then he gets better pay than you.”

    “That sounds…discomforting,” the EmperorGreymon said with a grimace.

    “Isn’t it the same for you, though?” Rickey asked him.

    “Uh…I guess so,” Tiwaz replied, blinking. He hadn’t really thought of it.

    “Well then- heeeeeey, what’s going on down there?” the Turuiemon suddenly said, looking down.

    “What?” Ashe asked, doing the same, although it was difficult for him to do so.

    “There are a bunch of Grizzmon scaring away our customers and destroying public property!” Rickey said with a frown, pointing down at the said Digimon.

    The Grizzmon were all bears, or rather, grizzlies as their name suggested. They all had large bodies with dark blue fur and imposing, clawed feet. Their backs and manes had tinges of white which contrasted well with their dark colored fur. On their shoulders were red shoulder pads with three iron studs, and on their forepaws were dangerous, red clawed gauntlets. Their heads were purely bear-like, with sharp teeth and narrowed eyes. Between their eyes was a white shape of a moon.

    “That’s just bad for business! Come on, Ashe, let’s go teach them a lesson!” Rickey told her uncle, standing up on the railing.

    “H-hey! That’s dangerous!” Tiwaz called out to the Turuiemon.

    “Oh, I’ll be fine. I’ve done this hundreds of times before!” the rabbit Digimon replied, looking about ready to jump.

    “We’re four stories high!” Tiwaz tried. It was more of his instinctual reflex to protect all rabbits than real common sense, considering that he knew a number of Digimon that could survive such a high fall.

    “Hasn’t stopped her before,” Ashe said with a grunt as he too started to climb over the railing.

    “Don’t be a slowpoke, Ashe!” Rickey said with a large grin. “I’m gonna go ahead!” she then said, jumping off the railing, Tiwaz shouting after her with large, shocked eyes.

    “Hey, wait for me! I have to catch you remember!?” the Gargomon yelled as he tossed himself over the railing as well.

    “But who’s going to catch you!?” Tiwaz yelled back, his hands on the railing. He was about to jump after them – who cared about a few broken leg bones? They would heal within a few months – until he saw that both the lapin Digimon were covered in light…the light of digivolution, Tiwaz realized.

    The light around Rickshana melted off first. Her new body was taller and lankier and covered with brown fur, bar a thick bar of white fur between her eyes. She had long arms that reached all the way below her knees and had white markings. She seemed to have exchanged the yellow ninja suit for white armor on her shoulders and chest and red armor on her torso, and while her legs were adorned with pale pink pants. On her rabbit-like head she had three small horns and a purple scarf draped around her neck. Tiwaz recognized her as an Antyllamon.

    Ashemon, meanwhile, still had a shorter body, although his new one was much thinner than his previous form. He was clad in green armor which covered his long and wing-like ears, upper body, pelvis, and feet. He also had white fur that could be seen on his exposed torso and legs. Instead of hands, he had two cannons, and he had a giant, black cylinder on his back that held twelve missile ports. On his rabbit like head, he wore a green helmet that left his face bare and had a large green horn. He had digivolved into a Rapidmon.

    As Ashemon grabbed his niece by the waist, their descent also began to slow down, reminding Tiwaz that Rapidmon were also capable of booster-powered flight, much to his relief. That didn’t mean he was going to just stand by, however. At the very least, he wouldn’t have to jump down the balcony after them, and he dashed out of the balcony and back into the building.

    Meanwhile, down below, Ashe had dropped Rickey on one of the unsuspecting Grizzmon.

    “Hey there, big bears!” Rickey said as she slammed her fists onto the Grizzmon’s head, alerting the other ursine Digimon to her and her uncle’s presence.

    “Let’s play!”

    -​

    “Where are they!?”

    Taranis groaned as he made what might have been his fifth round through the guild house’s main rooms. “It can’t take that long to give Tiwaz a tour around the building!” he said, folding his arms and looking around. He didn’t see scale or hair of the EmperorGreymon or the two rabbit Digimon that accompanied him. However, he did see a Toucanmon postman fly by frantically towards the guildmaster’s room. He could even hear the avian Digimon shouting ‘Emergency’ over and over again.

    “Wait.” Taranis blinked. “Emergency?”

    He grimaced. ‘Oh please, please, please don’t let it involve Tiwaz and the others!’ he thought, deciding to follow the Toucanmon towards the room just in case in did.

    Before he could follow through with his decision, however, a loud gunshot rang loudly into the lobby, followed by a wall that suddenly broke into splinters. It also caused Taranis to dive for the floor and cover his head with a yell, something which a number of the room’s occupants did.

    “Er, on second thought, I’m sure they can handle it!” he yelped, not planning on moving from his spot anytime soon.

    “What is going on here!?” the loud voice of the guild master suddenly shouted. Taranis couldn’t help but turn his head to the side just to see the large and imposing amphibian appear, along with a few hopeful cheers.

    “So you’re the guild master, eh?” another loud voice, this one Taranis didn’t recognize, said with disdain. “How could someone so fat and slow be a master of anything?” the voice taunted. The Beetlemon turned his head to look at whoever had the gall to insult their master.

    It was a large Digimon of a man. He looked to be as big as the guild master, albeit with muscles instead of fat and dark violet fur instead of red skin. He had bear like features and extremely large limbs, and he also wore a black sleeveless vest, along with a pair of black pants. Underneath his vest and crisscrossing his chest were two yellow belts of bullets. His left arm ended with a large clawed hand, and his right arm had a triple-barreled gun mounted on it. Since he had large clawed hands, it was just as predictable that he had large clawed feet. His head was small compared to his body, and it had bear like qualities with a pair of bat-like ears. Although Taranis had never seen one before, he would soon be later told that he was a Callismon.

    Flanking the Callismon’s sides were two more Digimon.

    The one to his right was a black Digimon with a centaur-like body. His lower body was that of a bull, along with the tail and hooves of one, and had yellow markings all over it. Each ankle had a red bracer with gold rims. His upper body was that of a muscular man with red armor: a breastplate, shoulder guards, gauntlets and a guard on his pelvis. Connect to the guard was a long purple cloth that held two sheathed blades. He had the head of a bull, complete with two large curved yellow horns on the sides of this temple and one small horn between them.

    The second one was white compared to the other Digimon’s black, although he too had a similar body type. His lower body belonged to that of a stout ram, albeit one with long legs that looked like it wore brown socks. He even had the round tail of a sheep. Unlike the other Digimon, he wasn’t quite as muscular, but he had long arms and a crossbow on one of them. He also had purple armor on his chest and arms, along with a red cloth belt and scarf. His head was that of a sheep’s, although the wool did not cover his black face. On the side of his head, he also had a pair of large purple horns – larger than his black counterpart’s – and a single purple horn in the middle.

    Taranis recognized those two; they were the species of the so-called twelve devas of the land. They were a Vajramon and a Pajiramon respectively.

    “Hey, you can’t call out master that!” one of the Digimon called out, only to squeak when the Pajiramon pointed his crossbow at him.

    “Do you have complaints, lowlife?” the sheep-centaur asked in a dangerously low voice.

    “I suggest you point that weapon away from my guild member if you do not want to get hurt, lamb,” Geo stated as he walked towards them with his awkward gait.

    “Oooh, scary! You better do what he says, Micchie, or else,” the Vajramon said with a sarcastic voice.

    “Don’t you want to see what he can to Richter?” the Panjamon asked, not pointing his crossbow away. “Besides, I don’t think he can stop me with that big fat body of his,” the sheep centaur said with a sneer.

    “Shut up, both of you!” the Callismon said, glaring at them. “We’re not here to play with small game,” the bear Digimon told them, although his word were not sincere at all.

    “Yes sir, Clive, sir,” both of the centaurs said with a grimace.

    “I suggest you leave before you do,” the guild master said, folding his arms.

    “I’m afraid we can’t do that, not yet,” Clive told the amphibian. “You see, we’re looking for someone, a group actually. They arrived here two days ago. They have something that we want. So if you can just hand him over, then we’ll leave,” the Callismon said, giving the ShogunGekomon a wide, evil grin.

    Two days ago?’ Taranis thought to himself in panic. ‘Crap! Are these the bandits that Fenrir said were tailing us!?

    “You misunderstand, bear,” Geo said with a glare. “That was not a request.”

    “Ha!” Clive shouted in amusement. “And who’s going to make us? You? Or any of these pathetic lots?” the Callismon asked, swinging his arms to all the Digimon that were against the ground.

    “Sir!” a female voice whispered behind Geo. “The adventurer branch is understaffed right now; all the adventurer guild members above two star are out on jobs, even the branch head! Reports also say that a group of Grizzmon are waiting outside of the guild and that they are also under their orders!”

    “I can handle it Rise,” Geo mumbled over his shoulder as the Floramon went back to hiding. He then turned back to the trio. “Do not underestimate me just because of how I look. I’ll kick all three of you out of this town before you can even think of trying to cause trouble.”

    “Well, I’m sorry to inform you, but you’re already too late,” the Callismon replied with a fiendish grin. “Oh wait, no I’m not!”

    “My Bullmon are already stampeding down the streets as we speak,” Richter said.

    “And my Sheepmon are sending all your townspeople to sleep,” Micchie added proudly. “By now, I bet that about one fifth of your town is already under our jurisdiction.”

    “And if that doesn’t frighten you, I think my Grizzmon outside will change your mind,” Clive then bellowed, sweeping his arms around.

    “Oh, they weren’t that tough,” a voice behind trio suddenly said.

    Clive, Richter and Micchie all looked behind them to see who had said that, and all three saw a tall and lanky Antyllamon waving at them.

    “Seriously though, if you’re going to threaten us, at least make sure you can back them up first,” Rickey said, folding her arms.

    “Don’t be so mean to them, Rickey,” Ashe’s said from behind her. “It’s not their fault that they weren’t that strong. I really think that they thought that they were a formidable enough force.”

    “You lie!” Richter called out, swinging his arm. “The Grizzmon force are our strongest group!”

    “Guess that means you guys aren’t that strong, either,” Rickey said, sticking out her tongue at them.

    “Hm…thank you Rickshana, Ashemon,” Geo’s voice suddenly called out, bringing attention back to him. “When this is over, I am promoting both of you to three star adventurers.”

    The Antyllamon’s face suddenly lit up. “You heard that, Uncle Ashe!? We’re getting promoted!” she said, grabbing the Rapidmon by the shoulders and twirling them around happily.

    “Gah! No spinning! Lemme go, Rickey! Lemme go, lemme go, lemme gooooo!” the Rapidmon cried, grabbing onto his niece’s arms and trying to pry them off.

    “The fools! They have the gall to make fun of us!?” Micchie snarled, raising her crossbow at them.

    “Didn’t I tell you not to point that at any of my guild members?” Geo’s voice suddenly called out dangerously.

    “Or what, frog man!? You gonna croak me to death?” the Panjamon said, turning around, only to see that Geo was no longer a ShogunGekomon. The guild master had digivolved into a higher form.

    His new form was decidedly smaller, although he looked more intimidating in it. His body had all but minimized into a spherical shape with spikes all over him, the only things coming out of it being a torn up fishtail behind him and two overly muscular arms with steel plated and spiked gauntlets, under which were red bandages. His left bicep was adorned with a yellow tattoo of an anchor, and his right was covered in white bandages. His spherical body was composed of his head and a number of spikes protruding from him, and on his head was a helmet with a number of sharp spikes and two holes for his red eyes. He was a pufferfish digmon that went by the name of Pukumon.

    “A fish?” Clive suddenly called out with a grin. “I eat fish for lunch!” the Callismon called out, laughing. The next moment, he suddenly felt a painful sensation on the side of his face. He was also sent flying over Rickey’s and Ashe’s heads out of the building.

    Britain Punch,” Geo said, having crossed the room within the span of a second and slammed his spiked fist into the Callismon’s face.

    So this is the strength…of a guild master?’ the bandit thought before falling unconscious.

    Said guild master turned to look at the other two bandits left in the room.

    “I warned you.”

    -​

    “So these are your friends, Taranis?”

    “Um, yeah, they are,” Taranis told the guild master, rubbing the back of his head. He, Tiwaz, Fenrir, Cogwej, Pavamana and Odysseus were all seated around a circular table, accompanied by Rickey, Ashe, Kaleth, branch head Cher, the innkeeper Uren, and Geo, all of whom were back in their original forms.

    “You didn’t tell me that you were one of the guild’s branch heads,” Pavamana said to the Monzaemon innkeeper, who only chuckled in reply.

    “I prefer to let my guests find that out on their own. It allows me to learn a bit about our occasional outside clients,” Uren, who was actually the merchant branch head, replied with a wink. “I, personally, am impressed that you and your young friend here were able to hogtie twenty seven Bullmon within an hour.”

    The PileVolcamon shook his head and gave a small grin. “It was Odysseus who came up with the idea, and I just helped bring them down so he could do his work.”

    The Shurimon blushed under his white mask. “I c-c-c-c-couldn’t have done it without your h-h-h-h-help though,” he told the older Digimon.

    On the other side of the table, Kaleth was narrating the events that led to the Sheepmon’s submission. “You should have seen him, Ranis! He just started zooming all around, catching one Sheepmon after another before dumping them all in one big pile!” the Knightmon said, acting out with his hands what Fenrir had done to capture the sleep-causing Digimon. “Then he just hovered over them with that glare of his, and none of them moved a single muscle!”

    “Heh, I guess Fenrir didn’t need to use the old wolf in sheep’s clothing trick. He must have some sheepdog in him,” Taranis replied, earning a glare from Fenrir. “Well, anyway, what I really want to know is how that happened,” the Beetlemon then said. He pointed to Cher and Cogwej, the latter of which was still sleeping in his seat while his arm was being clung on by the Babamon.

    “Er, I really have no idea,” Kale replied, looking at the two.

    A few seats away, Rickey was asking what Tiwaz had been doing while she, her uncle and the guild master took down the bandits. “Come on, Tiwaz! Tell me! Did you have to go to the potty? Or maybe you tripped and fell unconscious or something?” the Turuiemon asked, leaning close to him.

    Blushing a bit, Tiwaz looked away and folding his arms. “I told you, I was helping someone in need!” he said, although that had been far from the truth. He had actually gotten lost on his way to the lobby. While Ashe and Rickey had done a good job showing him around, they had moved around too fast for him to figure out how to go where.

    “Stop bothering him, Rickey,” Ashe said, sitting on the other side of the EmperorGreymon. “It was your fault for jumping all the way from the balcony.”

    “She did that again?” Taranis suddenly asked from his seat.

    “Please, Taranis, it’s Rickshana!”

    “You say that like it’s a bad thing, Uncle Ashe,” the Turuiemon called out with a Cheshire grin.

    Silence!” Geo’s Horn Blastered enhanced voice suddenly commanded, and in an instant, the room suddenly quieted. “Finally, I can finally talk without getting interrupted by the noise.”

    “Tut tut, Geo,” Cher said from her seat beside him. “No need to raise your voice; you’ll wake poor old Coggie-wojjie,” she said, caressing the snoring Wisemon’s arm.

    “Trust us, that old geezer won’t wake up unless he gets hungry,” Tiwaz told her with a huff as he folded his arms. “Plus, somebody remind me what we’re doing here again? I thought we were heading out as soon as possible,” the EmperorGreymon said.

    “That’s what we’re here to talk about,” the guild master said, rubbing his palms together. “After doing so much for the town, we couldn’t allow our honored guests to leave without any form of reward.”

    “We don’t need it,” Tiwaz said with a grunt.

    “Says the one who didn’t do anything,” Fenrir muttered.

    “I heard that, mutt!” the dragon man said, glaring at the Beowolfmon.

    “It would depend on the reward,” Fenrir then said, ignoring Tiwaz. He wasn’t going to pass up on making this journey easier and faster for them, not to mention it would be a warm welcome compared to how much Cogwej wasted during their market trip. “We can’t bring anything that would slow us down or anything else of the sort.”

    “Actually, I suggested that we give you something that would help you on your journey,” Uren then said with a smile. “From what Pavamana had told me earlier, you are all headed to the port town of Frostholme next, correct?”

    “Uh, is that what Cogwej said?” Tiwaz asked with a grimace.

    “He pointed it out in one of Taranis’ maps,” Pavamana informed him. “It is the right name, I assure you.”

    “Oh, thank Buri,” the EmperorGreymon muttered.

    “What does that have to do with our reward?” Fenrir asked with a raised eyebrow.

    “To get to the port town, you will have to cross the ocean. The trip will take you about two weeks, not counting the walk to the closest dock. If you walked there, it would take a month, unless you take a caravan, which would half your travel time,” Geo told them. “We’re inviting you to join one of the merchant branch’s caravan to the dock, as well as offering to pay for your boat fare.”

    “And I’ll escort all of you personally!” Cher said, sighing as she hugged Cog’s arm. “More time to spend with my new beau!” she said, earning a few strange looks.

    “That s-s-sounds reasonable,” Odysseus said with a soft smile. “That would mean it w-w-w-would only take one month’s time to get to our next destination.”

    “It’s settled then?” the ShogunGekomon asked with a large smile.

    “Well, I wouldn’t say no to a faster trip,” Tiwaz muttered, although he looked worried about something.

    “We’ll take it,” Fenrir decided for them with a nod.

    “By the way,” Pavamana cut in. “Did you find out what the bandits were doing here in the first place? I can hardly believe that they attacked a whole town just because Cogwej took a few pieces of fruit.”

    Geo let out a short croak of a grunt. “Apparently, the two centaurmen think the same way, but they pretty much always follow what their boss, the Callismon, tell them to. And so far, he’s been rambling on and on about not knowing what’s going on ever since he woke up.”

    “I guess you could say you knocked his brains out, along with his memory, with that punch of yours,” Taranis said with a large grin.

    “Until he remembers, we’ll keep him confined behind bars,” the ShogunGekomon said with a grunt. “None of you have to worry about a thing.”

    “Hmm…Frostholme, Frostholme, Frostholme,” Ashe muttered to himself, folding his arms and thinking. He had been doing that ever since the name had been mentioned. “Where did I hear that name before?”

    “Oh, I know!” Rickshana told him, garnering everyone’s attention. “There was a job notice on the Four B! Someone wanted a guild member or two from the adventurer branch to deal with some local raiders!” she said excitedly.

    “Hey, that means you guys might be able to come with us!” Taranis said happily.

    “Hm…well, if it’s for the guild, then it’s certainly of no problem to me,” Geo said with a small smile. “But first, we need to pick someone for the job, but who…?”

    -​

    “Ugh, typical bandits, can’t do anything right,” a feminine voice muttered in the shadows of an alleyway. “I bring them all the way in the city undetected, and they still get beat up.”

    The silhouette of the figure that had followed the group since the forest pulled away from the wall she was leaning on. “And here I thought I finally had a chance to grab the relics once and for all. The Wisemon was even asleep! But the stupid idiots couldn’t even distract them for longer than two hours,” she growled to herself.

    “Next time, the old man needs to be separated from the group,” she planned out as she started to walk out of the alley. “It’s only a matter of time before he does.”

    She then grunted.

    “Frostholme port town…looks like it’s his turn,” she thought to herself as she stepped out into the bright sun and into the thick crowd of the city streets.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2012
  2. Griff4815

    Griff4815 No. 1 Grovyle Fan

    Well, I remembered to review this.

    I quite liked Odie's letter to Uly at the beginning. It was fun to see what he thought of everybody and it helped bridge the gap between the last chapter. You've got his personality down pretty well, I'd say.

    "it had felt like it" maybe.

    Taranis preferring his Beetlemon form in public places makes sense. And its nice to see Tiwaz's squirming at the sight of rabbit digimon. xD

    I don't think he would have to explain the phonetics of his name considering Taranis already said his name, unless Taranis said it wrong. Heh.

    the bunnies

    Lost the "?"

    “MagnaGarurumon’s not as strong, but it’s fast,”

    I'm pretty sure that MagnaGarurumon is stronger than Beowolfmon, considering the levels in Frontier.

    “Or what, frog man!? You gonna croak me to death?” the Panjamon said,

    Pajiramon.

    Also, you probably didn't need to name those henchmen considering they had a pretty minimal impact in the story. For unimportant characters like that, I prefer to just call them by species name unless a character addresses them directly, so that unwarranted importance isn't given to them and taken from other characters.

    Well, done rereading that side-chapter. It was certainly wacky. I look forward to reading the next chapter, as I'm wondering more about these villains that have been following them. Hope you'll post it soon.
     
  3. Chapter III: The Land of Ice and Sea

    Act 1: A Chilly Reception


    Also known as

    “Your most sacred duty in life is to eat food?”


    Adventurer’s Log
    4th Day, 6th Month of XX11

    Two weeks have passed into the trip. There’s nothing of real importance to note. Last week, the bandits appeared, though Tiwaz and his friends easily kept them away from the caravan and the trails. It’s been smooth sailings since then, and this has probably been the smoothest ride I’ve been on. You know, figuratively, since these dirt roads are far from smooth. They’re more rocky than smooth, and my butt can attest to it.

    Mistress Cher finally realized that Cogweg isn’t attracted or even interested in her. Can’t say I blame him. You could say he threw a ‘cog’ in her plans. You can expect her to come back to the guild in two weeks; be prepared for ranting and a lot of thrown objects. Double make sure that you keep her away from sharp objects. There are now enough holes on one of the caravan sides that I can feel the breeze coming in. That’s not coming out of our paycheck, right?

    We’ve safely arrived at Seagulls Port, too. I hope I don't end up with anything white on my shell while I'm here. Nice and breezy over here, and it doesn’t look like there’s any trouble or anything going on. We’re just hanging around while the boat gets prepared and the cargo gets boarded. That must be boring, considering they have to ‘bored’ them all up. I’m glad I didn’t volunteer to help like Pavamana, but if that’s what he wants to do, then I’m not going to stop him.

    Anyway, this will be the last log I’ll be able to send over in a while, since we’ll be on a boat. And I don’t think there are any post offices in Frostholme. So yeah, don’t expect another one anytime soon. I haven’t been on a boat in a while. I wonder how the other guys feel. I know for a fact that Pav and Odie have never been on one. I don’t think they’ve ever even seen the ocean. I wonder if I can go and ‘sea’ the look on their faces. It would pretty cool to catch that moment with my memory.

    As for the others, Tiwaz is with Kaleth and Cogwej. They had to restock their supplies and find a place to stay. Man, just Tiwaz and Cogwej can eat for about ten Digimon! It makes me wonder how they get all their money. Either merc work really is that profitable, or one of them is loaded. I’m putting my money on the latter. Meanwhile, Fenrir seems to have wandered off by himself. I don’t know what he’s up to – apparently no one really does – but he always seems to find them again sooner or later. Probably has something to do with his nose. I wonder if it’s the same as my memory, like he remembers all that he smells. I’ll need to ask him about that.

    Also, yeah, if you haven’t gotten it by now, it’s not really Kaleth that’s writing this, but come on, Rise, you know how he can be. You’re just lucky I’m here to actually remember to make logs for him. Give Ashemon and Rickshana my regards!

    Taranis Valthor
    standing in for
    Kaleth Sigismund​


    -​

    The ocean. It was insurmountably vast, full of so much mystery that no single Digimon, even those that dwelled in it, could hope to know every single secret it kept. Despite that, hundreds of Digimon still tried to achieve that almost impossible – or perhaps it really was impossible – task every day. And sometimes, that was how the man that was gazing at the skyline of the sea felt, like he was trying to do the impossible.

    Fenrir sighed and shook his head. Even if it were, he would still try. He had the capability of living long enough, after all. He grunted, realizing that he wasn’t the only one with the characteristic, although he didn’t think he would bother telling the person in mind that. He would only be another face that he would eventually leave behind as he tried to solve his problem.

    “It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” a voice behind him asked. Slowly, Fenrir turned his head to see who was speaking with him.

    The owner of the voice was about two-thirds Fenrir’s height, but he made up for it with a stout body and very long limbs – eight limbs, in fact. It didn’t take a second for Tiwaz to note the digimon’s octopus-like shape. The limbs were red tentacles, and two most anterior ones had metallic tips that were divided in a way that formed three fingers. Another one looked like it as on its way to becoming the same. The rest of his limbs looked unchanged, although he held a paintbrush and a palette of paints in two separate tentacles. His head was covered by a pot, which had a cracked hole at the center for his yellow eyes to see through. All over the pot were barnacles with two glowing spots – probably eyes – inside them. Jutting from more holes on the top-side part of the pot were black-striped horns of varying sizes. Lastly, on the top most part of the pot was a formerly white, paint-splattered beret. Fenrir recognized him as an Octomon, although this one seemed to have forsaken the path of undersea treasure hoarding for a more artistic lifestyle.

    In front of the Octomon was a wooden stand that held a canvas, although Fenrir couldn’t see what was painted on it or if it had been painted on at all.

    “Well? What do you think?” the red mollusk asked as he placed the tip of his paintbrush against a blue colored paint.

    “It is what it is,” Fenrir said noncommittally.

    “Now that’s not what I asked,” the eight-legged Digimon replied as his tentacle made a long slow stroke along the canvas. The Beowolfmon regarded the painter in silence, trying to think of a reason why he would talk to a stranger, especially someone like him, so casually. But even in his lack of reply, the Octomon still asked, “Come now. What do you think of the ocean?”

    The wolf knight looked back into the ocean horizon once more. “I prefer lakes,” he said shortly. “Less glare,” he said as he started to turn away from the scene.

    “Less glare?” the Octomon asked, turning his head to compare his painting with the real thing. Blinking, he realized what Fenrir was talking about. The sun was already reaching the low point where the light coming from it reflected on the water surface. “Ah, you mean the sun’s reflection!” the octopus said with obvious satisfaction at himself for understanding what Fenrir meant.

    And then he realized that Fenrir had suddenly appeared beside him, and with a surprised yell, he turned to the wolf Digimon. Unperturbed by the sound, the Beowolfmon only looked at the Octomon’s painting.

    Fenrir could tell that he wasn’t an amateur. The painting was well done, and the different colors that made up the ocean all blended into themselves seamlessly like how it did in real life. The pavement that made up the pier was also quite detailed. It looked complete, but he felt like the piece of art was missing something, although he couldn’t tell what. At the very least, he did find something that might help.

    “Too hard,” the Beowolfmon said.

    “Excuse me?” the Octomon said, blinking as he registered what the wolf warrior said.

    “Your strokes are too hard. Use softer and more fluid strokes. Especially for the sun reflection.”

    The painter looked back at his canvas with a thoughtful look. And then he smiled behind his pot-helmet. “Perhaps I shall, my friend!” the mollusk said, turning to where Fenrir was standing. Except Fenrir was no longer there. Blinking, the Octomon turned his head just in time to see Fenrir’s profile walking past his canvas.

    “Wait! I did not get your name, young man!” the red painter called out with a wave of his tentacle. He was unwilling to stray away from his position, lest someone of lesser honor came and pilfered his materials. “At least tell me if you’re a fellow artist!”

    Fenrir stopped for a moment. He then looked over his shoulder, a somber expression on his face. “In the past.” Without a single explanation, the Beowolfmon turned away and continued his walk, wondering what possessed him to answer the octopus Digimon’s question.

    Maybe it was nostalgia. After all, even after all those years, he could still remember painting the same ocean and the same setting sun…even if he so badly wanted to forget.

    Even as he walked away, the Octomon painter kept his yellow eyes on his back. He studied the wolf knight Digimon’s back up until he could no longer see the fine details on the white Digimon’s armor. He burned the figure in his memory, already knowing what he wanted to do with it.

    “What a strange man,” he noted as he raised his painting tentacle to see what kind of picture the stroke that the Beowolfmon told him to do will make. “But I’m positive he must be a good man.”

    -​

    “Just a lil’ more! Put yer backs into it, maties!”

    From his place on the a deck, Pavamana looked at the source of the loud, rambunctious voice. It wasn’t that hard, since the man shouting was making a show of himself at the crow’s nest of the ship.

    The man was humanoid in shape, and his body was long and gangly at best, although Pavamana did not doubt that there was a lot of strength behind those thin limbs. He wore a white shirt, the sleeve ends of which were tied with a simple thread just before the elbows, and a pair of white cloth shorts. Over them, he had a battle-scarred gray breast plate that fit his lean body. The sides of the breastplate were green and had a scale design, much like the adjacent armor pieces that lay loosely against his thighs and the loin cloth hanging between his legs. More gray armor adorned his shins and his forearms, though he kept his hands and feet bare. Around his neck was a bead necklace much like what a monk would wear, although these beads seemed to have a sinister face etched on the surface. Most of his face was covered by his long blue hair, but his bright yellow beak and red, metal-plated headband was hard to miss. And for all of his hair, the top of his head was completely bare of it, revealing white plate.

    He was definitely a species that Pavamana was not familiar with. If Tiwaz or Fenrir were around, he would ask one of them.

    “Don’t mind the captain much,” one of the shiphands said from behind him. The PileVolcamon turned his head to look at him.

    “Shimon,” Pavamana greeted with a nod of his head. He was acquainted with this one; he couldn’t help but want to be since the shiphand was a familiar species to him: a Gotsumon. The rock-form Digimon grinned at him, the image reminding Pavamana of his young apprentice. His heart tugged at the memory, reminding him of how much he missed his friends and family back at Bakhu. “He is the captain?”

    “Don’t let his antics fool you. The captain might not seem like much, but everyone in his crew, myself included, trust him with our lives,” he told him.

    Pavamana nodded. “What’s his species?” he decided to ask.

    “Well, I guess he is somewhat a rare kind. He’s a Shawjamon,” Shimon replied. “Anyways, we’re almost done with the boarding, so we’ll be setting off early in the morning. Are you finished with your share of the load?”

    The PileVolcamon gestured to the crate beside him. “Last one,” he said shortly.

    “Well, you seem to be busy looking at the sea,” Shimon said with a grin. “I can take that for you if you want to continue your sea gazing. Besides, you and your incredible strength pretty much helped enough when you didn’t have to.”

    “No, just give me a moment”, he replied, tinting slightly red at the compliment. Back at home, his kind of strength was normal, although he was often told that he was stronger than most. He was also reluctant to let someone else do work that he was supposed to do. He could always continue watching the bright sun setting behind the big blue ocean some other time. It was a magnificent sight for someone who had never seen the ocean before.

    “Are you sure? One of your friends came over to bring you back to the place you’re staying,” the Gotsumon said, gesturing behind him.

    Pavamana blinked and moved his head slightly to see what the mineral Digimon was pointing at, but he only saw more shiphands finish tying the heavier and larger cargoes down. “Um…who?” Pavamana started, turning to look back at him.

    “Huh?” Shimon sounded as he looked over his shoulder. “Where did he go? I told him to stay behind me! This boat’s big enough that he could get lost for a whole day!”

    The PileVolcamon frowned. He could only think of one person who would get lost so easily, and he really hoped that they found him before he could cause them any trouble.

    “Hey there, landlubber! What’re you doin’ on my main mast!?” the captain’s voice ran loudly.

    “Oh no,” Pavamana muttered as he looked up. “Cog, what have you-“ He stopped in midsentence, surprised to see that it wasn’t the person he was thinking of.

    “I-I-I-I-I’m s-sorry!” a familiar Shurimon yelled back, hanging from one of the ship posts. “I g-g-g-got lost, s-s-s-s-so I thought-“

    “I dun care what ya thought, scallywag!” the Shawjamon said as he expertly jumped and swung himself down from the crow’s nest and landed on one of the yardarms of the ship so that he was directly across Odysseus. “Just git down ‘fore you hurt yerself!”

    “Y-y-y-yes sir!” Odie replied quickly and rushedly, letting go of the post that he was on and started falling down.

    “Gah! Not like that!” the Shawjamon captain shouted, quickly jumping towards of the rigs of the sails. He quickly untied it and turned to where Odie was falling, about to jump and swing using the rope to catch the Shurimon, even if he calculated in his head that he wouldn’t get there in time. To his surprise however, the Shurimon righted himself in midair and landed himself lightly on his feet and hands.

    “Hoooooh,” the demon man Digimon said with a light tune and a single raised eyebrow behind his hair, pleasantly surprised at the turn of events. “There’s more to this kid than meets the eye, eh?” he wondered as he retied the rigging and jumped.

    Down on the deck, Pavamana was running over to the young ninja in concern. “Odysseus!” he called out, Shimon and a few more of the crew following him to see the commotion.

    The ninja Digimon turned his head to look at him. A relieved expression took to his face as soon as he saw the approaching PileVolcamon. “P-P-P-Pavamana, I-”

    “So yer name’s Odysseus, eh?” the captain’s voice said from behind the young ninja.

    “Ah!” The Shurimon jumped forward, turning to look at the Shawjamon in surprise. His shock was twofold; he didn’t even hear the sea traveler land or walk towards him, and that was a feat against his trained senses. Other than that, he was also very embarrassed for accidentally intruding onto the Shawjamon’s personal space, so he did the first thing that came to mind. He bowed and said, “I’m s-s-s-sorry! I got l-l-l-l-lost, so I thought I’d s-s-s-see where I was from the t-t-t-top!” he said quickly, his voice very repentant.

    “Well, ya got yerself down safely, so no harm done, eh?” the Shawjamon said with a large grin.

    “Um…I don’t think,” Odie said, looking himself over.

    “I’m glad,” Pavamana said, walking over and putting a hand on his shoulder.

    “And yer the big fella that’s been helpin’ with the cargo movin’, eh?” the frog demon said with a large toothy grin. Pavamana didn’t even realize that he could still have teeth with a beak. “Nice goin’, by the way. You worked jus’ about as good as five of me men! And this scallywag is prob’ly a better climber than the rest of my crew combined! Either of you fancy workin’ on a ship, maties?” he asked the young ninja and the blacksmith, an encouraging gleam in his eye.

    “Cap’n, they have other things to do than be sailors on a simple cargo ship like ours,” Shimon said as he shook his head, remembering a talk he had with the PileVolcamon.

    “Shut yer blowhole, Shimmy. Jus’ cause yer me navigator doesn’t mean you can tell me what to do,” the captain replied with folded arms and an audible humph.

    Odie rubbed his cheek nervously. “W-w-w-well…”

    “We have to decline,” Pavamana then said for them. “We have important objectives to do, and we can’t do that working on a ship,” he said, offering the captain a small smile.

    “W-w-w-we’re flattered though,” Odie decided to add, twiddling his fingers.

    “See, cap’n?” Shimon said with a smug grin.

    “Bah, mutiny, that’s what yer doin’,” the Shawjamon muttered, looking considerably miffed.

    “Awww, come on, cap’n, you know I just love messing with you,” the Gotsumon said with a light tone.

    “I-I-I-If it makes you f-f-feel better, I can help the crew on the way t-t-t-to Frostholme,” Odysseus then said, not wanting to feel ungrateful for the ride towards their next destination. He also wanted to be able to see more of the ship, and he thought that helping around would let him explore the entire ship easier.

    Pavamana glanced at the Shurimon and nodded. “Me too, then,” he said simply.

    “Really?” the Shawjamon said with a large grin. “That means more chance for me to convince ya then! Welcome to the crew, maties!” he then said, lunging with exceptional speed to grab their hands and shake them energetically.

    “A-ah! Y-y-y-y-you’re welcome?” Odie replied, trying to keep up with the demon man’s shaking speed.

    “We didn’t get your name,” Pav then noted as he forcibly wrenched his hand away from the unusual Digimon.

    “Wha? Shimmy, you din’t tell them who captains this here ship!?” the frogman then yelled, hopping over to the Gotsumon and giving him a forceful whack behind his head. And then he started shaking his hand, letting out a garbled cry of pain.

    Unaffected by the Shawjamon’s strike, Shimon folded his arms at him. “Because they’ll find out when you make a show of yourself tomorrow. How did it go?” the Gotsumon said, rubbing his rocky chin. “Ah, now I remember. ‘All right, ya landlubbers! Ya better put on yer sealegs, cause we’re headin’ for the great unknown, but don’t ye worry, cause I’ll have ya back on land,” Shimon said, trying to copying the Shawjamon’s voice and manner.

    “Or I ain’t Captain Iskandar!” the rest of the crew said along with him in perfect unison.

    “What is this, a show boat full of singing sissies or a sailing ship with men!?” the captain named Iskandar yelled, swinging his arm about.

    “Er, actually cap’n, about one-eight of the crew are women, so-“

    “One more word out of ya, Shimmy, and I’m makin’ ya walk the plank again,” the Shawjamon said with a serious tone in his voice. The Gotsumon sighed and shook his head.

    “Er, w-w-w-walk the plank?” Odie asked, suddenly worried.

    “It’s worse than it sounds,” the Gotsumon muttered to the Shurimon. “But it doesn’t really hurt,” he then said.

    “What was that, Shimmy?”

    “Nothing, cap’n. I’m going to go start charting out our course for tomorrow morning,” Shimon then said loudly. He turned back to Odysseus and Pavamana with a large smile. “I look forward to seeing your friends tomorrow,” he said before walking inside the boat. As he walked away, the rest of the crew dispersed back to their chores…except for the Shawjamon captain.

    “So there are more of ya, huh?” the Shawjamon said with a large grin, folding his arms.

    “U-u-um, yes,” Odie replied, rubbing the back of his neck.

    “How many of ya are there?”

    “Seven,” Pavamana said simply.

    “Hoho, quite a big number, huh? We have five guest quarters down in the ship, so two pairs of ye’ll have tah share one room,” Iskandar then told them, hands on his hips.

    “That won’t be a problem,” Pavamana replied. He knew that one of them will probably end up rooming with Cogwej. The next pair wouldn’t be a problem. He just kept note one thing: Tiwaz and Fenrir should not be allowed to room together. It wasn’t an impossible thought that they might bring the ship down if they got into an argument.

    “Good then. We set sail two hours after the sun rises. Be late, and ye’ll be left behind.”

    “We won’t b-be late,” Odie said, allowing the barest hint of his excitement show. He couldn’t wait to explore the ship during the trip. Beside him, Pavamana nodded.

    He wondered how different the next town would be.

    -​

    “So you and Taranis have been friends since you joined the guild?” Tiwaz asked Kaleth, who was seated beside him.

    The EmperorGreymon and the Knightmon were both sitting in front of a bar, which was beginning to get more and more patrons. It was also slowly getting louder with each new occupant, although they seemed to be leaving the two knights alone.

    “Uh huh,” the shiny Digimon said as he took a short swig of his mug. He had removed his helmet to reveal a human face. He had short, scraggly brown hair on the top of his head, along with a prominent nose, high cheek bones and a square jaw. “I don’t know when he started, but he helped me with my first mission. If it wasn’t for him, I would probably have gotten lost,” he told Tiwaz sheepishly.

    “I can see how he would have helped you a lot,” the dragon man replied before glugging down his own drink with gusto. “Ahh, it’s been a while since I’ve had a good drinking partner!” Tiwaz then announced as he wiped the traces of beer from his lips.

    “Really? I’m not really that good at holding my liquor,” Kale replied, a blush on his cheeks.

    “Then all the better!” Tiwaz bellowed with a laugh.

    “Uh…maybe you’ve drank too much already, Tiwaz,” the Knightmon said, only then realizing that the number of mugs that Tiwaz had finished was at least four, judging by how many empty glasses were over to his side. That didn’t even include the ones that the bartender took, cleaned and reused.

    “If I’m not passed out on the floor yet, then no I haven’t!” the dragon man said, reaching over to give the Knightmon a one-arm hug, which seemed to have the opposite effect in the other Digimon. “C’mere! I need to make sure you’re as soused as I am!”

    “Um…I think…uh…”

    “Oh, Kaaaaleeeeth!” a familiar voice suddenly called out, although faint. He hoped he was hearing what he was hearing and that he wasn’t hearing a hallucination. That meant he really did drink more than he should have.

    “Ah! Looks like Taranis is calling me!” the Knightmon said, only too eager to get away from the soon-to-be-drunk dragon. He got out of his seat quick enough to escape the EmperorGreymon’s grab, and he subsequently ignored Tiwaz’s attempt to call him back. Kaleth really wasn’t in the mood to be drunk, nor was he keen on getting a hangover for tomorrow’s surely rocky trip.

    He followed Taranis’ voice towards another room adjacent to the bar room by a hallway. He found just as many tables, chairs and patrons, but this room looked more like a busy diner than a packed and rowdy bar. He could still faintly hear the sounds of drunk sailors singing in the bar room.

    “Ranis?” he called out.

    “Over here!” the big blue big answered in his Beetlemon form.

    “Oh, thank goodness. I wasn’t hearing things. Or drunk,” Kaleth muttered to himself as he looked over.

    He was waving a hand in the air, which made it easier for the Knightmon to find him. Or as much as he could find of the Beetlemon. He was sitting on a round table that had plate upon plate stacked over each other. In fact, the plates were so numerous and stacked so high that he could barely see the top of the Beetlemon’s head. Kaleth’s jaw dropped at the alarming amount of fine china on the table. He never realized – or maybe he had forgotten, much to his chagrin – that Taranis had such a huge appetite.

    “Did you eat all of that!?” Kale asked in surprise just to be sure.

    “Hey, I don’t eat this much,” Taranis retorted as Kaleth started walking towards him. Taranis did, however, look down at his body self-consciously. It hadn’t escaped him that he was the least fit in their group even compared to Cogwej. That he was beat by an old guy in terms of physical prowess didn’t do any wonders for his ego.

    It hurt even more when said old guy was eating at least twice his weight and still outrun him.

    “These vittles are absolutely scrumptious! Like wonderful delicacies from the hands of a seasoned master chef! I must have more!” Cog’s loud and full-of-praise voice said from behind the towers of plates.

    “No! You’ve eaten enough!” Taranis said. “You’re not even paying for all of this!”

    “Much more reason for me to indulge myself, Tatniss.”

    “Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around!?”

    “I-it’s okay, Taranis. The guild can afford it. I think,” Kale then said unsurely, walking around the table to look at the two more easily. He blinked when he saw the Wisemon,; if what Taranis said about Cogwej’s eating habits were true, then it surely didn’t show. The aged Digimon looked just the same as if he didn’t eat anything at all for the past half hour.

    “See? I should get another help-“

    “Oh, no, you aren’t,” Taranis said, grabbing the Wisemon’s hand, which was about to raise itself to get the attention of the waitress. “I’m locking up in your room and not letting out until morning! I don’t know how Tiwaz and Fenrir haven’t hogtied you yet; you definitely eat like a one!”

    “Well, I never! I should- get your hands off me right this instant, you abrasive, annoying arthropod!” he said as Taranis, who digivolved into his MegaKabuterimon form, pulled the Wisemon over his shoulder.

    “Can you please put this on the guild tab now? My card was confiscated since I got put on probation,” the MegaKabuterimon said, ignoring the pounding on his back shell. At the very least, he could say that Cog really did punch like an old guy.

    “Sure, buddy,” Kaleth told the insect Digimon as he took out a bronze plated card with the emblem of the guild on it. “I should probably go stop Tiwaz from getting any drunker too.” He didn’t think he’ll enjoy that task.

    “Yeah, good luck with that,” Taranis said with a chuckle. He could still remember the party back in the village of the ninjas. He started to walk out of the room despite Cog’s protests drawing attention. “Yeesh, with the amount you ate, you’d think that they don’t feed you at all.”

    “I have one of the most exemplary minds of this era!” Cogwej said, folding his arms with a loud humph. “My body needs Mammothmon sized amounts of sustenance in order to bring out its full potential and functionality!”

    Taranis stifled a laugh. “I don’t think any amount of food can do that, Coggie. You can’t even remember my name.”

    “Then what have I been calling you all this time, Tarny?” Cog said rhetorically, making Taranis roll his metaphorical eyes.

    “I can’t even remember half the names you’ve called me by now, and I half photographic memory! You never even seem to mention the same name twice, too,” the MegaKabuterimon noted.

    He let out a relieved sigh when he reached the door to the room. He was so very glad that he didn’t have to room with the old Digimon, but he pitied Pavamana and Fenrir for the opposite reason. It was their turn to watch the Wisemon again.

    “Here’s your room, Cog! See? It has a big bed, a nice desk for you to write on, and even a nice window to see the sea from,” Taranis as he put the cloaked Digimon down.

    “Quaint,” Cog said shortly as he fixed his crumbled robe. Then he pivoted and headed for the door. “Now, if you will excuse m-“

    “Gah! No!” Taranis yelled, grabbing the hood of the Wisemon’s cloak just before he started to run. “Stay put!”

    “No!” The food is compelling me, telling me that it requires someone of my superior intellect and caliber to consume them! You fiend, keeping me from fulfilling my most sacred duty!”

    Taranis had to regard that comment in silence for just a few moments. Then he opened his mouth to say, “Your most sacred duty in life is to eat food?”

    “If I confirm that dictum, will you release me?”

    Taranis had to laugh at the seriousness of the Wisemon’s voice. “Sorry, Cogwej. No can do. Who knows what kind of hijinks you’ll get into if I let you go? So why don’t you be a good old man and stay here while I go and see if Kaleth needs help bringing Tiwaz to his room.”

    Cogwej sighed and then plopped to the ground. “Oh, very well…”

    “Come on, Co- wait, what? Really?” Taranis had to stare – or at least point his eyeless head at him – in shock.

    “I shall write down my thoughts and further improve my ideas then,” Cog said, taking out his notebook and pen.

    The MegaKabuterimon then grinned widely and reverted back to his Beetlemon form. “See? Now that wasn’t so bad. I’ll come right back up and even help you once I’m done,” Taranis said as he walked out.

    “Yes, yes, take your time,” the Wisemon said as he started scribbling.

    Taranis closed the door with a whistle. “Hm. That was easier than it usually is,” the insect man said as he started to walk down the hallway. He stopped in midstep. “Wait a second…it’s never easy with Cogwej…”

    It didn’t even take him a second to turn and go back to the door. “Cog, what are you- GAAAAH, WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?” Right before him, Cogwej was halfway out the window.

    “Escaping! What else?” Cogwej said simply.

    “Are you mad!? We’re on the third floor! And you don’t have wings! You’ll break your legs!” Taranis said, running over, not allowing him the time to get anything he could use to land safely. There was never any real certainty when it came to Cogweh.

    “Then I will use my arms and crawl! There is no price for freedooooooooom!” he yelled as the Wisemon jumped out of the window.

    He closed his eyes shut, expecting great pain. Then he landed. But he didn’t feel any pain.

    “Hm…that did not hurt at all!” Cog said, opening his eyes. And found himself in the arms of an irritated Beowolfmon.

    For a moment, both were silent.

    “Ah! Feevil! I was just about to go-

    “Fenrir! You caught him! Great! Don’t let him go!” Taranis’ voice from above called out.

    Fenrir glared at the Wisemon in his arms. “Trust me, I won’t.”

    Half an hour later soon found the Wisemon no longer in the Beowolfmon’s arms but within the confines of his bed and in an entirely different kind of embrace.

    “Untie me from this incredibly soft and entirely comfortable bed, you fiendish villains!”

    Odie looked at Cogwej and bowed apologetically. “I-I-I-I-I’m sorry, but we have to. We don’t want you t-t-t-to disappear again,” he said, hoping he didn’t tie the Wisemon down too tightly.

    “Just leave him be,” Fenrir’s voice from the other side of the room said.

    The Shurimon turned to him with a concerned expression. “B-b-b-but…”

    “He’ll be fine come morning,” Fenrir said with so much certainty that Odysseus had to wonder if this was normal for the Beowolfmon. “My problem is the dragon,” the wolf man said, glancing at Tiwaz, who was passed out on the bed that Pavamana was supposed to occupy.

    “Please tell him I’m sorry!” Kaleth said, putting his hands together and looking very apologetic. “I-I panicked! I didn’t know I’d knock him out!”

    “It was an accident,” Pavamana said, putting a hand on the Knightmon’s shoulder. He had helped Kaleth bring the heavy dragon man up to his room. It was perhaps good fortune that he and Odie arrived at the inn along with Fenrir.

    “I still feel bad for hurting him,” Kaleth said, rubbing the back of his neck.

    “Feel bad for him tomorrow,” Fenrir told him.

    “R-right,” Kale said, wincing at the thought of the hangover Tiwaz would get tomorrow.

    -​

    “Stupid…ship… Stupid…rocking…waves…rocking…the stupid…ship…!”

    Hanging onto the ship railings, Tiwaz couldn’t help but let what was left of the contents of his breakfast out of his stomach and down into the ocean

    “Well, which is more stupid? Those, or the guy that decided to drink ‘til kingdom come when he knew that he’d be going on a ship the early morning after?” a voice behind Tiwaz asked with a light tone.

    “Shut…up,” the dragonman grunted, looking over his shoulder weakly. He grunted when he realized he didn’t recognize the person behind him.

    He was a mountain of a man, as big as Tiwaz himself while he was wearing his armor. He was also covered in white fur that covered an impressive set of muscles. The only parts of his body that didn’t have fur were his large hands, even larger feet, and part of his face. Over his chest and his shoulders were durable plates of armor, although Tiwaz couldn’t tell what kind of material it was made of. On his forearms were orange armlets with a green metallic plate on the back part, and the plates themselves seemed to have a peculiar design on them. His head, meanwhile, was ursine in feature, though he had bull-like horns on the top of his head and many braids behind it. As for facial accessories, his braids had orange bandages and ended with metal arrow points, and his ears each had a small gold hoop earring. He had a brown, furless face with gray markings between his eyes and on his cheek, along with a full set of sharp teeth and a pair of happy gray eyes.

    “Who…the hell…are you?” Tiwaz muttered as he pushed himself off the railing to give the Korikakumon a strong glare…or at least as strong as he could muster in his condition. He had seen the species before during one of his journeys; he had never seen one so far from snowy mountains though.

    “Ehhh, that’s not important right now. I don’t think you’d be able to remember it right now, anyway, considering you look like you’re going to barf again,” the bear Digimon said with a large smirk. It was also then that Tiwaz noticed that the white bear had something in his hand.

    “What’s that?” Tiwaz asked warily.

    “It’s for your hangover,” the white Digimon replied as he walked over. “I could hear your moaning all the way from inside the ship’s kitchen, and you sound like you have the worst case I’ve seen in months. I figured I’d give you something and save us all the pain of having to hear your wailing.”

    The EmperorGreymon grimaced and stepped back, and then he realized that his hip was already against the railing. He would have retorted, but he didn’t have the energy to.

    The Korikakumon rolled his eyes and offered it to him. “Just eat it okay? It does wonders for the drunk sailors back at home,” he said with a large grin.

    “Hey, freeloader, what are you doing!? You’re supposed to be making lunch!” one of the sailors called out to the white Digimon.

    “Hey, I’m not freeloading if I’m working on this ship!” the Korikakumon said before turning back to Tiwaz. “Look, just try it. If you don’t like it, you can always just barf it out,” he told him as he pushed the bowl into the dragonman’s hands. “Just be sure to bring the bowl back to the kitchen, or you’re paying for it. Oh, and get some rest; you’ll need it,” he said before turning away with a wave over his shoulder.

    Tiwaz kept on looking back and forth between the bear Digimon and the bowl in his hands. It looked a lot like soup, although he couldn’t really tell what was in it. He could smell the aroma that came from it though, and it reminded him that there was no longer anything inside his stomach. He let out a grumble as he raised the bowl to his lips and took a sip. And another. And then another. And the next one, he decided to just drink as much as he could from the broth. It didn’t take him long to completely finish the soup.

    The dragonman licked his lips in pleasure. Already, the warmth was spreading throughout his body, and though the ache of his head wasn’t gone, at the very least he didn’t feel like showing everyone the contents of his belly again.

    “I wonder if I can get seconds of this,” he muttered as he looked to where he last saw the Korikakymon walking. “He did tell me to bring the bowl back to the kitchen,” he said to himself with a large grin.

    Now if he only knew where the kitchen was…

    Tiwaz grumbled as he walked down hallways and corridors, looking into every room that he passed by. It would probably have been smarter and faster to ask someone for help or directions, but Tiwaz Koenig never asked for directions. Not that he could ask anyone any question; he didn’t really recognize anyone he passed by, and he hadn’t seen any of his companions since the morning that they got on the ship. And he was slowly getting irritated at the fact that he seemed to be walking around in circles. His irritation was also beginning to make his headache worse, which only made his mood worse.

    “Who the hell designed the ship to have hallways that all connected to each other?” he grumbled as he looked down another corridor and contemplated walking down it. He tried to remember as much as he could from the short tour to show them where their rooms were. At least from there, he would know how to get back up to the deck of the ship. However, he could only barely make out the image of a wooden door with a sign that said ‘Guest Room.’

    “Uh, maybe there’s someone…who wants to go up to the deck and needs my help to get there,” he justified as he pushed the door open.

    The room was as drab as anyone would expect from a cargo ship. There was barely anything inside other than a bunk bed to the side, a hammock connected to two large posts near the center, and a long desk and chair. He spotted someone on the lower part of the bunk bed.

    “Who the hell can sleep in a rocking boat like this?” he muttered as he walked over. He grunted when he noticed that he couldn’t get a good view due to the darkness and the blanket reaching up to the sleeper’s head.

    Tiwaz debated with himself rather quickly on whether he should pull the blanket off. The dragonman’s curiosity always got the best of him. He reached over and pulled the cloth away.

    He conveniently forgot that his curiosity usually got him into situations that he’d have rather forgotten.

    “Gah! What the hell!?” Tiwaz yelped as he stepped back and dropped the bowl as he reached to cover his eyes- which was why he wasn’t able to block or even react when the leg of the interrupted sleeper suddenly swung from out of the bed and into the dragonman’s gut, knocking him on to ground.

    “Oh, it’s you,” a familiar irritating voice said as Tiwaz let out a gasp of pain, not to mention that the kick to his stomach made his insides want to come out again.

    “W-what was…that for!?” the dragonman growled as he pushed himself to sitting position, looking at the figure before him. And then he remembered why he closed his eyes on the first place. “Gah! Put some clothes on, dammit!”

    Fenrir rolled his eyes as he stood up from the bed, using the cloth he had been using as a blanket as a loincloth around his waist. “What are you doing in my room?” he asked with a huff.

    “Y-your room!? Nevermind that! Why are you naked!?” Tiwaz yelled as he stood up, covering his eyes.

    “It’s hot,” Fenrir said simply with folded arms. “It’s humid in an enclosed space. This is a lousy guest room.”

    “Whatever! Just put some damn clothes on! Or even a pair of pants!” the dragonman ordered as he stepped back and felt for the wall.

    Fenrir only rolled his eyes. His sleep was interrupted, so he might as well. He walked over to a hidden chest in front of the bunkbed.

    “You know what? I’m not waiting for a slowpoke like you to get changed – clothed – whatever!” he stated as he finally found the wall and reached the door by following it. He removed his hand from his eyes, relieved that he could see no naked people in the hallway, and he quickly went out and walked down the hallway. The only thing that kept him from running was his once again uneasy stomach. Tiwaz was so preoccupied with getting away that he didn’t even hear someone calling him.

    “Tiwaz! Hey!” Taranis called out from the other direction.

    “He sure is in a hurry,” Kaleth said beside him.

    “I wonder why,” the Beetlemon muttered as he glanced at the room that the EmperorGreymon came from. “I’ll go check,” he said with a mischievous grin. He couldn’t wait to find out what could make Tiwaz run away like that.

    Kaleth watched as Taranis walked over and gave the inside of the room a peek. He tilted his head in curiosity when Taranis suddenly retracted his head and speed walked back over to him. “What did-“

    “You don’t want to know,” Taranis said quickly, grabbing the Knightmon’s wrist and pulling him away from the room. He suddenly understood why Tiwaz was so quick to run away.

    “B-but Tiwaz went the other way! Weren’t we supposed to bring them to the captain’s quarters?” Kaleth asked rushedly.

    “They’ll find out sooner or later,” Taranis said in excuse. “I think I’ll skip going to the meeting and get some rest,” he then said with a weak voice.

    Sometimes I hate having photographic memory,’ he thought pitifully, hoping that sleep would erase the image of Fenrir’s nakedness from his mind.

    (next post)
     
  4. “Where are yer friends? I thought you said there were seven of ya,” Captain Iskandar said, sitting on a chair that looked like it was made for the captain: red velvet seats, intricate carvings, a cushioned arm rest, and even a small footrest with the same kind of cushioning.

    “Y-y-yes, um, Tiwaz and Taranis are…not feeling well,” Odie said, scratching his cheek through the cloth mask on his face. He couldn’t bear making Tiwaz go into the ship in the state he saw him.

    “And Fenrir’s in a bad mood,” Pavamana added.

    “Oh, pish posh, if they couldn’t handle being on a boat, then they shouldn’t have come aboard!” Cogwej said, folding his arms with a humph.

    “Heh, wimps,” the Shawjamon with a slight grin. “The geezer’s right though. My ship’s no place for people who can’t handle being on rough waters. They won’t last a week sailing on the sea!”

    “O-o-oh dear,” Odie muttered with a grimace. “But isn’t this trip one w-w-w-week?” he asked a bit nervously.

    “It was an expression, kiddo,” Shimon said from his seat, which wasn’t as extravagant as the captain’s. Oh well, at least he was sitting instead of standing like the others. On the other hand, he had to continue charting their course, which was annoying work with the lackluster equipment he had, so he took whatever chance to distract himself whenever he got the chance. “Besides, the wind’s been really good to us, so if this keeps up, we might get there in four days’ time instead of the week that we’ve told you.”

    “Really? That’s good news!” Kaleth said happily, putting his palms together. “The sooner we get there, the sooner I can start on my job!”

    “Job?” the captain asked with a raised eyebrow.

    “Yes, sir! I’m supposed to take care of a seafaring group of raiders that have been attacking the town frequently since, uh…a month ago, I think,” Kaleth iterated, thinking to himself as he tried to remember the specific details of his assignment.

    “Seafaring group of raiders…you mean pirates?” Shimon asked from his place. “Then the captain can tell-“

    “Shut up, Shimon,” Iskandar’s voice interrupted with a serious note.

    “Uh, r-right,” the Gotsumon replied as he turned back to the desk. He had map work and navigating to do.

    “Oh, perhaps you’re a former pirate?” Cog asked bluntly. In that instant, the tension in the room suddenly increased, and only the one that caused it couldn’t sense it at all. And as such, he felt no such hesitation or trepidation in asking, “Well? You do fit the part, considering your mannerisms and speaking patterns.”

    “C-Cog, maybe you should stop…”

    “No, the old geezer’s right,” the Shawjamon said with a large grin on his face. “Yer a lot more perceptive than ya make yourself seem, old man,” he appraised Cogwej, leaning his elbow onto his knee.

    “Finally, someone who can appreciate my talents!” the Wisemon said, folding his arms and raising his head proudly.

    “Uh, isn’t this a sensitive topic?” Kaleth asked sheepishly. That the captain made a sudden pivot confused him.

    “Not really,” Shimon said with a deadpan tone. “Hang around long enough, and he’ll tell you all about his pirating days. It’s so usual that we don’t really think twice about it,” the mineral Digimon said as he moved his compass around the map.

    “But the customers wouldn’t like it if they found out that the captain was a thievin’ pirate in his glory days,” Iskandar said with a large grin, leaning back on his chair. “I have to remind the crew over and over again not to mention it around passengers.”

    “Not that more than half of them care. Apparently, they all ended up liking you too much,” Shimon told him, sticking out his tongue.

    “I can see why,” Pavamana said with a small smile. “Your crew thinks highly of you.”

    “Aye, so ya’ve been talking with me shipmates, I see,” the Shawjamon said with a large grin.

    “And he’s been helping around, too. You should thank him for that in behalf of the crew or something,” Shimon said with a large grin.

    “Eh, you do that later,” the captain offhandedly, literally waving his hand. The navigator rolled his eyes at his captain and mouthed the words back as he turned back to this map. “Anyways, I didn’t call all of ya here to listen to my life story.”

    “S-s-s-so what did you call us for?” Odie asked with a tilt of his head.

    “Treasure, mateys,” the Shawjamon said with a large grin. “I heard from one of me sources that aside from the big metal fellow over there, you and yer friends are looking for something precious,” he said with a large grin.

    “Looks like you guys might get to hear his life story anyway,” Shimon cut in.

    “I’ll personally see you to the plank, Shimmy!”

    “Yes, captain,” the Gotsumon replied leisurely.

    “Anyway…about this thing that you were looking for…”

    “It’s nothing too big,” Pavamana said before anyone else could say anything. “We’re only looking for a rare artifact,” he said simply. He gave Odie and Kale a look that told them not to give anything specific away. He just hoped that Cogwej caught on as well. The captain was kind enough to let them on the ship, but if he was showing interest in the relic they were looking for, then maybe it would be best to downplay its capabilities.

    “Just an artifact?” the demon man Digimon asked with a folded arms and a dejected look.

    “Oh, quite right! It’s age spans all the way to the era of Proemial gods!” Cog said, causing Pavamana to tense up slightly. “It’s part of a set of ten, and they’ve been scattered all across the digital world! My mission is to collect all ten and learn as much as I can from them!“

    “I see,” Iskandar said with a sigh. “Is that all? What do you need five people for?”

    “W-w-w-well, we all have different reasons for c-c-c-coming along,” Odie said, rubbing his arm nervously. “I…want to travel the world and l-l-l-learn as much as I can about it. And I think Pavamana i-i-is coming along for the same reason,” the Shurimon said, turning to the PileVolcamon, who nodded at his statement.

    “So is Taranis,” Kale said with a wide smile. “He needs to complete his world map, after all.”

    “Ah. And what about the other two?” the Shawjamon asked.

    “Ah, Tweezle and Feefee are my personal bodyguards,” Cogwej told the captain.

    “Uh…Tweezle…and Feefee?” Iskandar said with a raised eyebrow.

    “Don’t ask,” Pavamana said with a shake of his head. It was too tiresome to explain over and over again, so it was often simpler and easier to say just that. “Is that all, then? I still have to help stabilize the crates in the cargo hold.”

    “Mm…very well, you can all go now,” Captain Iskandar said as he stood up and lead them out of the room.

    “Thank you,” Odie said with a nod, standing along with his companions.

    “Nah, don’t thank me since I’m getting paid to bring you all to the next port anyway,” the Shawjamon said with a large grin, letting them go out one by one. He grabbed the shoulder of the last person to go out, which was Pavamana. The PileVolcamon tensed under the demon man Digimon’s hold, unsure what Iskandar wanted to do.

    “Are you sure you don’t want to become one of me crew, Pav? There are a lot of things you could learn living in the sea,” the Shawjamon told him with what might have been an encouraging grin. Instead, it only looked lopsided and comedic.

    “I’m sure,” Pavamana said with a smile.

    “Oh well, fine, go on then,” Iskandar said with a sigh, letting go.

    “If it makes you feel better, I’ll help out as much as I can during this trip,” Pavamana told him with a nod. “I must go now.” Without further ado, the former blacksmith went out of the room, closing the door behind him and making a mental sigh.

    “Hmm,” the captain of the ship murred, walking back to his seat. “What do you think, Shimmy?”

    “I think they’re telling the truth, captain,” the Gotsumon replied, continuing his work.

    “Me too,” the Shawjamon said, sitting on his chair. “But not everything.”

    “They’re nice people, captain,” Shimon said, glancing at his superior. “I don’t want to cause them any trouble.”

    “Me neither,” Iskandar replied with a sigh. “But…if they’re looking for the same thing my old master was…”

    The Shawjamon looked out at the only window in his room, out to the dusky sky and the dark blue sea. His eyes turned glossy, and he gained a faraway look. His body was there, but his mind was no longer in the present. Shimon turned to the captain fully, wondering if he should call out Iskandar’s name. Then he sighed and shook his head.

    Looks like the only person he’ll be talking to for a while will be his own self.

    -​

    “Hey, Drazion! Come on, come on! Don’t be so slow!”

    “I’m coming, I’m coming!” the Dracomon named Drazion replied, running over to his Agumon friend.

    He stopped in front of him, looking past the young Digimon to look at the house behind him. The similarities between their houses were many, although he supposed that was because they lived in the same village, where most of the houses were made by the same builder. It was mostly dark red wood all over, including the roof, a gray chimney, and some windows here and there.

    “Finally! I can’t believe you made me wait so long!” Tiwaz said, folding his arms.

    “Sorry, but I had to wait until my parents were asleep,” the young dragon replied huffily, folding his arms back at the dinosaur Digimon. “So what is so important that you couldn’t wait until morning to tell me? Or better question: why can you only show me in the middle of the night, in your backyard?”

    At that, the orange Digimon let out a wide excited grin. “Just wait and watch. I bet your eyes are going to bug out once you do!”

    Tiwaz walked backwards and raised his claws in front of him, his face scrunched up in concentration. Draz raised an eyebrow and watched. And he watched. And he watched. After five minutes, the Dracomon sighed and rubbed the back of his neck.

    “So…is this what you’re trying to show me?” Draz asked with a grunt.

    “No!” Tiwaz replied with irritation. “Just…give me a few more seconds. I almost got it!”

    “Got wha-”

    Drazion’s jaw would have dropped had it not already been open. “T-T-Tiwaz!? W-what are you-!?”

    “Ha hah!” Tiwaz whooped in triumph, a ball of fire between his claws.

    “Did…did you just learn a new attack?” Draz asked in surprise, although from what he could remember, no Agumon could conjure fireballs with their hands.

    “Nope!” Tiwaz said with a large grin, forcing as much energy into the ball of fire to make it grow bigger and bigger. “I’m special!”

    “Special? As in?” Draz asked, stepping backwards as the ball of fire slowly grew to the size of Tiwaz’s head, and it was still growing. The Agumon soon had to raise his hands in the air as the space between his hands could no longer contain the size of the ball, which grew larger and larger each passing second.

    “S-special,” Tiwaz replied, his grin slowly lessening. “I mean, I just made the fire in the fireplace flare up when I sneezed, and then I was able to make a really small ball of fire with my dad’s help, but I bet I could do it by myself now!”

    “O-okay. So, uh, you can make all kinds of fire?” Draz asked unsurely.

    “Y-yeah,” his friend replied. “D-dad said that I might be a-able to make all kinds of s-shapes and s-s-sizes,” he added unsteadily.

    “O-okay, I get it. Just…get rid of that thing already, before it hurts someone,” Drazion said, getting worried for the safety of his friend.

    “I…c-can’t,” the Agumon replied, slowly starting to pant at the extreme heat, as well as the energy that was getting sucked out of him. It was as if he had opened a gate that he couldn’t close; the ball of fire was sucking the power out of him. “It…w-won’t stop,” he said, the ball of fire already as large as his body. Already, the flames that came from the sphere began to fly around the Agumon in tiny sparks.

    “W-w-what do you mean it won’t stop!?” Draz began to yell in fear. “T-Tiwaz! Get rid of it! Now!”

    “I’m…t-t-trying!” Tiwaz yelled, trying to contain the fire. “D-Draz! Run!” he yelled, reaching his limit. He fell to his hands and knees with a cry of pain, the ball of fire over his head suddenly exploding and sending a multitude of flames around him.

    “Tiwaz!” Draz yelled out, dodging fireball after fireball that came his way. He had gotten far enough that he was able to evade most of them. Tiwaz’s house, however, didn’t fare as well.

    Fireballs collided with the walls of the house, exploding upon contact. Before long, the whole house began to burn with the flames of Tiwaz’s fire. To Tiwaz’s horror, he could hear his father’s surprised yells of horror as his house was set aflame. What made matters worse were the sounds of wood and debris falling.

    Crash after crash, Tiwaz could only stay on his hands and knees, unable to look behind him due to his lack of energy. He winced as the crashing and blasting got louder. And louder. And louder. Before he knew it, the house behind him fell upon itself with one big...

    BOOM!

    “Gah!”

    Tiwaz quickly sat up from his bed. Wide eyed and panting, he slowly lied back down. His whole body was covered in sweat, his hands trembling at the sounds of crashes that resounded in his head. He could even feel heat emanating from his palms, as if he were holding back that large ball of fire again.

    Then he realized that the loud sounds in his head weren’t really remnants of his nightmare but loud banging on the door of his room. “R-right! I’m up! Keep your pants on!” Tiwaz yelled as he sat back up.

    The EmperorGreymon glanced at his armor and sword, and he let out a huff. He could sense that it was still too early for morning, even if it was hot as hell inside his room. He would put on his armor later. At the very least, he was glad that the knocking woke him up from having to re-experience that moment in his life, even if it was only in a dream.

    The banging on the door continued.

    “I said I’m coming!” Tiwaz growled, standing up. “Geeze, what’s the deal!? I bet it’s not even morning yet!” Tiwaz yelled as he opened his door.

    “Surprise!” a vaguely humanoid Digimon with a sharp object yelled, thrusting said object towards Tiwaz’s body.

    Whether it was fortune or not, the nightmare Tiwaz had gone through was already had already sent a large amount of adrenaline to course through his body, and he was able to close the door in time, making the object lodge itself into his door, the point jutting through to his side of the barrier. He quickly locked his door again.

    “What in Buri’s name!?” Tiwaz roared as the weapon was pulled back from the door.

    The figure behind the door let out a cackle and looked through the hole that he made. “Can’t you tell!? You’re just really unlucky!” he said raucously.

    “This is a pirate raid! And you’re our prey!”
     
  5. Griff4815

    Griff4815 No. 1 Grovyle Fan

    Hooray! You've finally finished it! I've been waiting for this chapter for awhile.

    The description was pretty good and detailed, as it usually is. As for the characters, the biggest point for me is that you've nailed Tiwaz, Pav, Odie, and Taranis' 'voices' enough for me to not have to point anything out. At least, that's what it seems to me, so far. Same goes with their personalities.

    Speaking of which, I don't know how, after all this time we've talked, I haven't found out that Fenrir apparently used to paint. xD I guess this is a fraction of what Tiwaz is going through in DA. That came as a big surprise to me. Also speaking of Fen, he was pretty cool about Tiwaz seeing him naked. xD Well... except for the kicking part.

    To be honest, I was expecting them to be in Frostholme by the end of the act. I'm guessing this means the next acts will be pretty long. xD. I did like the cliffhanger, but now I want to read more. So start writing. =P

    You did Tiwaz's flashback dream quite well. Both his and Draz's personalities were consistant with what they would have been as kids. It might have been good to see Skymir's reactions after the fact, but I guess that would have disrupted the atmosphere of the scene. I did like the scene though; I imagine god powers have quite the learning curve.

    Hmm... Is there anything else I'm missing? It was a funny chapter with Taranis, Cog, Kale, and Tiwaz's antics, though there were serious points too. And who was that Korikakumon, I wonder?

    Anyways, I think that's all. Good chapter/act and I'm excited for the next one. And I'll be sure to remind you. =P
     
  6. It's not like I tell you everything about my characters. You hate spoilers too. =P

    And you should know Fenrir by now. He's not exactly very...immature. That, or he's sure enough of his self-image to not care about how people think and look at him.

    Nope, not yet. And yes, master. =P
     
  7. Act 2: An Ocean’s Worth Of Trouble

    also known as

    I’d hit them on the head with my trusty hammer.

    “What the hell!?”

    “I said you’re being raided, you idiotic landdweller!” the Digimon behind the door said with a cackle.

    Tiwaz glared at the eye that was staring at him through the hole in the door. He could see the vaguely evil glint in the eye despite the darkness, or maybe it was the light coming from the lantern that barely lit up his dark and damp room. Whatever the case, the EmperorGreymon knew one thing: whoever tried to stab his body and called him an idiot was going to be sorry he ever woke up the sleeping dragon.

    “This’ll show you who the idiot is!” Tiwaz growled, pressing his palm against the whole.

    “Ooooh, a hand! I’ll just- gaaaaaaah!”

    The god of fire smirked, having sent a stream of fire through the hole and right at the other Digimon’s body. He made sure that the fire wouldn’t be too widespread so as not to burn any of the surrounding wood that made up the ship’s halls. He was rewarded with the sounds of the other Digimon running down the hall with yells of terror and pain. He then let his smirk die, knowing without a doubt that the attacker would return, and probably with reinforcements. Although he couldn’t hear the sounds of battle, he knew it was coming. He could feel it in his bones.

    Deciding that he would rather fight in his armor, he quickly rushed to his armaments and put them on as quickly as possible. Years of having put the armor on and off gave him the capability of armoring himself up in incredible time, and he finished just as a knock sounded on his door.

    Tiwaz narrowed his eyes and reached for his Dragon Soul Sword, raising a hand in case the raider would try to break down the door.

    “Tiwaz, are you there?” a familiar voice called out.

    “Pav!” The dragon Digimon let out a sigh of relief, running to the door and unlocking it.

    “You’re safe. Good,” Pavamana said with a small smile. The sight of a panting, sweating PileVolcamon who was missing his upper armor was a sight for sore eyes.

    “Why aren’t you wearing your armor?” Tiwaz asked, getting out of his room and giving the hallway a quick look.

    “Didn’t have time. They broke down the door,” Pavamana replied with a grimace.

    Tiwaz guessed that meant Pavamana didn’t have the luxury of getting dressed like he did. It was a peculiar sight not to see him in his trademark scarf and black armor, and Tiwaz instantly became curious if his shoulder drills and back-mounted volcano were attached to his body. It was too dark for Tiwaz to be sure.

    “Hey, Pav-“

    “There they are! Get them!” a familiar raspy voice called out, interrupting before Tiwaz could ask his question.

    “Ah, great,” Tiwaz growled, turning to look as three figures appeared from the corner.

    One of them was larger than the other two, and he was carrying a weapon that Tiwaz recognized. He couldn’t really call it a weapon, since it only looked like a broken off piece of an icicle, although this one didn’t seem to look like it was going to melt soon. The hand that held it was large compared to the body it was attached to. The raider’s blue skin gleamed from under the light of a lantern. The Digimon only had a pair of worn and torn up shorts on his body, along with black belt-like bands on one forearm and more on one leg. On his other arm was a tattoo of a pirate’s jolly roger, and on his knuckles were bolt-like protrusions that looked like they would hurt if they were used in a punch. He had large head with an even larger jaw full of curved yellowed teeth. On top of his head was a messy mane of gray hair, and a single horn jutted from his forehead. He was one hundred percent sure that he was a Hyogamon, and he was doubly sure that it was the one that tried to stab him.

    “Attack! Cut them up and feed them to the fishes!” the blue ogre cackled, pointing to Tiwaz and Pavamana with his weapon.

    “Yea!” the two lackeys yelled as they charged.

    They were short, humanoid creatures with fish-like qualities. Blue all over except for the white stomach and head, they carried a sharp looking harpoon in one hand and a red oxygen tank on their back. They also had a sharp set of teeth that Tiwaz did not want to get a closer look of.

    “Divermon, huh?” Tiwaz said with a smirk. “You guys are really out of your element out of water!” he said as he charged right back, readying his sword.

    “Tiwaz, wait!” Pavamana called out, running after him.

    “Take this!” Tiwaz roared, swinging his large weapon towards them. He let out a shout of shock when his arm stopped midway, his weapon striking something hard and making him lurch forward. “What the hell!?”

    The EmperorGreymon turned to look at what he hit. To his chagrin, the Dragon Soul Sword had embedded itself to the wall of the hallway, and it was only then that Tiwaz realized that the hallway was far too small a space for him to efficiently swing his sword around.

    “In front of you!” Pav’s voice called out.

    The dragon Digimon, instead of ducking, looked forward. He saw a sharp spear shooting towards him, and he didn’t even have the time to dodge anymore. Before they could reach him, however, Pavamana tackled Tiwaz to the floor with a loud bam.

    “Gah! Hey!” Tiwaz growled, feeling Pavamana’s weight on his back.

    “Had to be done,” the PileVolcamon said, quickly getting back on his feet as the Divermon came upon them.

    The one that threw his harpoon grabbed Pav’s forearm, opening his mouth wide to bite down into Pavamana’s vulnerable flesh. Thinking quickly, Pavamana pushed his arm to the side, powerfully slamming the Divermon’s back into the wall with the help of his superior size and weight. With a cry of pain, the would-be biter let go of Pav's arm, the tank on his back digging into his flesh.

    Although the move saved his arm from being bitten, Pavamana left his back vulnerable, something which the other harpoon-ready Divermon was quick to take advantage of. He thrust his weapon quick deadly accuracy, and he let out a yell of victory when his blade met resistance. Then his triumphant expression turned to one of shock. A second-look made him realize that the resistance wasn’t from blade meeting flesh, but from Tiwaz grabbing the neck of the harpoon just centimeters before it could penetrate Pav’s unprotected back.

    “Not while I’m around, buddy!” Tiwaz snarled, wrenching the weapon away from the Divermon’s hands and throwing it behind him along with the other harpoon. Then he grabbed the marine Digimon by the head with his large hand and raised him into the air.

    “Just try to hurt any of my friends again when I’m around, and I’ll show you just how terrible I can be,” Tiwaz threatened lowly with a sneer, letting fire crackle between his teeth.

    The Divermon let out a frightened, shrill scream, grabbing Tiwaz’s arm and trying to pry himself off. He didn’t have to wait long. Tiwaz soon got tired of his captive’s yells and screams, and he threw the Divermon down the hall, right in front of the feet of the Hyogamon.

    “You hurt, Pav?” Tiwaz asked, turning to the PileVolcamon.

    “No,” Pavamana replied shortly, letting the Divermon that he had slammed again into the wall slide down to the ground with a thump.

    “Good,” Tiwaz said, turning to the Hyogamon, who was ironically steaming despite his cold-themed appearance. “Now we just need to deal with this one.”

    “No, I will,” Pavamana said, stepping in front of the EmperorGreymon. With his view blocked, Tiwaz could at least let his curiosity to rest, seeing that Pavamana did in fact not have his volcanoes and drills attached to his body.

    “What do you mean, you will?” Tiwaz asked, about to put his hand on Pav’s shoulder and pull him back. “You’re not wearing any armor; you almost got stabbed without my help.”

    “You can’t use your sword here,” Pavamana said, getting ready, realizing that the Hyogamon wasn’t going to wait for them. “Get to the deck. You can help them there.”

    “I won’t give you the chance!” the blue raider yelled as he dashed towards them, weapon raised.

    “Go, Tiwaz!” Pav actually ordered, waiting until the Hyogamon was close enough before he dashed forward to grab his wrists.

    “Oh, you think you can take me alone, land dweller?” the blue Digimon said with a sneer. For a lower tier Digimon, he seemed to be able to match Pav’s strength. It was a commendable feat, which only made Tiwaz want to stay more.

    “But-“

    Before he could voice his reason, a blast that rocked the ship sounded, causing Tiwaz to stagger. Both Pavamana and the Hyogamon also fell from the tremor; the former against the wall, and the latter on his back. This gave Pavamana the chance to look at Tiwaz. “Go! They need you up there!”

    Tiwaz growled and pushed himself back up. “Fine! But don’t you dare get stabbed in the back!” the dragon man said before pulling his Dragon Soul Sword and rushing down the hallway, opposite where the Hyogamon came from.

    The Hyogamon let out a laugh of amusement, pushing himself back up to his feet. “How rich! You think you can stop a crew that’s over fifty men strong!?”

    Tiwaz snarled, hearing him as he escaped. No army, whether it had fifty soldiers or a thousand, was going to be of any use against an angry dragon. And he showed it by charging through any pirate that tried to block his path.

    “Out of my way!” the EmprorGreymon roared, smashing through Divermon after Divermon. It was easy to tell who was part of the ship crew and who weren’t. They were usually the ones that wielded rather unusual weapons, like the one that was using a mop to whack away pirates. Tiwaz made extra sure to give him a pat on the back for his guts to go fighting with a cleaning instrument. It was also that same Digimon that told him where the stairs to the deck was after the third time Tiwaz passed him.

    The topside of the ship was a sight chaos.

    Tiwaz didn’t notice until now the sounds of havoc, thunderous lightning and heavy rain around him, which was causing the ship sway uncontrollably. Water all ran all over the wooden floor, which must have made it hard to keep one’s footing. The true source of mayhem, however, was the rampant amount of Divermon and other pirate Digimon. He couldn’t tell if the pirates were winning or losing. Well, if it was the latter, his arrival was going to change that.

    “There’s another one!” one of the pirates called out, pointing at him.

    This one was a Mermaimon, female pirate with a fish tail instead legs. She had an armored bikini and shoulder pads, as well as long blonde hair. On her head was a pirate hat, and in her hands was a large, yellow anchor with bladed edges. Tiwaz had to admit that her petite arms were deceptively strong.

    She wasn’t alone, being surrounded by more Mermaimon and Divermon. Tiwaz only smirked, grabbing his Dragon Soul Sword. There was no longer any wall that could stop him from showing the pirates not to mess with Tiwaz Koenig!

    With a roar, he forcefully swung his sword at the first wave of raiders, effectively sending them back against the rest of the raiders behind it. Tiwaz then gave a smirk, saying, “And here’s another thing coming at ya!”

    The EmperorGreymon spun around once more, this time with a broadsword he coated with his flame manipulation. With another swing, he sent a crescent of intense flames wash over the raiders dashing towards him. The sight of them running away from him made him grin; that’ll teach them to wake him up from much needed sleep again.

    His grin died when he felt someone beside him. He could only barely feel the presence beside him, and before he thought of even looking, his battle instincts took over. Without a second thought, he swung the Dragon Soul Sword to his side with a roar.

    He noticed a little too late the familiar green mask and white uniform. “Odie! Duck!” he tried to shout as his weapon went to behead his friend.

    However, the dragon man didn’t need to say anything. Odie’s honed ninja reflexes went into action the moment he noticed Tiwaz’s starting motion for a slash, and he was able to get his head down as the blade passed over his head harmlessly.

    “By Buri, Odie, you know not to sneak behind me when I have a weapon, especially during a fight!” Tiwaz scolded, his fear of hurting the Shurimon subsiding and being replaced with irritation.

    “I-I-I-I’m sorry!” the young ninja stuttered out, his legs still shaking from the close call. “I-I-I just wanted to ask i-i-i-if you’re hurt or anyth-thing,” he said, twiddling his fingers nervously.

    Tiwaz sighed and turned back to the pirates, making sure they weren’t getting too close by raising his sword at them. They just loved to attack those that just stood around and talked while the battle was going on. “It would take more than a bunch of waterlogged pansies to put a scratch on this dragon’s scales,” he said with a smirk, taking a familiar stance with his outstretched weapon. “Dragonfire Crossbow!” he yelled out loud, his Dragon Soul Sword sending a thick red beam towards a congregation of pirates.

    The EmperorGreymon let out a whoop of triumph as some of the pirates were sent overboard by the beam. The rest that didn’t were either scattering or were flat against the ground from the blast.

    “Um, w-w-w-well, if you ever g-g-get hurt, w-w-w-we have a medic team i-i-in the ship’s bridge,” Odie told him, looking at the group and hoping that none of them got hurt too badly. “D-do you think-“

    “They’re enemies, Odysseus,” Tiwaz said, lowering his sword. “And they’ll keep being out enemies until they surrender or are unconscious,” he finished.

    Or dead,’ Tiwaz thought, losing his smirk. He didn’t particularly take joy in that thought. Beating them in a fight is all right and good, but he didn’t like the feeling of having to stand on a hundred men’s corpses in order to reach victory. It left a bad taste in his mouth. That was probably why he didn’t put his full power into the attack.

    “O-o-okay then,” Odie said, rubbing the back of his neck, not knowing what he should do next.

    “Hey, where’s everyone else?” Tiwaz asked after noting that the pirates seemed to start avoiding him. He’d remedy that later.

    “P-P-Pavamana is down in the deck. Kaleth is h-h-helping some others somewhere around h-h-h-here. Taranis is in the air, k-k-keeping away a few Seadramon,” the ninja told him.

    Tiwaz momentarily took some time to remember what Seadramon were. They were large, serpentine Digimon with blue scales and red sripes. They also had a gold helmet on their head and a set of very sharp, very painful teeth.

    “Right. Cog and the mutt?” Tiwaz asked.

    “Um…Cog’s in the bridge, a-a-a-and Fenrir went to keep him a-a-and the artifacts safe,” Odie said, scratching his cheek. He didn’t envy Fenrir’s job.

    “Good luck to the mutt then,” the EmperorGreymon said as lightning flashed over his head, a shadow momentarily on his body and making him look up. “Better get up there and give Taranis some back up, Odie,” Tiwaz said, squinting against the rain. It was only then that he realized that the blue flashes of lightning that he was seeing was from Taranis shooting out Electro Shockers at long, black shadows, which he presumed were the various Seadramon.

    “U-um, I w-w-wanted to but,” Odie started, looking up as well.

    “But?” Tiwaz repeated with a frown.

    “C-Captain Iskandar is f-f-fighting the pirate’s leader up there, and he doesn’t want me t-t-t-to get caught in the crossfire,” the Shurimon replied, looking up at the mast and sails. He couldn’t see them in the dark, but he knew that the Shawjamon and his enemy were up there.

    “Well then, I guess you’ll be the one to take care of anyone that gets away from me,” Tiwaz then said grinning.

    “What!?” Odie stared at Tiwaz nervously. “B-b-b-but-“

    “No buts!” Tiwaz interrupted with a large grin, eager to get back into the middle of the fight. “You don’t get to have second thoughts in a fight!”

    With that, the EmperorGreymon charged at the pirates, some fleeing at his sight and others, either eager to prove their worth or hoping that their greatly superior numbers will bring the fight to their advantage, rushing to meet him with their own weapons. And Odysseus Hayashi was left to watch in uncertainty.

    “I’m…not sure if I can k-k-keep him in line, Fenrir,” he muttered to himself, running after Tiwaz, taking out his hand shurikens.

    -​

    Fenrir sneezes loudly as he kicked away the last pirate that tried to get past him and into the bridge.

    “Gesundheit!” the Gotsumon beside him yelled out, whacking another pirate on the head with a large hammer.

    The Beowolfmon grunted in reply, glancing back at Shimon and his choice weapon. Digimon usually didn’t use weapons outside the ones they gain from their digivolution, and if he remembered correctly, Gotsumon don’t usually have large, stone hammers.

    “Fenrir! Shimon! I’m coming through!” Kaleth’s voice called out, coming from a large and heavy figure running towards them. The silhouette was far larger than Fenrir knew the Knightmon to be, but he expected that. On each of the Knightmon’s shoulders were crewmembers that sustained injuries, either from the fighting or from the rocking of the ship during the mayhem.

    “Ah, Timmy! Roedinger!” Shimon called out rushing over to help the Knightmon. They always had to go through the navigator just to be sure they part of the crew; they’ve already had two who tried to get in that way The Gotsumon grimaced at the large stab wound on one of them. “Get ‘em inside, quickly then!”

    The Knightmon nodded and went inside the room while Fenrir made sure they were the only ones that went inside.

    “Yeesh, I hope Iskandar gets this settled soon!” Shimon said, getting back to his post.

    “Will he be okay?” Fenrir asked, looking around for any attackers.

    “The captain was a former pirate. With ears like yours, I bet you’ve heard that somewhere by now, if not from one of your friends. He can hold his own,” the Gotsumon replied, shouldering his hammer.

    Fenrir turned away, making sure that there were no more pirates trying to get past them. It finally seemed like their defensive tactics were beginning to work; there weren’t as many craze-eyed Digimon trying attack the bridge. Either that or someone else was doing their job for them in the front lines. He mentally thought of Tiwaz or Pavamana; either of the two was capable of keeping the waves of pirates at bay with their respective strengths. Of course, saying that to Tiwaz’s face would only make things more troublesome for the Beowolfmon.

    “How long?” Fenrir suddenly said.

    “Uh…how long?” Shimon repeated.

    “Has it been since he was a pirate,” the wolf knight supplied.

    “Oh, five or six years,” the Gotsumon replied. “Course, he only started being a ship captain for four,” he added with a smile.

    “You seem close,” Fenrir said after a moment’s thought.

    “Well, yeah, I guess you could say that,” Shimon said slowly, wondering where Fenrir was getting at.

    “Is he the only former pirate in this crew?” Fenrir then asked, glancing at the Gotsumon meaningfully.

    The mineral Digimon looked away in silence. Then he let out a stony grin. “What makes you ask that?”

    “A cargo ship doesn’t usually have Digimon who are used to battle. Most of you have scars from weapons. And at least half are fighting too well to be from normal crew,” Fenrir told him. He had been observing how the crew reacted to the surprise raid from the start, and the panic of some had only lasted for a few minutes before it was replaced with something akin to an eagerness for battle.

    Well, it was only conjecture, but he had a feeling he wasn’t wrong.

    Shimon regarded him with silence before letting out a chuckle. “Yeah, well, keep that to yourself, huh?” the Gotsumon said. “A third of us came from the pirate crew that Captain Iskandar was from. He wasn’t the captain of that ship, but he was one of the higher ups. Definitely one of the more liked ones, which is why when the crew split into three, we followed him.”

    “So a third of your crew are former pirates?” the Beowolfmon asked, wanting to confirm his thoughts.

    “Well, more like a little less than half,” Shimon said with a chuckle.

    “And you have no connection with these raiders?” Fenrir inquired, glancing at the navigator.

    “Uh…well…”

    “Well, what?” Fenrir prompted, this time his stance turning a bit more rigid, turning a bit to the Gotsumon. If he had somehow uncovered a scandal, then this would be the ideal time to strike him down, before he could tell anyone.

    “I can swear to you that we’re no longer doing any pirating, Fenrir, in any way or form. We all knew what we decided to do when we became city dogs. That doesn’t mean we won’t run into any of our old seadog comrades, even if they end up becoming out enemies,” Shimon said, looking up at the mast and railings. “So yeah, I guess you could say that we used to have some connection with some of the ones that are attacking us right now.”

    “And if you had to fight someone you know right now?”

    “I’d hit them on the head with my trusty hammer,” the Gotsumon replied with a large grin. “They should know better than to attack the ship full of former pirates, especially us.”

    Fenrir let out a small smirk. So maybe he could put some trust on the other Digimon, if only a little bit.

    The door behind them opened once more before he could say anything else.

    “I’m heading off to find any more injured,” Kaleth said, nodding at Fenrir and Shimon before running off past them.

    “You people are pretty helpful,” the Gotsumon said with a smile, looking at the retreating form of the Knightmon. “Things might’ve been a little different if you guys weren’t around.”

    “We’re not special,” Fenrir replied. “Just experienced.”

    “If you say so, wolfman,” Shimon said with a chuckle, looking up at the railings, hoping his captain was faring well.

    -​

    “I sid te git down hee’, ya freaky frug!”

    Said ‘freaky frog’ laughed loudly, jumping to and fro the ship’s riggings, dodging various bullets coming his way. Iskandar knew the ship like it was the back of his hand, and no matter how dark or windy it was, he would always know where each piece of rope or long post would be. “Aww, ya still haven’ gotten rid of yer speech problem, Sulky?” he asked mockingly.

    “Ma nim is Skulken, ya crizy frug!” the Shawjamon’s opponent yelled.

    The pirate looked every bit like his job. A dark purple jacket with golden buttons donned his body. Instead of proper arms, he had a giant golden hook on as his right limb and a cannon as his left, the former of which he was using to gang onto the ropes. His feet were mostly black boots over white pants, and on his head was a large pirate hat. His face was almost completely covered by his headwear and his jacket collar, the only things visible being a single eye and an eye patch.

    “Oh, I’m crazy, alright! Crazy to think that good ol’ Sulky would be a challenge,” Iskandar said, jumping down to a horizontal post, his footing apparently unaffected by the rain and thin base of support.

    “Ya wan a challinge, I’ll give ya a challinge! Ciptin Cannin!” the Hookmon yelled out, shooting a large cannonball towards the ship captain.

    “Woah!” the Shawjamon yelped, somersaulting forward, watching the cannonball break the post he was standing on. “Hey! That was expensive!” he yelled out, latching onto the rigging on top of the pirate, ending up facing the ground in an awkward upside down position.

    “Git ya- gah!” Skulken gasped, getting stopped midway by the captain’s attack.

    Iskandar had pushed his feet free from the rigging to make it swoop into half-moon crescent before slamming them on the Hookmon’s chest. Then his hands unlatched from the rope push off from the Hookmon’s chest, effectively leaping to the rope rigging opposite from the one the Hookmon was on.

    “Y-ya dim joompin’ rat!” Sulken gasped out, barely hanging onto the rope due to his hook.

    “Why, that must be the nicest thing ya’ve said to me in the last hour,” the frog demon noted as he climbed up the rope rigging.

    “Git buck here soo I kin put hulls in ya!” Sulken yelled out, climbing up as well, an amazing feat considering could only use a hook and two feet to ascend the rope rigging.

    “I’m no ship, Sulky! I don’t need any hulls!” Iskandar retorted, jumping to the post directly connected to the rigging that Sulken was climbing. He let out a large, mischievous grin, leaning against the mast behind him as he waited for the Hookmon to reach his level. “What took ya so long, Sulky?” he asked as the Hookmon’s hook reached the top post.

    “I was plannin hoo mini hulls I’m ginna put in yar heed!” Skulken growled as he pushed himself to a vertical board nearby. He let out a sinister chuckle as he stood up, noticing that the Shawjamon was doing nothing to defend himself nor move away. “Feenally disadid to give oop?” he asked, raising his cannon arm at the frog man’s chest. “Too bad; I’m nut plannin to tik prisonas!”

    “Nah, I’m just gunna make you jump the plank, me former matey,” Iskandar replied with a large grin.

    “Joomp the pla-“

    Before he could even finish what he was going to say, the horizontal plank he was standing on suddenly pushed him upwards, sending him flying up into the air and towards the deep blue ocean.

    Iskandar let out a happy laugh, leaning against the mast, his other hand letting go of a rope he had untied. The rope had been connected to a large net, which held cannonballs, on one side of the plank that Skulken had been standing on. With nothing holding the weight up anymore, the metal-filled net was swinging from side to side, moving the hinged plank with it.

    “Hoo, I’ll never git tired of that,” the Shawjamon said as his laughter died down. He looked down to see how his crew was faring at the deck, and from the looks of it, his ship was slowly becoming more and more pirate-free. He could even see a certain dragon blasting pirate after pirate over the railings and into the sea. He then glanced up to see that just as their sea battle was ending, the daylight was beginning.

    “Ah, what a beautiful sunrise! A good way to end a fight!” the Shawjamon said, stretching his arms. “Time to help the landlubbers on me deck finish the job!” he said as he jumped down the post.

    -​

    “So, how’s me crew and ship, Shimmy?” Iskandar asked, sitting on his captain’s chair and looking at his navigator and right hand man.

    “Well, the good news is that no one got hurt too badly or killed thanks to these guys,” Shimon said with a small grin, gesturing to Tiwaz, Fenrir and the rest. “They got rid of most of the pirates before they could hurt anyone too seriously.”

    “All in a good day’s work,” Tiwaz said, pushing his chest a bit forward, prompting the Beowolfmon beside him to roll his eyes.

    “But the bad news is that the damages are going to cost us quite a bit, captain,” Shimon replied, writing down notes on a paper in front of him. “The pirates ruined a lot of the stuff down below, not to mention the damage up on deck. Ice spikes, torn ropes, lightning and fire burns…”

    Iskandar glanced back at Tiwaz, one of two the main causes of the last reason. Apparently, he had aim issues when firing on a moving ship. “I hope that yer guild plans on reimbursin’ us for some of those damages,” he said, specifically to the lightning bug behind him.

    “Uh,” Taranis started, rubbing the back of his neck.

    “I guess so,” Kaleth, standing beside the Beetlemon, said, twiddling his fingers. He hoped that the guild would.

    “Um, I h-have a question,” Odysseus said from the corner of the room. He was bandaging a wound on Pavamana’s shoulder, a remembrance of the PileVolcamon’s fight with the Hyogamon.

    “Ask away, Odie,” the captain said, turning to him.

    “W-w-what happened to the p-p-pirate’s ship?” he asked. He hadn’t seen the pirate’s sea craft or any of the sort during the battle. Even in the dark of night, he assumed that he would have at least seen the silhouette of one.

    “Yeah, Shimmy, what happened to Sulky’s ship?” the Shawjamon repeated, turning to Shimon.

    “Uhhh…about that,” the Gotsumon said, looking sheepish. “I asked everyone, but apparently, they didn’t have one,” he said.

    “They had no ship?” Pavamana asked, blinking.

    “They’ve got to have one!” Tiwaz said with a frown. “Not everyone I sent overboard was a marine Digimon. They need something to transport those from land to ship.”

    “Perhaps they had an underwater craft?” Cogwej suggested from his spot beside Iskandar, eating breakfast.

    “Sulky? A submarine? Impossible!” Iskandar said, folding his arms. “No way he could git one, even if he bought it!”

    “I have to agree with the captain,” Shimon said, looking up from his notes. “No port in miles from here could have any kind of submarine that could be stolen or bought. He’d have to have built one himself, and that would have taken a lot of digits and hard-to-get materials.”

    “So no submarine then,” Tiwaz grunted, folding his arms. “Maybe they have some kind of invisible ship.” Everyone – bar Cogwej who was still occupied with his food – looked at him, wondering if he was really serious. “Okay, scratch that idea too, then,” he grumbled out.

    A knock on the door stopped whatever anyone else was going to add. After a ‘Come in’ from Iskandar, one of the deckhands, a fish-like, large-jawed Digimon with hard gray scales and a pair of limbs, walked in. Odie stared for a bit before Taranis leaned over to whisper the name of the deckhand’s species: Coelamon.

    “Captain, sir, one of our dinghies is missing,” the fish Digimon informed.

    “…What?” the Shawjamon asked, looking at the Coelamon curiously.

    “The small boats that we usually keep-“

    “I know what a dinghy is. I want to know how it happened,” the captain stated, folding his arms.

    “All I found is this, captain,” the Coelamon replied, plopping over and giving him a note.

    “A letter?” Iskandar mutterd as he took it. He looked it over for a minute. Then two. Then four. By the time ten minutes passed, half of room’s occupants could no longer contain their curiosity.

    “What does it say?” Tiwaz asked, containing the urge to walk over and grab the note to see for himself.

    “I have absolutely no idea, mate,” the frog Digimon replied, looking back at them. Tiwaz’s eyes twitched.

    “What do you mean you have no idea? You’ve been staring at the thing for like ten minutes!” Taranis couldn’t help but say.

    “Well, I’d like you try to read this. It looks like a baby took a bottle of ink, soaked his paws in it, and started making black rainbows and hurricanes,” he said, throwing the piece of paper over his shoulder.

    “Ah, wait, captain, let me see,” Shimon said, running over to catch the piece of paper. “Maybe I can, uh, decipher it.”

    “Well?” Tiwaz asked, folding his arms as his curiosity piqued itself once more.

    “Mm…uh…wait, gimme a few more…okay, I think I got it,” the navigator said with a grin.

    Iskandar stared at him. “You tellin’ me that you could read that piece of abstract!?”

    “Yeah, uh, well, remember the deal with the cook?” Shimon asked, looking at the captain.

    “Oh yeah, Kroma’s kid. Yeah, I remember,” the Shawjamon told the Gotsumon, leaving everyone else in the room confused and wondering what was going on.

    “He decided to take one of the dinghies and just row back home. Apparently, it’s faster for him that way,” Shimon supplied.

    “Ah, well, I can’t blame him, considering how close the attack was to his hometown,” Iskandar noted.

    “Wait, there’s a town nearby?” Fenrir asked with a raised eyebrow.

    Shimon nodded in reply. “Well, not really nearby. It’s on one side of the island we’re heading. We were supposed to head there first, but we decided to alter the route because we promised to get you to Frostholme first.”

    “Couldn’t we have just made a quick stop then?” Pavamana asked after testing the bandage on his shoulder.

    “Not really. Frostholme is on one side of the island, and Ice Cape is on the other side, so we would have had to go around half an island to get to the other,” Taranis then cut in, remembering the map that he had seen Shimon working on.

    “Yeah, what the bug man said,” Shimon replied with a small smile.

    “It must be hard for him,” Odie said, twiddling his fingers. He didn’t like feeling like they made someone row all the way to his town.

    “Nah, the kid can handle himself. He could probably swim one lap around the island if he needed to,” Iskandar said, waving a hand in the air.

    Tiwaz raised an eyebrow, wondering if it was the Korikakumon he had met the day before. “Really?”

    “Really,” the Shawjamon replied.

    “He’s exaggerating,” Shimon cut in.

    “I am not,” Iskandar replied, folding his arms. “Didn’t you see the arms on that kid? I’m surprised that he only works as a bartender and not a coast guard. He’d probably get more money that way, too.”

    “You know he’s not like that,” the Gotsumon said, rolling eyes.

    “Let’s talk about something more urgent,” Fenrir interrupted their conversation, folding his arms. “Like setting up a better warning system in case the pirates attack again.”

    “The mutt’s right. I don’t want to be caught in my underwear again, and I bet Pav feels the same way,” Tiwaz said, Pavamana nodding in agreement. He glanced at the PileVolcamon’s wound; he would have to rest that arm and take it easy for a while.

    “Right then,” Iskandar then said, folding his arms and nodding in agreement. “I’ll get some of me crew to start makin’ patrols, and maybe I’ll put an extra pair of eyes on the crow’s next.”

    “I’d like to do my own patrolling too,” Tiwaz announced. “There’s no way I’m going to be stuck in my room the moment some fighting starts again.”

    “And I as well,” Pavamana added in.

    “Maybe everyone in this room would like to have a chance to act as sentries then?” Shimon asked, looking at everyone.

    “Well, maybe not Cog,” Taranis noted, looking at the Wisemon, who finished eating his breakfast.

    “Of course not!” the wizened old man exclaimed. “I have more important duties to do instead of walking around aimlessly, looking for a random army of sea creatures!”

    “You seem to do the first part enough,” Tiwaz couldn’t help but mutter, folding his arms.

    “Anyway, if that’s all…” Iskandar said, ushering Cogwej away from his desk.

    “Actually, if possible, I’d like Taranis, Odysseus and Cogwej to fly to Ice Cape,” Fenrir added in.

    “Me!?” Taranis yelped, looking straight at the Beowolfmon. Odysseus also turned to Fenrir in surprise, although his own was a quiet one.

    “You’re the only one that can fly and carry two passengers at the same time,” Fenrir told the insect Digimon.

    “But your MagnaGarurumon form-“

    “Can fly as well, but costs me more energy that it would for you in your MegaKabuterimon form. And I can’t carry more than one person with me,” Fenrir informed him. He didn’t use his MagnaGarurumon form frequently for a good reason. “And Odysseus and Cog combined are most likely light enough for you to make the flight from the ship to the town.”

    “W-w-well, I am curious to see what a snow town is like,” Odie muttered to himself, twiddling his fingers.

    “Oooh, and I can sample all the seafood delicacies!” Cogwej added happily, already dreaming of the fish and other marine products he could ingest.

    “Can I at least know why?” Taranis asked with a resigned sigh. Kaleth took that as a cue to pat the Beetlemon’s back.

    “Exactly what he said,” Tiwaz asked, folding his arms and standing a bit between the beetle and the wolf Digimon. “I don’t want us getting separated like last time in the forest unless it’s for a good reason.”

    Fenrir had to roll his eyes at Tiwaz. “I want them to start gathering information there, then meet us up in Frostholme with what they gathered,” he told the EmperorGreymon. “If they get there earlier than us, then they can also start searching for leads.”

    “That sounds like a g-g-g-good plan,” Odie pitched in.

    “Well…at least it means I might get to sleep in a bed that doesn’t move around at night,” Taranis muttered with a sigh.

    Fenrir nodded and turned to Iskandar and Shimon. “Is the town too far to fly?”

    The Gotsumon gave the captain a glance before looking at Fenrir sheepishly. “Actually, now would be the best time to go…”

    A rushed thirty minutes later found the adventurers on the deck of the ship, a certain MegaKabuterimon looking at the island across them.

    “Gee, the distance seems really long… Are you sure this is the closest we can get? Maybe we can, I dunno, halve this distance somehow?” Taranis suggested, looking at the Gotsumon nearby. With a sheepish grin, Shimon shook his head.

    “Not a chance, sorry,” he said, not sounding sorry at all.

    “I was hoping you weren’t going to say that,” Taranus muttered with a sigh.

    “We’ll see you in a few days, you three,” Tiwaz said, looking at Taranis and the two passengers he had on his back. “And make sure Cogwej doesn’t fall of. Or try to jump,” he told one of the two passengers.

    “I-I-I-I’ll try,” Odie said, keeping a good hold on Cogwej’s wrist with one of his hands.

    “And keep a good eye on him when you guys land; I don’t trust him not to start running around like he usually does,” Tiwaz said with a roll of his eyes.

    “Yes, mom,” Taranis replied with a chuckle. “Can we go now? I don’t want to get there after nightfall.”

    “Shimon said you’ll arrive there a little after noon if you fly high enough to catch an air current,” Pavamana said, hoisting a bag up to Odysseus. “Be careful, all three of you.”

    “We will,” Odie replied, taking the bag with his free hand.

    “See that white and brown spot over there?” Shimon asked, pointing to the ocean.

    Taranis turned to him with a deadpan expression.

    “Right, uh, no eyes. Anyway, you should pass by our friend the cook. Try to see if you can help him get home faster. He might have strong arms, but he’s bound to get tired after a few hours. Maybe,” the navigator trailed off, scratching his the back of his stony head.

    “I don’t know if I can carry that many people,” Taranis said exasperatedly.

    “We’ll try to think of s-something,” Odie told him, patting his back.

    “I hope so,” the MegaKabuterimon said as his wings started to beat rapidly. “Hey, Kaleth, keep out of trouble!”

    “You too, Taranis!” the Knightmon replied, waving as the insect Digimon flew off.

    The leaving trio’s companions watched as they left, waiting until they were too far to hear the high-pitched beating of Taranis’ wings to finally speak again.

    “So,” Tiwaz stared, looking to the side and to Pav. He was surprised to see that Pavamana was being led away by Iskandar, however.

    “Come on, then, the fish are waiting for us,” the Shawjamon said with a jovial voice. “I hope yer the patient kind, Pavs, cause yer gonna need it if ya want to be a fishing master!”

    “Okay then,” the EmperorGreymon muttered, turning to the side. “Ka-“

    He stopped midway when he saw Kaleth being pushed back into the bridge by Shimon.

    “You need to send a letter to the guild right away. The sooner we can be sure that the damages are going to be paid, the sooner I can relax and not worry about the captain’s ship sinking, and no one wants that, right?” he heard the Gotsumon say to the Knightmon.

    “Uh…”

    Tiwaz turned to the last person left watching with him. And luck should have it, he was left standing next to Fenrir. He stared at the Beowolfmon, who glanced at with a blank expression.

    “What?” Fenrir grunted out.

    “Nothing, mutt,” Tiwaz said, rolling his eyes and folding his arms. “Who wants to hang out with a no-fun mongrel like you, anyway?” he muttered under his breath.

    “I heard that, lizard,” Fenrir said as he turned his back to the Greymon and started to walk away.

    “N-no you didn’t!” Tiwaz retorted, following the Beowolfmon. “You can’t prove it!”

    Fenrir groaned and rolled his eyes. If the next few days weren’t going to fly by, he was going to go insane.

    -​

    Tiwaz let out a long, drawn out groan of boredom. “Whose bright idea was it to put me on the midnight shifts again?” he muttered out.

    “Yours, I think,” Kaleth said in front of him. In his hand was a lit lantern to light his path. It was in Tiwaz’s possession first, but after seeing the Knightmon trip three times over unseen objects, the dragon man gave it to him so that the Knightmon could see where he was stepping.

    “Don’t remind me,” he replied with a huff, looking back at the sea.

    “It’s not that bad. I mean, the others are patrolling somewhere on deck too,” the silver armored Digimon said with a small smile behind his helmet.

    Tiwaz rolled his eyes. “Oh right, we might bump into the giant walking heart of ice, complete with the polished death glare, or the frog demon whose energy levels rivals that of a certain crazy old man. I can handle Pav, but he’s with the mutt. What fun,” he said sarcastically. “Seriously, what was that captain of theirs thinking?”

    “That the pirates might attack at night again, so he wanted the best fighters on top where the fight might start?” Kaleth tried thoughtfully, looking over his shoulder.

    “Well…yeah, there’s that,” Tiwaz muttered under his breath. “Keep looking forward, Kale. We don’t want you trip and burn the whole ship down with you.”

    “Uh, right!” the Knightmon said, quickly looking back at his feet again. Tiwaz meant it as a joke, but after seeing Kaleth’s reaction, he was suddenly a bit scared that it was a probably scenario. “How long do you think it’s going to be until we finally reach Frostholme?” Kaleth then asked.

    “Probably two or three more days. At least that’s what I heard Shimon say,” Tiwaz informed the guild member. “He said we might get there tomorrow night if we’re really lucky, but I’m not counting on it.”

    “Really? Too bad,” Kaleth said with a sigh of disappointment. “I miss Taranis and the others. It’s been three days since we last saw then. And I’m getting tired of feeling seasick every morning.”

    “No argument the- uh, I mean, you get used to it,” Tiwaz corrected, hoping that the Knightmon wouldn’t ask him what he was going to say.

    “What’s that?” Kaleth asked.

    “Nothing. I said what I was going to say. You have a problem with that?” Tiwaz replied defensively, folding his arms.

    “No, no, not what you said. That,” the Knightmon said, pointing at something at the distance.

    Tiwaz blinked and looked at where he was pointing. He could barely see anything under the light of the stars and moon, but he did see a large silhouette breaking through the reflection of the heavenly bodies. And as quick as he blinked, it disappeared.

    “Did you see that?” Kaleth asked for confirmation, walking close to the railings.

    “Yeah…and I don’t like it,” Tiwaz said with a frown. “Come on, we need to find Iskandar.”

    “Yeah, let’s-“

    “Hey, you guys! Get over here!” Iskandar’s voice shouted from somewhere on the ship.

    Without a second thought, both Tiwaz and Kaleth ran towards his voice. From his peripheral vision, Tiwaz could see something white running across the ship deck, and it didn’t take long for him to realize that Fenrir had heard the cry for help as well. It would have surprised him had Fenrir didn’t. It was when they reached the helm of the ship did they see what Iskandar calling everyone for.

    The Shawjamon was currently surrounded by a small group of Divermon and Mermaimon. He could have taken them all by himself, but there was a figure across from him, standing on the long pole that held the ship’s figurehead. There was also a Seadramon hovering over said Digimon, which was another opponent that the captain would have had to watch out for.

    “Looks like you need some help, captain!” Tiwaz growled out, gaining the attention of the pirate Digimon. Seeing the familiar dragon, the pirates retreated the edge of the ship, in front of the figure.

    “Dammit, Tiwaz!” Fenrir growled out, angry at losing the potential for an ambush attack.

    “What!?” Tiwaz growled back, flanking Iskandar’s side with Kaleth while Pavamana and Fenrir took the other. Behind them, more of the ship’s crew started to gather.

    “Ha! Yar frinds arn’t ginna be uf iny use to ya, Iskie!” the Digimon called out.

    “Let me guess, this is the guy called Skulken?” Tiwaz asked out loud, brandishing the Dragon Soul Sword. “He doesn’t look so tough,” the dragon man said as Kaleth raised the lantern to give them a better image of the Hookmon captain.

    “Bah, wi’ll see who’s taff whin my new imploya gits his hands on ya!” Skulken yelled in sadistic glee.

    “New employer?” Fenrir repeated with a raised eyebrow.

    “If you’re so sure about that, where is this employer of yers?” Iskandar taunted with folded arms and a mocking grin.

    “Don’t make him angry, captain,” Shimon said from behind them, warily looking around.

    “Nah, I bet he’s just bluffin’ again,” Iskandar said with a big smile.

    “Joost luk far yarsilf, you deed frog!” he cackled, jumping behind him to land on the Seadramon before getting flown away. The Divermon and Mermaimon followed his example, jumping overboard with their own laughing.

    “That…does not sound good,” Pavamana said, voicing out what everyone was thinking in their heads.

    “So…what was that…” Kaleth trailed off, a large shadow suddenly appearing over them. “…about?” he finished, turning to the side where everyone was looking at.

    Rising from the side of the ship was a large, bulky figure. What most of them had thought was the sounds of the Divermon and Mermaimon splashing as they landed was actually the rising of the large figure that towered over the ship with its massive height. A second later, the large figure started to fall down on them.

    “Tiwaz!” Fenrir called out.

    “Right!” Tiwaz replied, pointing his weapon at the falling figure to fire his ever faithful beam attack. “Dragon-

    He was seconds too late as the figure crashed right in the middle of the ship, causing their sea craft to split into two, right in the middle. Like a domino, the prow started to tilt backwards bringing the occupants down with gravity.

    “Abandon ship!” one of Iskandar’s men shouted as many started shouting.

    “Keep calm, you landlubbers!” Iskandar tried to say, barely hanging onto the edge of the ship by the railing. “Shimmy! Get the safety boats down!” he yelled, looking around. “Shimmy!? Shimon!” he yelled out.

    “H-he slid down into the water!” Kaleth called out, hanging onto the ship by thrusting the tip of his sword into the wooden floor.

    “He what!?” the Shawjamon cried out. “Shimon!” he yelled out, letting go of the railing. “I’m comin’ for ya!”

    “H-hey! Where the hell are you going!?” Tiwaz yelled out, hanging onto dear life of the side of the ship.

    “T-Tiwaz! H-h-help!” Kaleth started saying as the ship started to become more vertical. “I-I can’t s-s-swim in my armor!”

    “Dammit!” Tiwaz grit his teeth. “Fen! Pav!” he called out, looking for the two. He cursed again when he realized that he could no longer see their figures where he had seen them before. No lean, white figure of Fenrir’s, nor the large, bulky one of Pavamana’s.

    “T-Tiwaz!” Kale yelled out.

    The EmperorGreymon turned his head at the Knightmon just as the armored Digimon let go of his sword. “Kaleth!” he yelled out, futilely reaching his hand out for his friend. Unfortunately for him, the Knightmon was too far, and Kale crashed into the sea. “NO!

    Tiwaz slammed outstretched fist against the railing, his other hand barely hanging onto it, growling out a string of curses. He looked back at the bubbling and waving water below him. He hesitated for a split second.

    “Who dares, wins!” he forced out as he pried his fingers off the railing, took a deep breath, and jumped into the water.

    The time it took for him to dive into the water was only mere seconds, but to the dragon man, it felt like hours. The cold wind blowing his face, the wall of raging, deep blue water waiting for him down below, the chilling feeling he got in his gut, and the unfamiliar fear of the unknown permeating his body. They all peaked the moment his feet crashed into the water, the sound of hard splashing reaching his ears.

    A split second later, the sound was muffled by the water surrounding his ears, through his helmet. His body was suddenly embraced by fluid cold, and it almost felt like he was floating for a mere second. He opened his eyes, hoping to see a flash of silver that belonged to Kaleth’s armor. To his terror, he could see nothing in the dark water, and he was forced close his eyes at the stinging of the salty water.

    Then the floating became falling, his heavy armor beginning to pull him down. He reached out, trying to grab at any part of the sinking ship, but he only could only swing and grasp at uncatchable water. Panic began to well at his chest as he sank further and further down. It grew even more when his lungs began to ache for air until he was forced to let his breath out and reflexively inhale, only to feel cold water fill his throat.

    He pushed hard against the water, trying his hardest to pull himself up to the surface for much needed air. But to no avail.

    The dragon man found himself sinking below, his eyes staring up at the water surface. He knew it was there, because he could somehow see the glinting light of the moon shining down on him.

    Just as his vision began to darken, the sight of light turning black – first at the center, then branching out into two long lines – he couldn’t help but think:

    I should have learned how to swim.
     
  8. Act 3: Cold War

    also known as

    Maybe there really is a method to his madness…or maybe he’s just plain insane.

    Cold. It was really cold.

    Funny, he thought that being reformatted wouldn’t feel so cold. He also thought that it would hurt less, but there was a heavy, dull pain in his chest that made it a little less easy to breathe. It was also pretty dark… or maybe it was because he was having a hard time trying to make the effort to open his eyes. The only thing he succeeded in making was a deep, pained groan.

    “Oh, lookie! He’s coming to!”

    That was definitely not a familiar voice. It was too female and high-pitched.

    Once more, he tried to open his eyes. Light pervaded his sight, and he could see another silhouette. This one was vaguely winged, with a large head and a tiny body.

    “See? He’s awake!”

    He had to blink a few more times to register what he was seeing. As his eyes slowly readjusted to the light, he was able to see the owner of the voice.

    She was pink. Very, very pink. That was the very first thing that Tiwaz noticed. She had a small teardrop shaped body with a long, thin tail. On the front side of her body were two small fins, and corresponding to those were two pink wings on her back. On the center of her chest, or what Tiwaz assumed was her chest, was a large pink shaped mark. On her neck was a golden ring with familiar inscriptions. She also had a head that looked like it was almost as large as the rest of her body. She also had large, pretty green eyes and a pair of, what Tiwaz could only assume, were antennae with a ribbon-like quality to them.

    From the stories he heard, he had expected to see Angemon in the afterlife, although he hadn’t really included MarineAngemon to that fantasy. Oh well, he wasn’t really complaining; she looked pretty cute.

    “Took him long enough,” another voice said, this time a familiar one.

    At once, his heart rose and dropped. On one hand, that meant he was still alive and not, err, dead. The other hand? He still had to deal with an annoying mutt. The EmperorGreymon turned his head.

    The Beowolfmon was standing beside the bed, arms folded. It appalled Tiwaz that he had the nerve to look annoyed.

    “Well, sorry for being alive,” Tiwaz said, a bit surprised at his own raspy voice.

    “Be sorrier that you almost drowned,” Fenrir retorted.

    “It’s not my fault that I ca- couldn’t take off my armor,” Tiwaz replied, his voice wavering as he caught himself.

    Fenrir raised an eyebrow at him but let it slide. He didn’t have time to deal with stubborn, incorrigible dragons. Instead, he turned to the MarineAngemon. “As soon as you’re done with his treatment, send him outside,” he told her. Without saying anything else, Fenrir turned away and headed for the exit of the room.

    With the Beowolfmon no longer in the room, Tiwaz was finally able to give his attention to the rest of the room. It was plain as far as medical care rooms went. Plain walls, two beds - including the one he was on - on opposing walls, and a large medicine cabinet against the wall that didn’t have any beds. Opposite the cabinet was the door Fenrir used to exit.

    “Great! Now that you’re awake, I can finally finish healing the rest of you and get out there with the others!” the MarineAngemon said eagerly, drawing the EmperorGreymon’s attention.

    “Er, right,” he said uncertainly. “And why couldn’t you heal me when I was asleep?” he had to ask.

    “I had to know which part wasn’t hurt and which was, duh,” the pink Digimon replied, sticking her tongue out at him. Tiwaz’s eye twitched, half in surprise and half in irritation. Looks like his nurse was only an ‘angel’ in name. “Now, does this hurt?” she suddenly asked, slapping Tiwaz’s shoulder with a fin with surprising strength.

    The dragon man couldn’t help but let out a yelp of pain, his arm cringing close to him. “Don’t do that!” he shouted, his voice a lot more growly than usual.

    “Oh, so it does hurt! Good, I wasn’t sure since it only looked a teensy bit swollen. We’ll have to do something about your throat too,” the MarineAngemon said, ignoring his pain as she went to his other side. “Now, how about this?” Once again, without warning, she whacked the side of his chest. And once again, Tiwaz let out a cry of pain.

    “I said stop it, you pink psychopath!” he yelled, sitting up. Then he winced and clutched his stomach.

    “Oh, right, there was that too,” the marine Digimon said. “And I have a name. It’s Tethys. Now be nice, or I won’t heal you,” she said, once more giving Tiwaz a raspberry.

    “Then heal me without hurting me more, dammit!”

    Tethys rolled her eyes at him. “And here I thought you were supposed to be this big, tough, macho man. Yeesh, can’t even take a small touch,” the MarineAngemon said, putting her fins on her what Tiwaz assumed were her hips.

    “And I thought you healers were supposed to be nice and considerate,” Tiwaz retorted with a glare.

    “It’s a good thing I’m only a temp then,” Tethys replied, sticking out her tongue again. “Now sit still, I’m only going to do this because your cute friend asked nicely,” she told him as she took a deep breath. The next moment, she let out her breath, creating heart shaped bubbles all over Tiwaz’s body.

    The EmperorGreymon looked at them apprehensively. “What are you doing?” he asked, leaning backwards as one of the bubbles threatened to land on the tip of his maw.

    “Don’t be a baby and sit still. It won’t hurt,” Tethys said as she folded her arms, the first of the bubbles finally landing on Tiwaz’s worn body, most of them popping near the places that the marine Digimon had previously slapped. As they did so, blue energy particles appeared and settled on Tiwaz’s wounds.

    To the fire god’s surprise, the energy was warm on his body. His aching body also began to feel less and less pain as more and more of the blue particles were absorbed by his body. He also didn’t mind the pleasant, tingling sensation that it sent all over his body.

    “Hey, this isn’t so bad,” Tiwaz said, his voice returning back to his normal deep tone.

    “So, where’s my thank you?” Tethys asked, folding her arms and giving Tiwaz a smug look. The EmperorGreymon scowled at her. He let out a grunt as he pulled his legs to the side of the bed. “I can’t heaaaaar yoooooouuuu,” the pink Digimon said, floating around him.

    “If you keep acting like this, you’re not getting it,” the dragon man muttered as he stood up. He winced a bit at the tightness in his muscles. “How long was I out again?”

    “Just a couple of days,” Tethys said as she hovered beside him.

    “Right,” Tiwaz said, nodding to himself, thankful that he hadn’t been bedridden for too long. He then became thoughtful. He didn’t even know how he got on the bed in the first place. He glanced at the pink Digimon again. “What happened to the ship?” he asked.

    “It sunk,” Tethys replied, folding her arms and looking huffy. “Momma’s going to be so mad,” she said, making Tiwaz raise an eyebrow.

    “Why would she?” the EmperorGreymon had to ask.

    “Why wouldn’t she?” Tethys replied, as if that were an answer by itself. Tiwaz regarded her answer with silence before rolling his eyes.

    “Nevermind,” he decided to say. “Were you the one who, uh, saved us?” Tiwaz had to ask. Even if his first impression of the MarinAngemon wasn’t quite…good, he would have to thank her if she was the one that got them.

    “Yes and no,” Tethys told him as she flew to the front of his face. “Long story short, me and a good portion of us found you floating on wooden boats and wooden pieces of the ship. As for how you were able to not sink while wearing such incredibly hard armor, don’t ask me. We were just the ones to bring you back to shore,” she added, sticking out her tongue. “You better be thankful that we were able to get you out of the cold water quickly. It’s not as fun when you’re not a marine or ice Digimon,” she said.

    Tiwaz had to frown. So it wasn’t her that pulled him back up from the depths of the water? He would have to find out who did that sometime.

    “Did anything happen while I was unconscious?” he asked as he walked towards the door that Fenrir left through.

    “Uh… I don’t know,” the pink Digimon replied with a bland look. “What are you asking me for?”

    “Nevermind,” Tiwaz said, rolling his eyes. “I’ll go see for myself.”

    As the dragon man stepped outside, his whole body was assaulted by cold, dry air. He started to tense up for a second before his instincts as a fire god stepped up and started to radiate heat from the inside-out. He let out a small sigh of relief; he wasn’t used to the cold, and with his abilities as a flame deity, he never would be. The second thing that hit him was that he was surrounded in white.

    “Snow… It’s been a long time since I’ve seen this stuff. Years,” he muttered to himself, sounding almost a bit… nostalgic?

    “What, it’s been that long?” Tethys asked beside him, looking surprised.

    “I may travel a lot, but that doesn’t mean I get around to everywhere in this world,” Tiwaz had to admit. He knelt down on the ground to touch the white material. “It’s just as cold as I remember,” he said, sounding slightly indignant. “And hard.”

    “Awww, but if it was soft, then this wouldn’t be so fun!” someone else said in a sing-song voice. The EmperorGreymon raised his head to see who said it. As he did so, he could barely see the wall of white that was slowly going towards him before slamming head on with his face.

    Tiwaz let out a yell of shock, leaning backwards and landing on his bum as the snow quickly melted off his heated skin, revealing his surprised but unharmed face.

    Whoever had thrown the ball was already laughing hard at Tiwaz’s uncharacteristic expression. “Oh, I got you good, Tiwaz!”

    “Damnit, Taranis!” Tiwaz yelled, standing up and flushing. “I thought I was being attacked!

    “Come on. You have to admit, that was hilarious,” Taranis said, in his Beetlemon form and wiping a tear from his eye. “Besides, it’s not like it’ll hurt or anything, Mister fire god.”

    “For a god, you sure scare easy,” Tethys said with an amused expression.

    “I was not scared,” Tiwaz retorted, folding his arms. “Besides, what’s so fun about throwing around snow anyway?”

    “Oh, don’t be so cold. It’s lots of fun! Right, Kale?” Taranis asked, turning to his side.

    Tiwaz didn’t notice the guildsman until the other Digimon mentioned him. And he really had to blink in surprise, although he kept it from showing too much on his face. “That’s Kaleth!?”

    Unlike usual, the Knightmon wasn’t wearing any armor. It was only then that Tiwaz realized that he had never seen Kaleth without them. His head and brown hair was there for all to see, along with a muscular body that had always been hidden behind his armor. In lieu of the defensive armaments, he was wearing a thick, blue jacket, a black pair of pants, a pair of dark blue gloves and some leather boots.

    “The steel gets too cold to wear here,” Kale said, flushing a bit as he rubbed his hands together for warmth. “Pavamana and a local blacksmith are putting some padding inside so that I’ll be able to wear it without getting frozen.”

    “Huh, not for me,” Tiwaz said, folding his arms. “It’s good endurance training,” he told the Knightmon.

    “Oh, chill out, Tiwaz,” Taranis said with a wink, unable to help but chuckle at his own joke. “Don’t be a wet blanket like Fenny.”

    “Speaking of the mutt, where is he?” the EmperorGreymon asked as he walked towards them.

    “He went over to that house,” Kale said, pointing to a quaint, brown building.

    “Oh,” Tethys sounded, grimacing. “He’s talking with uncle again.”

    “Uncle?” Tiwaz repeated, looking at her.

    “Uncle Demo,” the MarineAngemon said, folding her flippers. “Not really my uncle, but he’s close with parents. He’s also Ice Cape’s mayor.”

    Tiwaz blinked.

    “Ice Cape?” he asked, looking around. “Weren’t we supposed to be going to Frostholme?” The faces around him suddenly looked less happy than they were before. He grit his teeth. “What happened?”

    “Yeah, well, the thing is…”

    -​

    “…raiders have been plaguing our people for months now.”

    Fenrir nodded at the black wolf man in front of him.

    Being a BlackWereGarurumon, Mayor Demo was a species familiar to Fenrir. With black fur and white stripes all over his body, he would have stood out quite a lot in the snow. He had the generic wolf-like head of the Garurumon’s line, along with the ribbon-like hair appendages on his back. On his shoulder was a leather spiked shoulder-guard, and attached to it and crossing diagonally across his chest was a belt. Unlike the usual, his pants weren’t as torn to pieces or designed.

    “According to the guild’s note, you only had the help ad for only a few weeks. Why now?” Fenrir asked, raising an eyebrow.

    “Yes, well, until a few weeks ago, our village’s security could handle it,” the black wolf man replied, sighing and shaking his head. “They weren’t necessarily any stronger, but they got a lot smarter with their raiding. They started noticing when our patrols were out, where the town’s walls were weakest, and such. The local guild could no longer handle it, so we asked them to send a request to the main one.”

    Fenrir nodded. He remembered Taranis talking about the main guild have smaller branch guilds in other towns. He knew the existence of quite a few of them, having used them as places to gather information throughout his journey. Ice Cape had its own, although it was fairly new and thus didn’t have a lot of experienced guildsmen or money.

    “But it was too late,” Fenrir said, stating the obvious.

    The mayor nodded grimly. “It happened only a week ago that the pirates pillaged Frostholme. They razed the whole place to the ground. Only a little more than half of the town’s occupants were able to escape here, and the rest…” Demo didn’t finish, shaking his head instead. The Beowolfmon didn’t need to hear him to know what he was talking about.

    “Do you know why they attacked?”

    “Well, as raiders, they normally do so just to, well, raid.” Demo seemed to grimace. “To be honest, the only thing I can think of is that they wanted the supplies, like the food and other things, but the refugees told me that they searched through all the buildings when they could have focused all their efforts on the warehouse. As for any other reason, I’m afraid I can’t think of any.”

    Fenrir grunted. Slightly suspicious, but nothing that struck him as odd.

    “But… whatever they were looking for, they didn’t find it,” Demo said with a worried expression.

    “How do you know that?” Fenrir asked.

    “Because they’ve started attacking us with more frequency as well. They seemed much more… desperate in their attacks as well, especially three days ago before you and your companions arrived. The only reason we’ve been able to survive until now was due to our extra guards and patrols due to the attack Frostholme, but I don’t know how much longer we’ll be able to last.”

    “I see… How about how they were able to get through the defenses so efficiently? What did they have then that they didn’t have before? This could help in keeping them from succeeding in getting into the town.”

    Demo shook his head, disappointing the wolf knight. Then he looked thoughtful. “Oh, but we did notice that there were large scorch marks and craters on the ground. None of the pirates that we’ve seen ourselves had that kind of firepower,” Demo noted.

    Fenrir nodded. He didn’t get a good look at the village since they had crossed it at night. “We’ll see what we can do to help then,” he told the mayor. “Now, in exchange for our help…”

    “Of course. You and your friends will have full access to our village’s history records and library, and I will ask everyone to cooperate with you and help you with your search for your relic,” Demo told him. “It’s going to take some time to inform everyone, so please give me some time.”

    Fenrir nodded in understanding. “Take your time,” he told the BlackWereGarurumon.

    It was at that moment that the sound of knocking was heard. The lupine mayor turned his head towards the door and said, “Come in.”

    The person that came inside was a feline GrapLeomon Digimon, female by the looks of her build and stature. Along with yellow fur, a set of sharp teeth with a pair of imposing incisors, and black-tipped ears, she was leonine by nature. Peculiarly, she still had a mane, although hers was not quite as wild as the usual GrapLeomon’s and was tied by a black ribbon down her back. She had a black suit on her body that left her arms bare. On her hands were a pair of black gloves with white-plated backs. Spiral metallic armor decorated her calves and forearms, looking a lot like a drill. Between her calves and her ankles, her leg became completely metallic, showing mechanized feet. She also had a white breastplate, shoulder guards, pelvic guard and leg plates. Lastly, she had peculiar looking visor on top of her eyes, bright blue eyes underneath it.

    “Ah, Aurora,” the mayor welcomed with a small smile. “What brings you here?”

    “Brother sent me,” she replied, glancing at Fenrir. She tinted slightly when he nodded at her, and she quickly glanced away. “He told me to tell you that he’s given all the refugees provisions to last for the week,” she said rather quickly.

    “Good. I can always count on him to pull through when I need him,” Demo said as his smile widened. The mayor turned back to Fenrir. “I’m sure you must be hungry. Why don’t you try our food at the local bar?” I’m sure it would be much more appetizing than bonfire-cooked food.”

    Fenrir let out a grunt. So the mayor knew that he and his companions had eaten with the refugees the past two days. It wasn’t like they had much of a choice when it came to food; a good portion of their supplies went down with the ship.

    “Aurora, can you please escort Fenrir to your brother’s establishment? His friends as well,” the mayor continued, looking at the feline, who nodded slightly. “Tell him that it’s on my tab.”

    “Uh… are you sure?” Aurora asked with a raised eyebrow, a smile on her face. “Brother said that you haven’t paid your tab from last month yet.”

    The BlackWereGarurumon flushed and smiled sheepishly. “Come now! I always pay up eventually.”

    “Luckily for you, or brother would beat you up, mayor or not,” she replied with a Cheshire grin, which looked rather fitting on her feline face.

    The mayor regarded her with silence and a bit of surprise before shaking his head and chuckling a bit. “No, he’s much too nice to do that to me of all people… right?” he asked, starting to look the littlest bit nervous.

    Aurora only smiled mysteriously and winked at him before gesturing for Fenrir to follow her. Without a word, she left the room and left the mayor to fret over her convincing bluff.

    Fenrir raised an eyebrow at Demo. The black lupine was definitely a peculiar one. For an authority figure, he didn’t really act like one. He wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing either. Well, it wasn’t any of his business, so with a nod of farewell, he went out of the room where Aurora was waiting for him.

    “Is the bar far from here?” Fenrir asked as he walked towards her.

    “Uh, not that far,” she replied, rubbing the back of her neck. She turned to the door and was about to open it. Before she could even put a hand on the knob, however, the door slammed open. With a yelp of surprise, the GrapLeomon jumped backwards. She would have fallen over were it not for Fenrir reaching out to catch her from behind.

    Filling up the door’s frame was Tiwaz’s imposing figure. It was clear by the look in his eyes that he was angry about something, and since he conveniently seemed to have appeared right before Fenrir, he decided it was either his fault, or he wanted to do something that would eventually give the Beowolfmon a migraine. Fenrir let go of Aurora and stepped up towards him, giving him a questioning look.

    “We’re leaving! Now,” Tiwaz ordered. Aurora immediately hid behind the closest object that was big enough to hide her from Tiwaz’s gaze: Fenrir.

    “And where do you plan on taking us?” the white knight asked, unaffected by Tiwaz’s brusque speech and manner. Aurora balked at the back of Fenrir’s head, wondering if he had a death wish.

    “To track those pirates down and give them the what-for,” Tiwaz said, glowering and narrowing his eyes. “Don’t tell me you didn’t know about what they did to us, the crew and that town!”

    “I did,” Fenrir replied, unperturbed. “First of all, how do you plan on finding them?”

    “We search the sea, of course,” Tiwaz replied, frowning.

    “Do you have a boat?” the Beowolfmon asked, folding his arms. Aurora wondered how in Odin’s name was Fenrir able to keep such a calm disposition in front of Tiwaz.

    The dragon man stopped, however, and his face turned confused for a moment before realization set in. “Er…well, no, but-“

    “So you plan on swimming?” Fenrir asked incredulously with a raised eyebrow. With a grimace, Tiwaz realized that Fenrir was using his mocking tone.

    “That’s not what I-“ Tiwaz started.

    “Then what did you mean?” Fenrir cut him off, sounding more serious.

    “Well…”

    “You’re not thinking straight. You just woke up,” Fenrir then told him. “Before setting off to go on another goose chase, actually make sure you have the capability and materials to do it. In this case: a working ship.”

    The EmperorGreymon scowled at him, getting annoyed. “Don’t talk down to me, you sanctimonious wolf! It’s not my fault that-“

    “Whatever, Tiwaz,” Fenrir said, cutting him off once more. “I’m going to go eat. I suggest you do the same after you regain your composure and common sense.” With that, the wolf man walked past the dragon and out into the cold, Aurora following after him quickly.

    Waiting outside were Taranis, Kaleth and Tethys. They had clearly heard Fenrir and Tiwaz’s conversation and had opted to stay quiet for it. Fenrir nodded at them, briefly telling them about being able to eat at the bar before moving on. Aurora, waving at Tethys, quickly walked ahead of Fenrir so that she could lead him back to her brother’s bar.

    “Geeze, just as serious as ever,” Taranis said as Tiwaz walked back to them grumbling.

    “Damn mutt,” the EmperorGreymon said, frowning in the departing Fenrir’s direction.

    “That guy needs to chillax more,” Tethys noted, waving at Aurora.

    “Hmmm,” Taranis hummed with a mischievous expression. “I think that Fenrir needs a ‘chill pill’, Tiwaz. Don’t you?” he asked with a suggestive wink. Tiwaz took a moment to understand the underlying meaning before a grin was painted on his face.

    The next moment found Fenrir stopping as cold snow struck the back of his head, cool water trickling down his helmet and into the crevice between the head guard and his armor. He stayed still, prompting the feline Digimon in front of him to stop and turn to him as she stopped hearing his footsteps in the snow.

    Aurora let out an eep, obviously seeing the expression that the four behind the wolfman could not.

    “I’m… suddenly getting a bad feeling about this,” Kaleth said, stepping back a bit.

    “Oh, what’s the worst that could happen?” Taranis said, despite his own misgivings about their spontaneous act. “We’ll get barked at?”

    As if answering his question, Fenrir turned around to them with a calm expression, leaning down to roll a sphere of snow in his palms.

    Tiwaz raised an eyebrow and folded his arms. “Revenge, mutt?” he said, smirking. “I don’t think you have the moxie,” he taunted with a challenging glare.

    Without even saying a word, the wolf man threw the snowball right at them…and over their heads.

    “Hah! You call that a throw!?” Tiwaz said with a laugh. “I thought you had better aim than tha- gwagh!”

    Before he could even finish his sentence, he and the three others were suddenly buried under a large pile of snow that had fallen off the roof of the house due to Fenrir’s snowball hitting the side hard enough.

    Taranis was the first to dig himself out, sputtering snow out of his mouth. “I thought that only happened in comics!”

    The next one to burst out was the pink fairy Digimon, who simply pushed herself out of the snow pile and shook the pieces of frozen water off her body. “Okay, that was not funny at all!” she yelled.

    In between the two, Tiwaz himself was emerging from the snow, which was rapidly melting around him. His eye was twitching behind his helmet. The heat he was radiating was causing the air around him to blur slightly, as well as melt the snow that was covering a buried Kaleth.

    Across them, Fenrir simply folded his arms. “If you don’t like the way the games played, then don’t play,” Fenrir told him.

    “You want to play? Then let’s play,” Tiwaz growled, reaching down to gather snow in his hands. The snow began to melt in his hands, but he was still able to form a ball with it.

    Fenrir narrowed his eyes. He didn’t have time for this…but he doubted that Tiwaz was going to stop with a simple reply. It looked like he was going to do this the hard way.

    -​

    “Here you go.”

    “Thanks,” Tiwaz said in a grunt as he took the soup that was offered to him.

    “You must really like my soup, huh?” the familiar bear-like Digimon told the dragon man. “Twice in one week, one for every time we’ve seen each other.”

    “It’s the mutt’s fa-“

    “Ah ah!” the Korikakumon interrupted. “No fighting in my bar, or I’m personally going to kick your *** out,” he told him, folding his arms. “That goes for the rest of ya,” he said to the others that had joined in on the impromptu snowball fight.

    Kaleth shivered, making sure to stay close to the fireplace of the bar. He was soaked all over, and his companions didn’t look like they fared any better. On each of his side were Taranis and Tethys, the latter of two looking at the muscular bear.

    “You wouldn’t do that to your best friend, would you Boreas?” the MarineAngemon said with a deceptively innocent voice.

    “That sounds weird coming from you, Teth,” the named chef from the ship said, giving her a deadpan look. “You only use my whole name when you want something from me, too.”

    “Hey, it didn’t hurt to try,” she replied with a mock disappointed look. “Right, Aura?”

    Aurora, who was giving the last person of their group something warm to drink, glanced at her with an apologetic look. “It’s not really that convincing coming from you, though.”

    “Thank you,” Fenrir said to her, taking the mug and sipping it. He was able to avoid most of the snowballs thrown his way, but was still hit with more than he would have liked. He had opted to sit on the bar beside Odie, who had went out to see the commotion caused by the snowball fight. “It’s good.”

    The feline femme blushed slightly and muttered a ‘you’re welcome’ in reply. She was quick to follow her brother back to the bar counter. Without a word, she quickly started to clean glasses, her back towards the others to hide her face.

    Boreas had to chuckle at his sister as he turned to one of the few people who was sitting at the bar. “So, you all are planning to go visit what’s left of Frostholme?” he asked as he started to pour drinks into a shaker.

    Odie nodded as he raised his mug of hot chocolate and raised his cloth mask ever so slightly. The Shurimon sipped his drink and let out a sound of pleasure. “This is really good,” he said with a happy expression. “I’ve never tasted anything like this back home,” he told the one who served him.

    “That’s a shame! It’s one of my favorite treats as a kid,” the bartender said with a chuckle. “Just ask my sister,” he said, glancing at the GrapLeomon behind the bar with him.

    “You used to drink it all without me, brother,” Aurora spouted with a small frown. “Only a big bear-like brute of a brother would do that,” she told him, sticking out her tongue at him mischievously.

    “Still, I’m a bit surprised that you, um,” Odie started, unsure whether he should finish his statement.

    “That I own a bar?” the bartender asked with a large grin. “Yeah, I get that a lot. I can cook really well, so everyone thinks I own a restaurant or something. It’s a nice thought, but I don’t have the cash for one, let alone the huge staff,” he told the young ninja. “And besides, who would go all the way to an island frequently raided by pirates just to eat food?”

    “Hey, not all pirates’re bad,” someone’s voice called out as the door of the bar swung open. “They’re just a misunderstood bunch!”

    “Captain Isky, there you are!” Boreas said with a bellow of a laugh. He watched as the Shawjamon came in with a number of his crew, the large PileVolcamon that was Pavamana mixed among them. “I was wondering where you were.”

    “Was doing me crew under the sea a vigil, kiddo,” Iskandar told him, sitting beside Odysseus.

    “We had to convince him to come in,” Shimon, who had also survived the crash, mentioned, sitting beside his ship captain as Pavamana sat on the other side of Fenrir. As if on cue, the bar began to liven up with the sounds of Iskandar’s ship crew – or what was left of it – clamoring for food and drinks.

    Deciding that he’s had enough drying, Tiwaz stood up from the bench and walked towards the bar counter, The dragon man looked around at the crowd with a frown. He couldn’t help but notice that there nearly wasn’t as many Digimon as there should have been. He could remember more than twice the amount of people jeering and laughing back in the ship’s mess hall. And the sight of the crewmen and women all acting like nothing happened to the rest of them made his stomach sour.

    “It’s like they don’t even care,” he muttered to himself.

    “Eh?”

    Tiwaz blinked and looked to the side. He was looking at Iskandar, who seemed to have heard him speak.

    “Are ye insulting me crew, mate?” the Shawjamon said with a scowl. “If ye are, then yer insulting me.”

    “Hey, I don’t want to start a fight,” Tiwaz said, grunting and folding his arms. “I’m just saying that you’re all a pretty happy bunch for a crew that lost more than half its people to a fallen ship,” he said, looking around. It seemed that everyone else, apart from the ones sitting on the bar and the bear behind it, were joyfully ignoring their conversation.

    “Well, we did sort of mourn already,” Shimon said as he took the mug offered to him.

    “Yeah, but this fast? It takes more than just a few days, unless there’s something very wrong with you,” Tiwaz grunted.

    “Ya think we weren’t prepared to lose our lives, mate?” Iskie asked, raised an eyebrow.

    “Well, you did mention something about getting everyone back to land,” the dragon man replied, hands on his hips and looking at the frog man intently.

    “Wrong,” Fenrir cut in, drinking from his cup.

    “Excuse me?” Tiwaz then said, turning to glare at the wolf man.

    “He said he’d get us back on land,” the Beowolfmon said, as if that made all the difference.

    “That’s what I said, didn’t I?” Tiwaz asked. The ninja between them, however, seemed to have caught on to what Fenrir was trying to say before Tiwaz did.

    “Oh…”

    Tiwaz turned to the ninja curiously. He instantly decided that he didn’t like the look of sad realization in the Shurimon’s eyes. “What do you mean ‘oh’?” he asked with a raised eyebrow.

    “He was talking to us,” Pavamana said for Odie, patting the Shurimon’s back. “No one else.”

    “So he cares that we get back, but didn’t care if his crew didn’t?” Tiwaz questioned with a judgmental look towards Iskandar’s way. The Shawjamon narrowed his eyes back at the dragon man.

    “I’m not likin’ the way yer talkin’ ‘bout me, landlubber,” the captain said, turning his whole body towards the EmperorGreymon. “If you’ve got somethin’ to tell me, then tell it to me face.”

    “I’m saying that-“ Tiwaz started, but got interrupted once again by a certain wolf.

    “Don’t be naïve, Tiwaz,” he said loud enough to make the dragon stop mid-sentence.

    “And what does that mean?” the draconic being asked, turning his glare towards the white knight.

    “They had a job. They did the job. What happens to them isn’t a large factor as long as the job is done,” Fenrir said emotionlessly. “The sea isn’t safe. Not everyone who sets out is guaranteed to get back on land.”

    “I’m not surprised to hear that from you,” Tiwaz spoke, still staring at the Beowolfmon.

    “It’s already a miracle that no one in your group added to the scattered data spread out in the digital oceans,” Shimon spouted from his spot beside Iskandar. “Besides, it wouldn’t be the first time we’ve lost a few good men and women.”

    That’s a few?” Tiwaz asked, folding his arms.

    “Compared to what I’ve gone through, land lizard, you don’t know what ‘many’ means,” Iskandar told him, grunting. “I still know the names of each and every one of me dead crew, so don’t you go a thinkin’ that their deaths mean nothin’ to me.”

    “Then why the hell are the rest of you celebrating?” Tiwaz said out loud, more confused than angry at this point. He scrutinized the face of the ship captain, but to his surprise, he found no guilt or shame in his face.

    “We’re not goin’ to sit around mournin’. That’s what the vigil’s for. Everyone else? They’ve got families to feed. I’ve got a job to do. Me late crew would’a been ashamed of their captain if they saw ‘im sittin’ around bein’ a useless barnacle!”

    “And instead of being sad that they’re no longer around, we give thanks that we’re still alive to continue our job in their stead,” Shimon added with a smile on his stony face.

    Tiwaz grunted, not exactly pleased with the reply but standing down nonetheless. “I guess that’s one way to do things,” he thought out loud.

    “Good that you finally saw things our way, land lizard, or I’d have kicked your arse off this island and into the next!” Iskandar said, his manner and speech turning wry rather than insulted.

    “I’d like to see you try, frog,” Tiwaz replied with a competitive smirk.

    “Just try, either of you, and I’ll be kicking both of you out of the bar before either of you get to eat anything,” Boreas interrupted, leaning forward on the counter and giving both of them an innocent look that belied the threat that he wouldn’t hesitate to go through with.

    “Er, right,” Tiwaz said, deciding that maybe he had enough arguments for the day. “Anyway, what was that about not all pirates being bad?” he asked, deciding to sit beside Fenrir since there weren’t any other nearby chairs.

    “Well, just look’it me!” the Shawjamon said, guffawing. “Do I look bad to ye?”

    Instantly, Tiwaz stiffened. “You what!?” he shouted in surprise, suddenly on his guard. He didn’t have his sword, but he did have his flame abilities. He stood up and was about to show Iskandar what he could do with them, but before he could, Fenrir quickly grabbed his forearm and pressed it down on the counter.

    “Stand down, Tiwaz!” Fenrir ordered.

    “But he’s-“

    “A former pirate,” Boreas defended, cutting off the dragon man’s words. “My and Aura’s dad was too.”

    “But you’re getting attacked by them right now!” Tiwaz growled, jerking his hand away from Fenrir’s grip. He didn’t make any motion to attack the Shawjamon captain, but he did send a glare his way. The ex-pirate returned it by sticking out his tongue.

    “No, we’re not. Uncle Isky’s a former pirate. Now, he’s the captain of the ship that travels around the Digital Seas. Or he was, anyway,” the bartender told him. “Besides, they weren’t the kind to attack other ships.”

    “Aye. Me captain never ordered us pillaged an innocent envoy; we only boarded those that attacked us first. An eye for an eye, and whatnot,” the Shawjamon said, waving a hand in the air. “No, what we did was far more exciting! The romance of a man of the sea: beautiful women, hordes of treasure, grand adventures!

    The EmperorGreymon grunted and stood back down. “Well…as long as you’re sure you didn’t hurt anyone that didn’t deserve it,” he muttered out. The constant irritation and anger he was experiencing throughout the day was beginning to have its toll on him, and it was making him really hungry, which only added to his already short temper. He wasn’t going to pass up a chance for a real, warm meal. “Just get me something to eat. That’s what we’re here to do, anyway.”

    “As well as decide our plan of action,” Fenrir said, glancing at everyone around. Taranis, Kaleth and Tethys seemed to have walked over as well at Tiwaz’s outburst, and more than one face seemed to be disappointed that they didn’t get to find out what it was about.

    “And who made you leader?” Tiwaz muttered.

    “You don’t like him ‘barking’ out orders?” Taranis quietly said with a grin to the dragon man next to him. If Fenrir heard them, he didn’t give them any indication of it.

    “Rightio, then. Me and me first mate’ll leave you landlubbers to your work, then,” Iskandar said, turning to Boreas. “My usual, Boris!”

    The Korikakumon nodded with a grin as Fenrir turned to his fellow travelers.

    “There are four things we need to do. First is gather information on our target. We have the mayor’s cooperation in giving us access to their history records,” the white knight said before turning to Taranis. “I want you to start going through them.”

    “Me?” The Beetlemon blinked, pointing at himself. “Why me?”

    “Because of your memory. You’ll be able to notice something that sounds off in their records, as well as remember important parts. Or am I wrong?” Fenrir asked, with a raised eyebrow.

    “Uh, no! Count on me, wolfie!” Taranis said with a large smile. For a moment, Fenrir looked like he was going to tell him something else, but he shook his head and decided against it.

    “I will also need one of your maps of this island, if you have any,” he told the insect Digimon.

    “Sure. I have one in my bag somewhere. We’re lucky it didn’t go down with the ship,” Taranis mentioned, nodding to himself.

    “Then the next task is for myself, Odysseus and Cogwej,” Fenrir said, nodding to himself.

    “Speaking of him, where is he?” Pavamana asked, looking at Odysseus. “It was your turn to watch him, yes?”

    The Shurimon nodded and rubbed the back of his neck. “Well, he was c-c-complaining of being hungry the whole time, so I brought him here, and…”

    “And?” Pavamana continued.

    “And he’s practically eating half of what I brought back for the bar,” the bear bartender answered for him, pointing at a table full of stacked plates. It was a familiar sight to Taranis, who had to watch Cogwej back in the previous port town. They couldn’t see the Wisemon or his brown cloak behind it, but they knew that only he could eat that much food and keep asking for more. “You guys are lucky that uncle Demo’s footing the bill. All that food is going to cost a pretty penny.”

    “Right. I hope this mayor of yours is loaded,” Tiwaz muttered. “Anyway, what’s your plan, mutt?” he asked, turning back to the Beowolfmon.

    “It coincides with two of our tasks: investigate the razing of Frostholme, and searching for signs of the relic. Cogwej’s artifacts and knowledge can help guide our way, and Odysseus can help me spot irregularities in the local area. We’ll only need the two of us to effectively search the grounds,” Fenrir informed their group.

    “What if I want to be part of that group?” Tiwaz interrupted with a frown. “There’s no way in hell I’m going to stay here and do something as boring as look through books. No offense, Taranis,” he said with a frown.

    “You, as well as Pavamana and Kaleth, will be too busy with the fourth task,” Fenrir said without a missing a beat. “That is, the fortifying Ice Cape and getting ready for the attack from the raiders. Whatever they’re planning,”

    Tiwaz raised an eyebrow, a small grin in his face. For once, he didn’t mind what the wolf man was planning. “In that case, leave it to me. I’ll be sure to keep those bastards out, I’ll tell you that much. Luckily for you lot, I have military experience.”

    “You can count on us, mister Fenrir sir!” Kaleth said with a grin. “Well, maybe after Pavamana finishes altering my armor.”

    “It’ll be done before tomorrow morning. I’ll also alternate my duties between upgrading the other equipment and help with the patrolling,” the PileVolcamon said with a nod.

    “In that case, I’ll recruit you three into the town guard,” Boreas interrupted, going over to them as he finished dealing with another patron.

    Tiwaz raised an eyebrow at him. “What guard?”

    “My brother’s the head of the town’s anti-raid corp,” Aurora mentioned as she passed them by to pass out mugs of rum and beer.

    “Oh? So those muscles aren’t just for show?” Tiwaz asked with a grin.

    “Someone’s gotta keep those sea-demons in line,” Boreas said, folding his arms. “And who better than the son of the last head guard?”

    “Ah, Kroma,” Iskandar said from his side of the bar counter, raising his beer mug. “A g’d fighter, that’un! The best we ‘ad ‘til you an’ yer momma took ‘im from us!” he said, his face redder than usual.

    “Now, now, captain, that was then, this is now,” Shimon said, rubbing the Shawjamon’s back. It was obvious that the Gotsumon was far from intoxicated, which was probably because of his hard-to-handle captain.

    “I rememb’r it like it was yest’rday!” the ship captain continued, getting onto his unsteady feet. “Me, an’ Kro, an’ Dee, an’ Skully, leadin’ the cardinal brigades, takin’ commands from…from…”

    “From?” Kaleth asked, curious about the Shawjamon’s past.

    The captain! That’s who!” Iskandar replied, followed with wild, rambunctious laughter.

    “Uhh…” Kaleth muttered, looking confused. “But aren’t you the captain?”

    “I don’t think you’ll get a real answer, Kale,” Taranis said, patting the Knightmon’s shoulder and chuckling.

    “Anyway, I’ll just get you guys in the morning,” Boreas said, chuckling at the seaman’s antics.

    “My group will be taking off early in the morning. I’ll bring everyone to Frostholme with the use of Cog’s book,” Fenrir said. “Make sure you keep them safe, lizard,” the Beowolfmon said, glancing at the dragon man.

    “Who do you think you’re talking to, mutt? Of course, I will!”
     
  9. “Who’s big idea was it waking me up this early again?” Tiwaz groaned out, rubbing the side of his head.

    The dragon man was walking alongside Boreas, who didn’t have to work that early in the morning. Before nightfall, the bar functioned as a small diner, and although the Korikakumon usually did the cooking, his duties as one of the town guards and the heightened frequency of attacks kept him busy.

    “Hey, you were the one who wanted to try and outdrink a seaman, and a former pirate at that!” Boreas said with a chuckle, nudging the EmperorGreymon on the shoulder.

    “How could I have known that scrawny guy could drink so much?” the dragon man said, folding his arms.

    “Well, you should have. It’s practically a requirement,” Boreas replied, chuckling.

    “Yeah, well, he might be able to hold his liquor better than I do, but I bet that his hangover’s worse than mine,” Tiwaz said with a smug grin,

    “Probably,” the bear man replied thoughtfully. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t, though. Besides, we haven’t seen him passed out on the street yet, have we?”

    “Why would he be on the street?” Tiwaz asked, turning to the Korikakumon in slight surprise.

    “I was going to invite him for the morning patrol, if he was up for it. He wasn’t in his room, though,” Boreas replied with a slight shake of his head. “The only one there was Shimon, and he was out like a light.”

    “Well, you’ve still got me.” Tiwaz declared. “That’s better than nothing, eh?”

    “Ha, well, if you could beat his time of climbing up and down the watch towers, making sure of all the ropes and pillars are stable, then by all means, do it,” the bartender-slash-guard told him, looking to the side.

    Tiwaz did so as well to look at the large wooden wall made of large, felled tree trunks tied by numerous strong ropes. He could see all the places where the wall had been attacked, although they didn’t look bad enough to warrant a repair. It formed a good portion of the town’s defensive perimeter, and it had only one land entrance, which was always secured by at least three trusted guards. The wall was a little over two times Tiwaz’s height, and it was pretty thick from one end to the other.

    There were also the large wooden towers that Boreas mentioned. They had saved the town countless times, according to the Korikakumon. They had always been able to prepare for an attack before it reached them, and when under attack, a few minutes of preparation was the difference between survival and death. It was also a useful vantage point to strike from above.

    Tiwaz then looked to the far end of the wall, and he was able to see it extend a few meters into the sea. He knew that the wooden barrier didn’t meet the other end of the wall; it was left open for the multitudes of boats that entered and exited the town’s port. He worried about a possible sea attack, but Boreas had assured him that they’d see the ship before it could hit the docks, and they usually had marine guards under the water to keep away underwater intruders.

    “It must have taken a lot of work to make the whole thing,” Tiwaz noted.

    “Sort of,” Boreas replied.

    “Sort of?” Tiwaz repeated with a raised eyebrow.

    “Sort of,” the bear man said simply, gaining a slightly annoyed glare from the dragon man.

    “An explanation would be nice,” the EmperorGreymon said, continuing their patrol walk.

    Boreas chuckled and followed him. “I can at least tell you it wasn’t easy, but we did have a lot of help,” he told his temporary guard mate.

    “From the other town?” Tiwaz asked, thinking of Frostholme. “A wall this big? Even with two towns’ worth of workers, it must have taken months.”

    “A little over half a month, actually,” the bear man said, gaining an incredulous look from the red knight.

    “Do you guys have a super strong Digimon hidden somewhere or something?” Tiwaz asked, blinking his surprise away. He even started to look around in search of this hidden titan. His actions caused Boreas to let out a loud laugh.

    “He’s not so much as strong as he’s rich,” the white bear clarified, chuckling. “You remember Tethys from yesterday? You came into the bar with her.”

    “Yeah, what about the pink nightmare?” Tiwaz asked, his brows furrowed under his helmet.

    “Her family is actually the wealthiest in our town, and probably the whole island. She’s supposed to be a lady.” Boreas told him.

    “Emphasis on ‘supposed to be’,” the EmperorGreymon muttered loud enough for his new friend to hear.

    “Agreed!” he declared with a short laugh. “Anyway, he is sort of the like the ambassador of the two towns, and he meets up with all kinds of people, both in the Digital Sea and the main land.”

    “Hmm… is it just them two?” Tiwaz wondered.

    “Er… meaning?” Boreas asked, rubbing the back of his head.

    “Is it only the two of them in their family, I mean,” Tiwaz clarified.

    “Oh. Nah, her mom’s the head of the company that ships goods in and out of the town. Iskandar and his crew actually work for her, but she’s pretty lenient on him. She has a soft spot for the guy, just like the rest of the town,” Boreas explained with a small smile.

    “I heard pirates were supposed to be charming, but…” Tiwaz muttered with a small frown.

    “He told you, didn’t he? He wasn’t really a bad one back then, and neither was my dad,” the Korikakumon defended. “His old crew visited our town a lot, and they always shared some of the buried or sunken treasure they found with the towns. Though, between you and me? Us kids were more interested in the adventure stories than some old trinket,” Boreas said, winking and chuckling.

    “Yeah, fine,” Tiwaz relented, rolling his eyes. “But I just can’t believe that he quit being one because he had a change of heart.”

    “If you’re asking me why, then you’re asking the wrong man,” Boreas told him. “No one but he knows, actually, since it involves the disappearance of his captain. The only other person that would know is the first mate, Diaz.”

    “No one asked?” Tiwaz asked him, stopping as they reached the sea shore.

    “I did. A lot of us did. But uncle Isky would never give us a straight answer, so we stopped asking,” the white Digimon replied with a disappointed shrug.

    “Sounds suspicious to me,” the dragon man said, folding his arms as Boreas motioned for them to turn back.

    “Or he doesn’t want to talk about it,” the bear man said empathetically. “Everyone’s got something they don’t want to share, after all.”

    Tiwaz grimaced slightly, finding himself understanding the sentiment.

    “Besides, it’s not like there’s anything we can do about it. If he won’t talk, then we can’t make him,” Boreas concluded.

    “What about the other guy? Uh…Dees?” Tiwaz asked, trying to recall the name from the drunken haze of last night.

    “Diaz, but you were close to his nickname. We used to call him Dee,” Boreas replied, then he paused for a moment.” And…we don’t know,” Boreas finished. A glance towards the dragon knight told him that the EmperorGreymon was unsatisfied with his answer. The Korikakumon sighed.

    “He just said he was going for a walk one day, and he didn’t come back. We looked for him for weeks, but we eventually gave up. We had work to do, families to feed. We couldn’t afford to keep using precious time looking for him,” Boreas explained.

    “What if he’s still alive?” Tiwaz asked, frowning at the idea of leaving someone behind or alone, even if it was a pirate.

    “Then he obviously doesn’t want to be found, or he’d have come back by now,” Boreas replied, shrugging. “We can only hope that he’s alive and happy…wherever he is.”

    Tiwaz grunted and folded his arms, saying, “Well, I still don’t like it.”

    “Boris!”

    “What?” Tiwaz then said, blinking in surprise as he looked at the white Digimon. He knew they differed in opinion, but he didn’t expect to be yelled at with an unfamiliar word.

    “That wasn’t me,” Boreas told him. “It came from behind us,” he added, turning around.

    Tiwaz followed suit and saw a figure coming out of the sea. He was a tall imposing figure with sharp, scaled blue armor on his body. The armor had plated shoulder pads, a breastplate and four plates hanging on the front, back and both sides. On his forearms were also blue, scaly shields attacked to purple gloves that attached directly to the breastplate. On the front plate hung a red cloth that hung down his sides before going around to attached to the back plate. From the waist below, the figure was all fish, with scales similar to the armor he was wearing. He had three pairs of fins on his fish tail, and behind each one were a pair of black belts. His head wore a blue helmet shaped like a fish with its front fins fanning out at the sides, revealing his jaw where the fish’s mouth opened. Looking through the fish helmet’s eyes were the man’s silver eyes. Strapped to his back was a long silver spear with three separate, pointed shark shaped spearheads complete with sharp teeth.

    “Mister Amatheia!” Boreas called out, raising a muscular arm to wave his hand at the incoming Digimon.

    “I’ve told you hundreds of times, Boris,” the merman said with a small frown. “Call me Duke.”

    “And I’ve replied thousands of times, my mom taught me better than that,” Boreas replied chuckling and offering out his hand to shake the man’s hand firmly. “Anyway, you’re up and out early in the morning. Did something happen?” he asked, his lighthearted expression turning serious.

    “You could say that. To my chagrin, my daughter has yet again escaped from her morning lessons,” the trident wielding Digimon said with a scowl.

    Almost immediately, Boreas’ serious expression turned into surprise, and then amused disbelief, chuckling. “That makes it…the thirty third time this year! She really wants to beat last year’s record, huh?” he said, his hands on his hips. Apparently, Duke didn’t find it as amusing as he did as his scowl only deepened.

    “This is no laughing matter, Boris. She’s very behind in her lessons,” Duke said, folding his arms.

    “Er, right, well, I’m sure she’ll turn up at the bar when she gets hungry. I’ll make sure to bring her home, so don’t you worry,” the bear man replied.

    The blue armored Digimon sighed in resignation. “Very well, but I will continue searching nonetheless. Perhaps she’s mingling with Iskandar’s crew,” he said with a small frown. “On another note, who is this fellow?” he asked, looking at Boreas’ companion.

    “He’s-“

    “Tiwaz Koenig, knight errant and currently a hired bodyguard,” the EmperorGreymon introduced himself, offering his hand.

    “Duke Durys Amatheia, ambassador of the Snowcapped Isle, the other Digimon replied, shaking his hand. “You must be one of the adventurers my daughter spoke of last night.”

    “Yeah,” Tiwaz said, trying to think of any female he might have met the day before. He met quite a few in the bar last night, so he couldn’t really connect any one to the merman. “Good luck with your daughter,” Tiwaz then said with a small grin.

    “I will need it, thank you,” Duke replied with a grimace. “In any case, if you have any questions pertaining to your quest, or perhaps on other things, don’t hesitate to ask me.”

    “Right…” Tiwaz said sheepishly, rubbing the back of his neck. “So, you’re a Neptunemon, are you? I can’t say it’s very often that I see one of you in my travels…”

    “Well, I am a species that is actually quite rare among Mega level aquatic Digimon,” he explained proudly, raising himself more on his fin tail and putting his hand on his hips. “Most foreign digimon don’t recognize my species.”

    “From what I remember, you Neptunemon are pretty strong,” Tiwaz said with a toothy grin. “If you have sometime, then maybe a friendly spar is in order.”

    The Neptunemon let out the smallest bit of a smirk. “If you truly wish to do so, then it would be rude to refuse you. However, that is for another time, for I still have my daughter to locate,” he said, his smirk returning to a frown.

    “Right. Good luck again,” Tiwaz said, nodding and folding his arms.

    “Tiwaz. Boris,” Duke spoke, giving each one a farewell nod before turning back to the ocean.

    “Bye, Mister Amatheia. If you find her, tell Tethys I said hi!" the bear man called out, waving goodbye as the merman submerged. Tiwaz turned to him in shock as he finished speaking his sentence.

    “That she demon is his daughter!?” Tiwaz asked in shock.

    “Uh, yeah. I did tell you that her dad’s the ambassador,” Boreas replied with a raised eyebrow and an amused smile.

    Tiwaz grimaced. “I have to hand it to him for not going crazy with a kid like her,” he admitted as he and the bear man continued their patrol.

    “I had to be her only playmate when we were kids, but I turned out fine, didn’t I?” the Korikakumon asked, folding his arms.

    “Then I just have to wait for the ball to drop,” Tiwaz replied with an unconvinced expression. “If she’s really that much trouble, though, I’m surprised they haven’t tried confining her to their house.”

    “Oh, they tried, but she loves her freedom way too much, not to mention how many times she’s wished to go on an adventure. She just can’t be contained,” the bear replied with a sigh.

    “I feel sorry for whoever has to go on any journey with her. She’s just as bad as Cogwej,” Tiwaz said, reminded of the time he had to spend with her back in the bar last night. The MarineAngemon just fluttered around like a social butterfly, getting into small fights – and actually winning - here, laughing and gossiping there.

    “She’s not that bad,” Boreas said, frowning a bit. “Tethys can be a handful, but she has her moments every once in a while.”

    “Once in a while?” Tiwaz repeated skeptically.

    “Once in a while.”

    -​
    “Did you find out what made it yet?” Fenrir asked as he walked away from a pile of rubble that used to be a house.

    “As I’ve said before, Fentease, it is mainly the result of a strong concentration of conflagration on the ground. As is the one before it, and the one before that, and the one before that!” Cogwej replied huffily, pulling himself up from the ground he was lying on and dusting his cloak off. “Can we start our search for my artifact now?”

    “Not until we find out what caused this much destruction,” the Beowolfmon replied, gesturing to the destroyed town of Frostholme around them.

    The whole town looked as if it had experienced a severe natural calamity. Not a single building was left standing, and pieces of debris were blown around everywhere. Dotting the area of the whole town were large craters, black and scorched ground surrounding each one. The worst parts were the red stains in almost every nook and cranny and the lingering scent of dispersed data and spilled blood, especially to someone whose sense of smell was as good as Fenrir’s.

    “Probably a war machine,” Cogwej said offhandedly. “Very few Digimon have enough firepower to create destruction on this scale.”

    Fenrir had to glare at the Wisemon for a moment. While he realized that the scientist would never purposely put someone’s life in danger, his great disregard for the lost lives disturbed even him, who Tiwaz and many others claimed to be the coldest and most apathetic person they’ve met.

    “Odysseus already discounted that possibility,” Fenrir said, folding his arms and continuing their conversation.

    The young ninja himself was searching the outskirts of the town for trees of machine tracks or shrapnel that could have contributed the large holes in and around the ruin. So far, he had seen none of the sort, so he surmised that if the raiders had any machine at all, it was airborne. And if it were, the only question was why they hadn’t used it on Ice Cape yet.

    “Ah ah ah, Flearas, ‘nothing’ is impossible!” the cloaked Digimon said with so much certainty that Fenrir had to wonder if he had already done the impossible. He couldn’t put it past the man’s capability.

    Maybe there really is a method to his madness,’ Fenrir thought, scrutinizing the other Digimon.

    “Why, if people tried hard enough, they could become legends, maybe even gods themselves!”

    …or maybe he’s just plain insane,’ Fenrir decided, slapping his forehead. No one could just become a god.

    “Stop with your senseless chatter, Cogwej, and make yourself useful,” Fenrir said, turning back to him with a frown, folding his arms.

    Cogwej threw his hands in the air in exasperation as he turned back to the ground. “My genius is wasted on you!” he said as he knelt and collected samples of the burnt ground, putting them in a glass jar.

    “Fenrir!” Odie’s voice called out.

    “Odysseus,” Fenrir replied, turning towards the voice. He saw the Shurimon walking towards him, and he saw worry in the young ninja’s eyes. “What’s wrong? Did you find something?” he asked, frowning.

    “Well, no, s-something found me,” the young Digimon replied, twiddling his fingers nervously.

    Fenrir instantly got on his guard, his hand reaching for the hilt of his sword as Cogwej stood up. “What is it? Did it follow you? Is it dangerous?” he asked, narrowing his eyes.

    “N-no!” Odie said, waving his hands and shaking his head, and then he paused uncertainly. “I don’t think,” he amended, making Fenrir raise an eyebrow in confusion.

    “What do you m-“

    “Hiiiii!” a female voice called out as a pink figure suddenly shot from Odie’s back towards the air. “Tethys Amatheia, at your service!” the MarineAngemon announced, spreading out her fins and winking in what she thought was a cool pose. The trio of other Digimon only stared at her without a sound, even the normally enthused Cogwej.

    “What are you doing here?” Fenrir finally said after a long moment of silence.

    The pink angel-like Digimon huffed and floated to their chest level and put her fins on where her hips were. “That’s all you have to say with my grand entrance?” she asked, giving him an annoyed look. Fenrir’s eye twitched; he was supposed to be the annoyed one in that situation.

    “Once again, what are you doing here?” Fenrir repeated, folding his arms and narrowing his eyes.

    “Sh-she said she wanted to h-help us,” Odie said sheepishly, kicking the ground in front of him.

    “Yeah. Don’t you need someone who knows the layout of the island?” Tethys said, looking at Fenrir hopefully.

    “We have Taranis’ map,” Fenrir said simply, his expression not budging.

    “Come on, what do you think is more useful? A tiny, measly map, or a living, breathing Digimon who can actually show you the way and help out?” Tethys asked, smiling cutely, hoping to appeal to Fenrir’s sympathetic side.

    “Digimon can make mistakes,” Fenrir replied simply.

    She failed.

    “Oh, come oooooon!” Tethys then started, flailing her arms around.

    “U-um, it m-might be best if we let her h-help, Fenrir,” Odie said, earning him a hard look from the Beowolfmon. The Shurimon let out an eep and stepped backwards, not being used to be on the receiving end of a patented Fenrir glare. “I-I-I mean she’d only f-f-f-follow us if we told her to go back h-h-h-home by herself,” he told him, shrinking under the wolf knight’s gaze.

    The Beowolfmon glanced at the MarineAngemon, and from the look of her eyes, he realized that what the Shurimon was saying was probably true. He sighed and shook his head. “Fine,” he said, folding his arms. Just as the MarineAngemon was about to celebrate, he turned to her and said, “But you have to follow all of my orders.”

    Tethys ignored him and celebrated anyway. Fenrir’s eye twitched in irritation. Why did he always get stuck with the hardheaded and troublesome ones?

    “Now can we search for my artifacts?” one of the said troublesome ones asked behind him. “We can already surmise that it’s not within this broken town, so it may very well be within a few kilometers from the town,” he added.

    “You mean its location isn’t found inside the book?” Fenrir asked, turning around. “How did you find the others!?”

    “The book only gives me a general location,” the Wisemon said, shrugging. “The only common factor of all the places up until now was that they’ve always been in obscure areas, either in an ancient mon-made structure, such as the Spirit of Wood’s temple, or a natural formation, such as Mount Bika, where we found Spirit of Earth,” he said, folding his arms.

    “So...um, M-miss Tethys?” Odie said, turning to the MarineAngemon. “Are there any o-old buildings here?”

    “Nope,” the MarineAngemon said, shrugging and shaking her head. “But we do have a lot of caves and mountains,” she said thoughtfully. “I’ve explored practically almost all of them, though, and I didn’t find anything like this spirit thingie you’re talking about.”

    “That’s not surprising at all,” Cog said walking over to them. “It took me three years to find the Spirit of Fire even though I knew its general location.”

    Fenrir turned to the Wisemon. Even though they’ve been travelling together for almost two months, but this was the first time he’s heard about how the scientist was able to get the first artifact. Every time one of them asked, the Wisemon trailed off to something incredulous and forgot what he was talking about in the first place.

    “Where’d you find it?” Odie asked curiously.

    “Hmmm…I believe it was in the Scaling Mountain Ranges,” the Wisemon said, putting his hand on his hips.

    Fenrir folded his arms. To his knowledge, there was no such place called the Scaling Mountain Rains. However, he did know of a place called the Scorching Mountain Ranges. It was a long line of mountain ranges in the west side of the main continent, and it was known for being one of the hottest places on their planet, although no one could ever say why it was so. Another peculiarity was that, a few years ago, the flame-tolerant Digimon that lived there started saying it was getting colder and colder. It was also almost three thousand miles from where he and Tiwaz found him. The fact that the Wisemon was able to travel that far, and obtain three of the artifacts, all by himself told Fenrir that while he may not act like the most sensible Digimon around, the Wisemon was very capable, and possibly very strong.

    “Of course, I’ve made my own discoveries in the ranges; did you know that if you travelled deep enough in the smallest of all the mountains, you’ll find a lake of lava?” the Wisemon asked. “There is a river of lava runs all the way under the mountains, from one end to the other! However, one would have to travel very deep to locate it in the other mountains.”

    The Beowolfmon raised an eyebrow. That part, he didn’t know about.

    “It’s also the place where I found Spirit of Fire! Although I did have to find a way to traverse all the way to the center of the lava lake safely,” Cogwej said to himself. “It was easy for one genius such as myself, of course.”

    Both Odie and Tethys looked at him in awe, one for his exceptional ability and the other at the short tale of the place he travelled to.

    Fenrir frowned a bit. “Cogwej, in all the places that you found the artifact, was there anything they had in common?”

    Cogwej blinked and thought for a bit. “Hmmm… according to my memory, the mountains were particularly warm for that climate and area. There were also no volcanoes around, so the heat was a conundrum to many. Where I found the Spirit of Water, it rained almost every single day. Where the Spirit of Thunder was, lightning storms were common, and the static in the air was very strong,” the Wisemon thought to himself.

    “And in Bakhu, they experienced a lot of earthquakes,” Fenrir said. “Which got stronger since you came there.”

    “Back in our forest, the plant life was always very strong,” Odie thought, thinking of his home. “The home of the insect Digimon was always incredible when compared to the rest of the forest. It continued living even when there were so many Digimon living in it.”

    “Oh, wow! Those places sound amazing!” Tethys exclaimed, her eyes glittering at all the places she thought they’ve been to. “I mean, I’ve been to some amazing places too, but they can’t beat those places at all!”

    Almost immediately, Fenrir turned to her. Maybe she could be useful after all. “Is there any place within this island that sounds just as, er, amazing?” he asked.

    “Uh, not really?” the MarineAngemon replied, looking disappointed. “The closest thing we have to one is the Eternal Ice Caves.”

    “Eternal Ice Caves? Why is it called that?” Odie asked, looking at her curiously.

    “Cause no matter how deep you go into it, it’s always covered in ice. None of the other caves are like it,” she said, shrugging.

    “We’ve found our lead,” the Beowolfmon said, folding his arms and unfazed. “How far is it?”

    “It’ll probably take a few hours to get there since it’s on the other side of the island, opposite the towns,” she said as folded her arms and looked at Fenrir with one eye. “But I’ll tell you right now, there’s nothing in there. I’ve looked everywhere inside there, and there’s nothing to find,” she warned.

    “You didn’t have the other artifacts with you,” Fenrir then told her, glancing at Cog.

    “Oh, goodie! We’re finally starting!”

    -​

    “Looks like they’re not coming tonight,” Boreas said from his place, sitting against the wooden wall.

    “Maybe they’ve gotten scared,” Tiwaz said, standing a few feet away with folded arms, looking around.

    “I doubt that,” Pavamana told the dragon man. He was sitting beside the bear man.

    “Tch, you don’t have to say that, you know,” the EmperorGreymon said, turning to his companion.

    Boreas chuckled. “Hey, they didn’t attack the town. That’s a good thing,” he told Tiwaz, turning to the horizon.

    “Right. But the sooner we get this over with, the better,” Tiwaz replied with a frown.

    “There’s nothing we can do, Tiwaz,” the blacksmith replied, standing up and putting a hand on the other man’s dragon-shaped shoulder guard. “There’s no way to find the raiders,” he told the dragon.

    “Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m glad that I don’t have to fight anyone right now,” Taranis said, rubbing the back of his neck. “Besides, I’m supposed to be in the library, remember?” the insect Digimon said, frowning at Tiwaz. “Papercuts are the only injuries I want to worry about.”

    “You needed some fresh air,” Tiwaz said, justifying his reason for pulling the Beetlemon away from his job.

    “Even if they did get attack now, we probably don’t have enough man power to repel them all. We’re still recovering from the attack they did three days ago before you guys arrived, not to mention that your friends aren’t around. We need all the help we can get,” Boreas told him, folding his arms.

    “Oh, who needs them? We can handle all of those bastards ourselves,” Tiwaz replied, scoffing.

    “That doesn’t mean we should,” Pavamana said, chuckling at Tiwaz’s eagerness. “With more people, we can decrease the risk of injuries and damage to the town.”

    “And increase our own,” Tiwaz muttered under his breath, scowling.

    “What was that?” Boreas asked, walking over.

    “Nothing,” the EmperorGreymon replied, turning away. He ended up looking at the other end of the wall, and he blinked as he saw someone running over to them. “Is that Kaleth?” he asked, narrowing his eyes. Both the PileVolcamon and the Korikakumon turned to look as well, and within moments, they could already hear the sounds of the Knightmon’s heavy armor rattling as he ran towards them.

    “T-Taranis! They’re here!” he yelled loudly. “And they brought something huge!”

    “Oh really?” Tiwaz spoke, punching his open palm with a fist and a large grin. His other companions, however, had a frown on their faces.

    “Oh no,” Taranis groaned. “I knew I should have brought Ashe for good luck. With our luck, we need the whole rabbit, not just his foot.”

    “Something huge?” Boreas sounded his thoughts, his brows furrowing.

    “That doesn’t sound good,” Pavamana added, clenching his fists in worry.

    “Whatever it is, we’ll just take it down!” Tiwaz declared, running past Kale to get to his post. “Target it first!”

    “W-wait up!” the Knightmon said, trying to make a pivot. He lost his balance in the process and ended up falling on the cold, snow-covered ground instead. Pavamana quickly walked over as Boreas ran past, following the battle-ready dragon man.

    “Get up, Kaleth,” the PileVolcamon said as he pulled him up. “There is a battle to fight, and a town to protect.”

    “Yeah, this is no time to be sleeping on the job, Kaleth,” the bug man said as he jogged over to them. “You don’t think Tiwaz will let me pass from this fight, do you?”

    “Not a chance,” Pavamana said with a sympathetic smile before running over to where the dragon and bear ran off to.

    “Yeah, come on, Taranis!” Kaleth said as he grabbed the Beetlemon’s wrist and ran.

    “I don’t have a good feeling about this!” Taranis yelled out as he was dragged away. “Fighting gives me cramps!”

    It didn’t take them long to run to the entrance of the wooden wall were most of the towns guard were located. Taranis blinked as he registered their numbers; he remembered seeing the number of town guards when he was searching for information in the town’s archives. In fact, if he didn’t know any better, there were more than there were supposed to be. And when he looked closely, he found out why.

    “Shimon!” he called out to the hammer-wielding Gotsumon.

    “Oh, hey, it’s the bug man,” the navigator said, turning to him and Kaleth.

    “What are you doing here? Is your whole crew here?” he asked.

    “Yep. We heard the commotion,” Shimon replied, his expression serious. “Besides, we’ve got a score to settle with them,” he told them, pointing at the even larger crowd across from them. Taranis looked at them and his legs almost gave way.

    “Th-th-they’re that many!?” he yelled out in fright. “Those numbers might even be greater than the number of guildsmen back home!”

    “If you think that’s scary…” Kaleth trailed off, pointing over his shoulder at the large object above the raiders.

    “Not... cool…” Taranis muttered as he stepped backwards, his armored back meeting with Kaleth’s breastplate.

    The creature reminded Taranis of a Seadramon, but this one was far larger and much more intimidating. Instead of the normal blue skin was golden and gray plated armor. His fins were connected by white cables that spanned his whole body, all the way to his twin, diamond-shaped and white-tipped tail end. A mane of long, wavy gray hair projected from a golden helmet from his head. The helmet had fins jutting from the side, connected to plates that completely covered the upper side of the creature’s head. On the head part was a horn shaped like a blade, and the snout was shaped like a cannon. Dangerous red eyes could be seen watching the small group of seamen and guards that vowed to protect the town. Taranis had never seen one until now: a MetalSeadramon.

    “W-w-we’re up against that!? That thing could raze a whole town-“ Taranis was about to say, but he stopped, realization in his eyes. “…in…minutes,” he finished. “I need to tell Tiwaz! Where is he!?”

    “In front,” Shimon said, pointing through the crowd, and the insect Digimon quickly rushed past them.

    “Do you think we can stop it?” Kaleth asked, looking at the Gotsumon worriedly.

    “We better, or Ice Cape is going to end up like Frostholme,” Shimon said solemnly.

    “Tiwaz! Tiwaz!” Taranis called out as he pushed through the crowd until he was in the very front, where the dragon man was facing the oncoming pirate army.

    The EmperorGreymon turned to look at him, his expression suddenly very serious. With him were Boreas and Pavamana. “What is it?”

    “Uh, well…that thing,” he said, pointing at the large serpentine creature hovering above the raiders.

    “The MetalSeadramon… Yeah, it’s big and dangerous and probably what did in Frostholme,” he said, turning back to the crowd. “What about it?”

    “Er…we should get rid of it?” Taranis said sheepishly, glancing away in slight embarrassment. It looked like he didn’t need to tell Tiwaz after all.

    “Thanks for stating the obvious, Taranis,” the dragon man replied, rolling his eyes.

    “How, though?” Boreas replied with a frown. “No one in the town has the firepower to take on that thing.”

    “Wrong,” the EmperorGreymon replied, brandishing his Dragon Soul Sword in front of him. He lowered his blade and scanned the MetalSeadramon very carefully. After a few moments of inspection, he turned back to Boreas. “I do.”

    The Korikakumon raised an eyebrow. “Well, if you think so, you still need to be able to fly, and so far, you haven’t shown me any evidence that you can,” he said, folding his arms.

    “Well, maybe I can’t, but I know who can, and I bet he can get me up there easily,” Tiwaz replied, smirking.

    “Oh? Who?” Pavamana asked, just as curious as Boreas and Taranis. He didn’t remember anyone in the town or the guard that could fly and carry Tiwaz at the same time. In answer, Tiwaz looked at Taranis, and the Beetlemon’s eyes widened.

    “M-m-me!?” the lightning bug exclaimed, pointing at himself incredulously. “But I can’t! I’m a mapmaker, not a fighter! I’m not even good at thumb wrestling!”

    “You don’t need to fight. You just need to use your MegaKabuterimon form, keep me in the air and avoid the attacks, and I’ll do the rest!” he announced, keeping his eyes on the large, floating form of the metallic sea dragon.

    “That’s not any less dangerous!“

    “It’s the only plan we have, Taranis,” Pavamana said, placing a reassuring hand on the Beetlemon’s shoulder. “We can’t let them destroy Ice Cape as well. Please,” he pleaded.

    “Well…when you say it that way, I can’t say no,” the blue Digimon said resignedly. “Guilt me, why don’t’cha?”

    “Someone’s coming,” Tiwaz suddenly said. If he had any fur, then Pavamana wouldn’t doubt that they’d be bristling.

    “Skulken,” Boreas said, growling as he suddenly procured a pair of axes that Tiwaz hadn’t noticed until then. “I’ve already told you that you’re not welcome here again. I thought you got the hint after not appearing in the last raid!”

    “Aw, is K’rma’s leetle buy angry?” the Hookmon said, flanked by the Hyogamon that Tiwaz recognized as the one from the time they were attacked on the ship. By the looks of Pavamana tensing, it looked like the PileVolcamon also recognized him.

    “Shut up, barnacle face,” the axe-wielding bear said harshly. “And stop saying my dad’s name with that stupid speech defect of yours.”

    “Eet ees noot a deefeect!” Skulken whined, stamping the foot.

    “Er, captain,” the Hyogamon said, tapping his shoulder. “Remember what Hagel told us to do…”

    A’m yur captin, noot soom stipid, ov’rgroon warm!” the Hookmon said, glaring at the Hyogamon. He did, however, turn back to the crowd of townspeople and seamen. “Anywees, we demond that ya hind ov’r di Weesmon!”

    “What did he say?” Tiwaz muttered, not used to the unusual speaking of the pirate captain. “What about diamonds?”

    “He wants Cogwej,” Boreas replied, narrowing his eyes. “Too bad, Sulky, he’s not here. And even if he were, we wouldn’t give him to some second-rate ship captain like you,” the Korikakumon said with a smirk.

    “Me nim ees noot Soolkie!” the Hookmon snarled out, raising a claw into the air. “An eef that’s soo, din we have noo use fer ya or yar stoopid toon! Now git dat crizy frug oot here soo I kin put hulls in ‘im!”

    “Sorry to say, but a real ship captain like Iskandar doesn’t have time to deal with you,” the bear man replied, stalling for as much time as possible for Demo and Duke to evacuate the townspeople into the town ships.

    “What!? Bah!” Skulken yelled out. “Dat stoopid frug! Noot here win he’s soopoosed ta be!”

    “Uh, captain,” the Hyogamon then said, finding himself getting more and more embarrassed to be the Hookmon’s first mate. “Maybe we should attack now?” he asked, looking behind him at their army, although he was looking at the large flying creature more so than pirates.

    “Gah! Din we attack! Attack, me peerits!” the Hookmon yelled as he let out a shot from his gun into the air. Almost instantly, the battalion of raiders and pirates behind him charged, weapons ready. “Bring di hool toon doon!”

    “Over my dead body, barnacle meat!” Boreas roared out. “Groups twelve and thirteen, don’t let a single one in the town! Everyone else, we’re avenging Frostholme and our fallen friends!” he ordered. As the men behind him - composed of Frostholme guards, Ice Cape refugees and Iskandar’s crew – cheered and charged towards the pirates, Taranis digivolved into MegaKabuterimon and took off with Tiwaz on his back, the others that were on the ground roaring.

    And mayhem descended outside Frostholme.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2013
  10. “See? Nothing!” Tethys said, spreading out her fins at the empty cavern before them. “And we’ve gone through every single tunnel inside this boring cave, and this is the largest room!”

    “Rm,” Odie muttered as he raised the torch he was holding more into the air for a better look of the room they were in. “I hate to say it, but…”

    “We might have wasted our time,” Fenrir concluded, growling a bit to himself. And he was so certain that they were on the right path, too. “Cogwej, did you find anything out of place yet?”

    The Wisemon was standing beside the nearest wall, the side of his face placed against it. Floating on both sides of his body were his trusty spheres, which he had taken out at Fenrir’s behest. The Beowolfmon wanted everyone to be ready in case something happened, which seemed to happen often when it involved the relics. “Not at all. Already, half of my cranium is beginning to freeze, but I have yet to find a single clue as to whether the Spirit of Ice is here or not.”

    What does placing your ear against the wall have to do with that?’ Fenrir thought in his head, but he kept that to himself. Instead, he spoke again.

    “Maybe you should try using the relics now?” Fenrir asked, folding his arms.

    “What a wondrous idea!” the Wisemon exclaimed, reaching into one of his time-and-space altering spheres to grab at the sack of relics. The moment he took them out, the sack immediately started to radiate brightly, brightening up the room far more than the torch that Odie was holding did.

    “Oh, cool! What’s that?” Tethys asked interestedly.

    “The relics. They’re what we’ve b-been looking for,” Odie told her, walking over. “What do you think, Cogwej?”

    “Hmmm…I’m not quite certain, but I do believe that they’re shining much more luminously than before!” he said happily.

    “Or it’s your imagination again,” Fenrir said, though only to be realistic. Even he could see that the sack was brighter than the last he saw it, but he couldn’t afford to be hopeful. He needed to be sure, or they’d just end up wasting more time than they already have. “Move around the room,” he ordered the Wisemon, who rolled his eyes.

    “Oh, very well,” the Wisemon muttered as he started to walk around the room. The other three watched with bated breath for one minute, two minutes, three minutes, as the cloaked Digimon walked around the room slowly, raising the sack every once in a while, and then…

    The sack shone brightly. It was only for a second, but they did.

    “It’s here! The relics have resonated with each other!” Cogwej exclaimed happily. He had raised the sack against one part of the caves wall, and when he did, that’s when they reacted.

    “We did it!” Odie said happily. “Thank g-goodness!”

    “That’s it?” Tethys muttered to herself, folding her fins. “No fight? No excitement? Just a glowing sack?” she said, disappointed.

    “You should be relieved that’s the only thing that happened,” Fenrir said as he walked over. “But no, we’re not done yet. Cogwej, move aside,” he said as he unsheathed the Trinitat. Without his normal complaint or tantrum, the Wisemon went out of the Beowolfmon’s way. He was too excited to get one more artifact to whine about the wolf knight’s lack of respect.

    Cleansing Light!” Fenrir shouted as he sent a single rocket towards the wall.

    The frozen barrier didn’t stand a chance, and it fell down in a pile of rubble. For a moment, Fenrir thought that he had acted too quickly and hastily in his need to finish his quest, worried that the ice cavern would fall on them due to his attack. Fortunately, the cave held up against his attack.

    “Ooh, me first!” Tethys yelled as she dashed right into the hole. “I’ll go find that artifact for you!” she said, eager to explore

    “No, me!” Cogwej contested, running into the hole as well.

    “W-wait! You d-d-don’t know what’s in there!” Odie yelled out. He turned to Fenrir. “W-what do we do?”

    “We follow,” Fenrir said as he dashed after them, Odysseus following suit. He found himself inside another tunnel, though this one had open holes on the ground which the other parts of the cavern didn’t. These holes contained water that shined brightly with light. If he had looked closer, he would have seen the luminescent algae in them, though none which he would have seen before. As it was, he was too busy trying to keep a MarineAngemon and a Wisemon in his sight. Already, he could no longer see the pink Digimon.

    However, it wasn’t long before he heard Tethys let out a triumphant cry.

    “Ha! I found them!” she yelled out.

    Fenrir had to narrow his eyes. ‘Them?’ he thought as he ran faster, enough to outpace Cogwej. He trusted in Odysseus to watch over the Wisemon.

    He exited the tunnel in mere seconds, and he found himself in another large room that was had many water-filled, illuminated holes. He found himself beside the hovering MarineAngemon, staring at a group of Digimon that he never expected to see.

    By a quick headcount, he found himself facing at five Digimon. One of them was blue mermen-like Digimon wearing scuba diving equipment and large gloves. Two more were bipedal killer whale Digimon complete with a yellow life vest and a red and white rescue tube. The other two Digimon were a white, squid Digimon with a large set of jaws, and a familiar looking red octopus Digimon, although this one spared the white beret for the traditional crown. One Depthmon, two Orcamon, and one Gesomon and Octomon. However, all of them looked like they had barely eaten, and they all had sunken, tired looking eyes. Fenrir didn’t know if that worried him or not.

    “I…Intruders!” one of the Orcamons yelled out in a raspy voice, pointing a blunt fin at them.

    “Years…since the last ones,” the Gesomon said, turning to them. “We…stop them before…he gets angry…”

    Fenrir narrowed his eyes and stepped between them and Tethys. “Who are you? What are you doing here?” he asked, deciding to get as much information as possible.

    “And why do all of you look like you haven’t slept in months?” the pink Digimon said from behind him.

    “Must…kill them…” the Octomon decided as he started towards the duo.

    Fenrir was about to order Tethys to run back before Cogwej, along with Odysseus, finally entered the scene, the Wisemon all too happy to announce their arrival. “We’re here, my dear, special Spirit of Ice! Come to this happy scientist’s hands!” he yelled out loud, spreading his arms out wide.

    Who said that!?” a booming voice called out, and instantly, the haggard looking Digimon cowered.

    “What w-w-was that?” Odie asked in fear, only now noticing the group of Digimon in front of them.

    Fenrir narrowed his eyes, having located the source of the loud voice. It came from another opening of the cave, opposite theirs. He couldn’t see what was behind it other than a dark figure that was coming out of it. It took a moment for him to realize what he was seeing.

    The form of yet another Digimon appeared before him. This one, however, was no taller than Fenrir was, although he looked like he was hunched over. It had a black body except for his lips, his feet, his hands, his tail, and two hand-like tentacles jutting from his back. Black tentacles and a gray, tattered cape also protruded from his back, but those were not as prominent. The thing that Fenrir noticed the most was that his arms were very long, to the point of being as long as his whole body. That meant his reach would always be more than theirs. He also had black belts and bandages all over his body, as well as a few yellow tattoos, and a yellow device was around his chest, connected by black tubes. Finally, he had a spear-shaped head with bat-wings on the top, along with a large, sharp toothed mouth and three scarlet red eyes. Fenrir had seen MarineDevimon before, but this one looked particularly strong.

    “Well!?” the devil Digimon cried, raising a large arm and slamming the wall beside him, causing the group of Digimon in front of Fenrir to cring.

    “Th-th-they did, tribe master!” the Depthmon cried, pointing at Fenrir and his companions accusingly.

    The larger Digimon, obviously the leader, walked towards them. The group practically ran to the sides to avoid getting in his way. Fenrir raised his Trinitat as the other Digimon stood in front of them, raising a hand towards them.

    “What did you come here for?” the MarineDevimon asked, pointing a sharp claw at Fenrir.

    The Beowolfmon could practically feel Tethys against his back, her fins on his shoulder as she stared at the MarineDevimon. He hoped that meant she was more scared that excited. That would mean she would be more likely to choose flight over fight; watching over Cogwej was enough trouble in a fray.

    “We’re looking for a relic,” Fenrir said, pointing his own sword at the devil Digimon. “We have reason to think that it’s here.”

    “It is not. Leave,” the aquatic Digimon commanded.

    “Yes, it is!” Cogwej countered. “The relics do not lie!” he announced, raising the sack of artifacts in the air.

    The marine Digimon that saw it gasped in shock. “The light! The light!” they said in a chatter. “It’s just like the god’s idol!” one of them exclaimed.

    “So it is here,” Fenrir said, narrowing his eyes. “Probably in the room you were in before,” he deduced.

    The MarineDevimon quickly turned to them with a snarl, once more causing them to cringe. “Idiot!” he snarled.

    “We’re taking it,” the Beowolfmon said with finality.

    “No!” the MarineDevimon yelled as he turned back to them. “You are not taking the treasure!”

    “I knew it,” Tethys whispered from behind Fenrir, causing his eyebrow to rise. Without warning, she shot from Fenrir’s shoulder and in front of the MarineDevimon before the Beowolfmon could stop her.

    “Tethys, get back here!” he ordered, about to run after her.

    “No! I know the way he said ‘treasure’! I know this Digimon!” she said, looking over her shoulder with a wide smile. She turned to the MarineDevimon. “Uncle Diaz! It’s you, isn’t it?” she asked hopefully.

    The MarineDevimon stared at her in shock, his eyes narrowing as he looked at her face. “You…you are…”

    “Tethys! Duke’s daughter! Don’t you remember me? You used to tell me stories about your adventures all the time! About you and uncle Kroma!” she said, rising up to his face.

    “Te…thys…yes, you were a Mermaimon when I last saw you,” the finally named Digimon said, his gaze softening ever so slightly as he began to remember his past.

    “He’s…someone from Iskandar’s old pirate crew?” Odie whispered as he looked at the devilfish Digimon. He remembered Shimon talking about him the night before in the bar. He’d never had guessed that he would meet him.

    “Oh, this is so awesome!” Tethys announced. “I can’t wait to bring you back home! Everyone’ll be so happy! Oh, I bet uncle Iskandar is going to be ecstatic!” she said as she spun around. However, as she spoke, she missed the sudden glare that came from the former pirate’s face.

    “No,” Diaz said gravelly, causing the pink Digimon to stop spinning and look at him.

    “Excuse me?” Tethys said incredulously.

    “No,” the Digimon repeated for her with a glare. “Now leave, Tethys, and tell no one that you saw me here,” he commanded with a deathly, hard tone.

    Tethys only stared at him with a gaping mouth. Before anyone knew it, though, her shocked faced turned into one of annoyance and anger. “Oh, hell no! Do you know how long everyone looked for you? How worry you caused everyone? You are not staying here! I’m bringing you back home with me, even if I have to ask everyone else to he- gwagh!” she yelped as Diaz suddenly reached out to grab her in one of his large tentacles.

    “I said no, you stupid girl! Or I will make you!” Diaz snarled, starting to squeeze the MarineAngemon in his grasp.

    “Tethys!” Fenrir snarled as he rushed towards the MarineDevimon.

    Diaz was so concentrated on the Digimon in his hand that he failed to remember that there were other Digimon in the room, and he was a moment too late to stop Fenrir’s dual-bladed sword from cutting his white tentacle into two, releasing the MarineAngemon from his grasp, and the wolf knight’s foot from kicking him backwards.

    The MarineDevimon roared in pain, but not enough to keep him from pointing a dangerous finger at Fenrir’s group. “Get them! Keep them away from the treasure room!” he snarled, and as if a button was pressed, the group that were once cowering at Diaz’s intimidation were suddenly fast in action, running towards the room that Diaz came from.

    “Odie! Cogwej!” Fenrir called, eyeing Diaz and making sure he didn’t make a run for the room either.

    “R-right!” Odie called out, using his long arm to grab at an overhead stalactite to pull himself over the group and propel himself in front of three of them, the two Orcamon and the Depthmon. Meanwhile Cogwej merely sent his sphere dashing towards the Octomon and Gesomon pair, knocking them into the wall.

    “Cease and desist, mollusks!” the Wisemon called out at the hissing pair.

    “You!” Diaz growled at Fenrir. “I will take care of you first!” he cried.

    The Beowolfmon narrowed his eyes. The MarineDevimon’s reach was far much longer than his, and he had a number of tentacles along with his arms. He doubted he would get another easy chance to land a hit on the devilfish. This was not going to be an easy fight. Then again, he wasn’t expecting one.

    “Just try,” Fenrir provoked.

    The Beowolfmon charged towards him. Diaz roared, running towards the wolf knight. A meter before the two met, the MarineDevimon suddenly changed direction, leaving Fenrir to slash at nothing but air. The wolf knight blinked in confusion and looked to where he saw the MarineDevimon moving, and he was surprised to see Diaz on the ground with Tethys panting in front of him.

    “How dare you!” the MarineAngemon screamed. “Now I’m angry! I’m going to do everything I said I was going to do, but before that, I’m going to beat some sense into you!” she declared, spreading out her fins as blue energy balls started to emanate from her body, filling up her surroundings.

    Diaz growled lowly as he stood back up. “I won’t hesitate to hurt you, Tethys!” he told her.

    “Like you even could! Your battle senses are worse than they were before! The past you could have dodged that charge! I should know: you sparred with me before!” she said, narrowing her eyes. “And I bet all you’ve been doing was sitting here, protecting some lousy treasure while the rest of us worried about you for months! Well, you’re not going to get off easy, you hear me!? Marine Squadron!” she shrieked as the blue spheres suddenly turned into fish-shaped energy. Then they started swimming towards the MarineDevimon, bursting when they got near him. The bursting seemed to cause the devilfish some pain, as he cringed away from them with a snarl.

    Fenrir stared in surprise. Maybe it was because of her manner, but the fact that Tethys was a mega level Digimon, most likely with mega level power, escaped him.

    “F-Fenrir!” Odysseus called out as he used his large shuriken to fend off the two Orcamon whilst escaping from the Depthmon’s attacks. “Go! G-get the relic!” he called out.

    “Yes, yes, do it posthaste!” Cogwej said, using a sphere each to keep the Octomon and Gesomon busy.

    Fenrir frowned. He knew Odie’s and Cogwej’s capabilities, and he knew they would be able to handle themselves against their opponents. It was Tethys he was worried about. He didn’t know how she could carry herself in a fight, even if she had a considerable amount of power in her tiny body.

    “Just go already!” Tethys told him. “I can handle him myself. I’m not a little girl anymore!” she said determinedly.

    Fenrir stared at her back in surprise. With one blink, he thought he saw someone else, a more bipedal figure, something that looked vaguely like mayor Demo, before disappearing with another blink. There was a faint voice at the back of his head, saying, ‘I’m not a little boy anymore!

    The Beowolfmon shook his head and hardened his expression. “Be careful, all three of you!” he said before running into the room.

    “No!” Diaz growled, about to run after him.

    “I’m your opponent, Uncle Dee!” Tethys shouted, blocking his path with her tiny body. “Marine Squadron!

    “Out of my w- gaaaah!” the MarineDevimon roared, getting struck by more blue energy before he could swat the smaller, pink Digimon away.

    The sound of Diaz’s pained cries didn’t escape Fenrir as he surveyed the new room. It was smaller than the last room, and the whole area was covered in shin deep water. At the back of the room was a platform with a raised altar, although there was nothing there. Instead, there was a statue made out of ice in the middle of the room. In the statue’s hand, raised into the air, was an object that shone brightly with light blue light that filled up the room. Fenrir assumed that it was the Spirit of Ice; it certainly looked like it.

    The base of the relic was situated on the statue’s palm, and it was shaped like an eight-pointed snowflake, with pointed protrusions on each point. It was completely clear, as if it was made of carefully and meticulously carved ice. Fenrir wouldn’t be surprised if it was. All over the outer rim of the base were crystal-like protrusions of various shapes and sizes, twinkling brightly with a star-like quality to it. They made a circle around another circle of small mountains, all of them bearing some more projecting crystals. They looked like they were made of white ceramic or marble, mixing all sorts of different hues of white to make an interesting look and texture. At times, the colors of the whites changed and mingled, sometimes forming a color of white so pure like Fenrir had never seen before, or one so muddled that he thought he was seeing things. It was if the very mountains were alive, particularly the one in the center. However, as Fenrir walked closer, he realized that it was not a mountain at all, but the large back of a ram-like creature. The surface of its back was intricately engraved to give the impression of thick, wooly fur, and on the very top of the back was a bright blue gem that shone with a soft light. He could also see the bovine head on one side, complete with eyes and a pair of large down-curved horns made of blue crystal. All over it and the base were snowflake-shaped engravings with a soft, pulsing, light blue glow that reminded Fenrir of falling snow.

    “The Spirit of Ice,” Fenrir muttered as he walked over to it, taking out the runed glove that Cogwej made for all of them. “Fina-“

    The Beowolfmon stopped midway, and then he suddenly jumped backwards.

    A second later, a moon shaped blade landed where Fenrir had been standing, embedding itself into the ground. The blade was attached to a long metallic rod at the center, and at the other end of the rod was the barrel part of a pistol gun. It looked like a peculiar weapon, and Fenrir had never seen it before. He did, however, had his suspicions about the owner.

    “Whoo, you’re faster than ya look, wolfie,” the owner’s voice said from behind the statue’s base. Fenrir turned to look at the figure, who stood up and walked around to show himself.

    “Iskandar,” Fenrir said as he brandished his sword.

    “Huh, ya don’t sound surprised to see me,” the Shawjamon and former pirate said as he pulled his weapon from the ground and easily put it on his shoulder.

    “Right now, nothing can surprise me,” Fenrir said, his gaze not leaving the other Digimon for one second.

    “Oh? Even if I told you that this ice statue here is actually my long lost captain?” Iskandar asked, leaning onto his staff lazily, the barrel end on the ground giving him some support. “Sure, he don’t look like much, but a few years as a frozen pirate-cicle can do that to ya.”

    “He got struck by the relic’s defensive mechanism,” Fenrir said simply.

    “So that’s what you call it?” Iskandar asked with a laugh, although it sounded empty to Fenrir’s ears. “Me and Dee? We call it the treasure’s curse,” he said disgustedly.

    “I only want the relic in his hand,” the Beowolfmon said, about to step forward, only for Iskandar to quickly kick the barrel end of his staff with a foot and quickly make a slashing sweep with his blade. Fenrir was only barely able to jump backwards to avoid the attack.

    He’s fast![/I’] Fenrir thought, narrowing his eyes.

    “I can’t let you take it, Fenny,” Iskandar said, spinning his weapon in the air. “Do you want to know how we found the treasure? It was stuck on some other poor sap’s hands too. In fact, you must’ve seen those poor guys back in the other room. They’ve been stuck here worshipping the damned thing for turning their friend to frozen ice.”

    “What does this have to do with me taking the relic?” Fenrir asked, raising an eyebrow.

    “Just lemme finish, wolfie,” the frog man said, putting the staff’s barrel end on the ground and his free hand on his hip. “Anyway, me dear old captain decided that maybe we should take the treasure off the guy’s hand and set him free. In fact, he pried it right off the frozen statue’s hand, he did. For a short moment, the guy actually unfroze. Really happy, that one. Before he suddenly shattered in teeny tiny little pieces. Now, that wasn’t a pretty sight,” he said with a grimace. “Then we worried ‘bout our old captain, but he said that once one trap was set off, it can’t be set off again. Or that’s what he thought before his hand started freezing too. He wouldn’t even let us near ‘im to take his place.”

    “It would have been no use,” Fenrir said, remembering the time Tiwaz had held the Spirit of Fire in his hand.

    “Yeah, we found that out when the captain tried to throw it away. It stuck to his hand like it was nailed to him,” Iskandar said, glancing at the frozen statue. “This is what he ended up lookin’ like.”

    Fenrir stayed silent, registering the story in his head. He wasn’t slow. He knew what the Shawjamon was telling him. Getting the relic would be easy, but the captain would turn back to his normal self for a moment before disappearing.

    “He’s already as good as dead,” Fenrir said slowly.

    “No, he ain’t!” Iskandar yelled out, raising his staff into the air. “I’ll find a way to bring him back! Until then, you’re not getting it!”

    Fenrir was glad that he was alone. That neither Odie nor Tethys, and especially not Tiwaz, were in there right now. He had no doubt that they would stop him from what he was about to do. “Then you give me no choice,” he said.

    “I’m going to have to take it by force.”

    -​

    “Come on, Taranis! Faster!” Tiwaz called out, standing on the MegaKabuterimon’s back.

    “I’m trying!” the insect Digimon yelled as he flew up to where the MetalSeadramon was. “I’m a MegaKabuterimon, not a MegaKabu’carry’mon!”

    For some peculiar reason, the large serpentine figure was doing nothing but look at the battlefield below him. He looked to be searching for something, his head moving around surreptitiously. He did so much that he didn’t seem to notice the smaller figures of Taranis and Tiwaz until they were right in front of him.

    “Huh?” the large creature muttered as they appeared in front of his vision. “Who’re…?”

    “I’m Tiwaz Koenig, you overgrown snake!” EmperorGreymon roared, as he raised his sword in his air.

    “And I’m Taranis,” the MegaKabuterimon supplied, waving at the large snake slowly and sheepishly. “His, uh, steed?” he tried, hoping to make the snake laugh instead of think about eating them. He bet that the MetalSeadramon could probably fit both of them in his mouth.

    To his shock, the sea dragon actually chuckled. “Really?” he asked. “You must be the weirdest steed I’ve ever seen!”

    Tiwaz almost dropped his sword in shock. Even Taranis had to remember to keep beating his wings, or he and his dragon rider would end up falling.

    “Well, you two introduced yourselves, so I have to too! The name’s Hagel,” the MetalSeadramon said with a large toothy grin that reminded Taranis that no matter how friendly the gargantuan was, he was still a very dangerous Digimon.

    “Er…h-hello, Hagel,” Taranis tried.

    “What are you two doing up here? Aren’t you supposed to be, you know, fighting the pirates?” Hagel asked.

    Tiwaz’s jaw dropped. “I’m supposed to be fighting you!” he said, stamping his foot, causing Taranis to yelp in pain. “Oops! Uh, sorry, Ranis,” he muttered sheepishly.

    “Me? Why? I’m not doing anything,” he said thoughtfully.

    Tiwaz’s eye twitched. “But don’t you work for that crazy Hookmon down there!?” he yelled out loud, pointing at the myriad of pirates and townspeople fighting.

    “Me? Work for him? Ha! That’s rich!” Hagel cried out as he started laughing once more.

    “Yeah, now that I think about it, I kind of wonder why someone so strong-looking works for someone like that guy,” Taranis said, looking up at Tiwaz, who couldn’t really give a proper answer.

    “What the bug said,” the MetalSeadramon said, wiping a tear from his eye with a large tail. “That guy works for me!” he said proudly.

    Tiwaz and Taranis stared at him silence. The MetalSeadramon blinked.

    “What? Was it something I said?” Hagel asked. “Is it that hard to believe?”

    “He…works for you?” Tiwaz confirmed.

    “Well, yeah. So do the others,” the MetalSeadramon said, pointing down with his twin tails. “What? Did you think that they all worked for the Hookmon? Him? That’s almost as funny as when you said that I worked for him!”

    “Then…say, you don’t know why they’re suddenly attacking Ice Cape, do you?” Taranis asked, deciding that maybe he could this to their advantage.

    “Actually, I do,” Hagel said with a wink. “We’re trying to get to this old magician guy who has all these rare artifacts, but apparently he’s not around. I think,” he said, looking back down.

    “Wait, so you want Cogwej?” Tiwaz asked, narrowing his eyes.

    “Is that what he’s called? You know, I’ve never known his name until now. Cool,” the MetalSeadramon said, turning back to them.

    “So…you’re part of those guys that have been chasing him this whole time?” Tiwaz asked, although he was pretty sure he didn’t need to ask anymore.

    “Yep, pretty much. Which means we’ve been following you too, not that you don’t already know,” he said with a toothy grin that was slowly turning less friendly and more sinister to the EmperorGreymon’s eyes. Taranis, meanwhile, was only imagining himself and his dragon friend getting eaten.

    “I only have one more question for you: were you the one who destroyed Frostholme?” Tiwaz asked, reining himself from attacking the MetalSeadramon. He needed to know.

    “Destroyed it? I’m the one who told the raiders to; I only stepped in when they started showing signs of being useless bums,” he said with a disappointed sigh. “I mean, they couldn’t even take you guys down and kidnap him right, which meant I had to destroy the ship you guys were on too. Too bad that the old man wasn’t around. I could’ve just scooped him up in my Whamon form’s mouth.”

    “That was you?” Tiwaz whispered, his grip already tight on his hilt.

    “Yep, all me!” Hagel said with a smirk. “Anyway, I’ve had enough talking. It looks like he really wasn’t in the battlefield. Maybe he’s in the town. Say, do you think he’ll come out if I blast the whole town to bits?” he said, turning to the town.

    “No! I won’t let y-“

    Before Tiwaz could even finish what he was about to say, he and Taranis were slapped away by the MetalSeadramon’s large tail.

    “Oh, did you say something?” Hagel asked, snickering. “Guess not,” he said as he started for the town.

    Tiwaz was freefalling. He looked at Taranis, and he saw that the MegaKabuterimon was struggling to get the air back under his wings. “Ranis!” he yelled out, trying to reach for the insect Digimon. “Throw me up there!” he called out.

    “W-wait, give a second- yes!” Taranis finally exclaimed as he got himself balanced midair again. “Gotcha, Tiwaz,” he cried out as he grabbed the dragon man’s hand with all four of his own. Then with all the strength he had, he spun around two times and threw Tiwaz high up in to the air. “Good luck, Tiwaz!”

    “I only have one shot,” Tiwaz muttered to himself as he aimed the Dragon Soul Sword behind him. He thought back to when they fought against the Ornithmon. “Better make this a good one!” he roared as bright red energy surrounded his sword. He let out a draconic roar.

    Dragonfire Crossbow!

    Just like the last time he did it, the sheer force of his attack jettisoned him forward the giant Digimon. Before Hagel could even register that the EmperorGreymon was propelling himself towards him, he suddenly felt a strong blow on the side of his head.

    “What the hell!?” Hagel yelped in surprise and pain.

    “We’re not done yet! Not until I beat you up and turn you into eel sushi!” Tiwaz announced, grabbing hold on the MetalSeadramon’s mane. Unfortunately, he accidentally let go of his sword the moment he hit the MetalSeadramon’s head, which meant he couldn’t rely on it anymore. He hoped it could handle a falling from their height.

    “H-hey, let go! I’m sensitive there!” the larger Digimon yelled as he started to shake his head wildly, his whole body following and making him look like he was writhing in midair.

    “Not a chance!” Tiwaz snarled, barely holding on. “I’m gonna make you pay for what you did to everyone!”

    “No, don’t! I don’t take well to pain!” the larger Digimon said as he turned upside down, which he instantly regretted as it made Tiwaz start to hang from his head, using his hair and pulling it down. “Ow ow ow! I said let go already!”

    “Who in blazes would!?” Tiwaz roared back as he started to climb, much to Hagel’s chagrin.

    “Fine! Then I’ll make you!” Hagel said, his eyes narrowing as he suddenly started to charge towards the ground.

    “Woah!” Tiwaz let out, almost letting go of the MetalSeadramon’s mane when he suddenly started to charge. He forced himself to look at where Hagel was dashing towards, and he cursed when he realized that it was towards Ice Cape. “Have to…stop him!” he roared as he let one of his palms face the sea serpent’s face.

    The EmperorGreymon concentrated as much energy as he could in his palm, forming a sphere of flame into his hand. Tiwaz started condense the sphere, compacting as much power into it as he could in the short span of time before letting out a roar and shooting it towards the side of Hagel’s face.

    Of course, due to the flame’s heat and light, Hagel already knew it was coming. “Ha! Do you think something like fire can hurt a sea Digimon li- !”

    To his shock, when the fire hit him, it hit him hard enough to create a miniature blast that forced his trajectory to change, and the very next second, his whole body crashed into the side of the town, obliterating part of the town’s walls and outer buildings, the rest of his large body crashing into the ground with him.

    Hagel shook his head as he pulled himself up, although most of his body was still on the ground. “Ow…that hurt more than I thought it would,” he groaned, feeling pain wrack his body. He hadn’t been able to brace himself when Tiwaz’s attack hit him, which meant he sustained more damage, too. He looked up at his head. “At least I got rid of that annoying lizard. I bet he went all splat when I hit the ground,” he said with a chuckle.

    “Who’s supposed to be annoying here?”

    “What the?” Hagel yelped, turning to his head to the side.

    He found himself looking at the dragon he thought crushed under his weight. He was being carried by Taranis, who looked like he had run a marathon.

    “Just…in…time!” the bug man said, panting in between his words. “Have you seen… my other lung?”

    “Looks like that crash did a number on you,” Tiwaz said with a smirk. “You must have only gotten that form recently, huh?”

    Hagel’s eyes narrowed as he raised himself more, although at least half of his body was still flat on the ground. “So what if I did?”

    “Parts of your body are blurring into data. Your new form is still unstable, and you probably can’t stay in that form for too long,” Tiwaz said as he raised his sword, which Taranis had gathered before flying to Tiwaz’s rescue. “Heh, add the damage that I caused, you probably won’t be able to take a few more hard hits,” Tiwaz said with a smug grin.

    Hagel looked at his body to confirm what the dragon man said, and to his shock and misfortune, parts of his armor and body were indeed in between the state of containing its form and dispersing into small particles of data. He grimaced; it looked like he reused the form too soon. “I knew I should have waited a few more days,” he said to himself. “No matter, I bet I have a few more minutes. I’ll just destroy you two now and come back later!” he said as his nose cannon started to gather orange particles.

    “Oh shit,” Taranis said.

    “Out of the way, Taranis!” Tiwaz ordered, bracing himself.

    “On it!” the bug man said as he shot upwards.

    Ultimate Stream!” Hagel yelled as the particles on his nose cannon suddenly burst forth into a single thick beam of condensed power. It burst right onto where Taranis stood, scorching the ground for a second before the beam burst, forming a crater on the ground.

    “So that’s the cause of the craters,” Taranis muttered as he hovered in the air, Tiwaz transferred to his back. He had no doubt that if he hadn’t moved fast enough, he and Tiwaz – or, er, well, at least he – would have been charred all the way to the bone…and that wasn’t a pretty thought in his head, so he quickly thought of something else.

    “We have to finish this now, Taranis! I’ll deal with him directly. You make sure to stay out of my way,” Tiwaz ordered as he jumped off the MegaKabuterimon, sword in the air.

    “No arguments there!” Taranis said as he shot away.

    “I guess that did it! Maybe I have enough time to demolish some of the town, too,” Hagel thought to himself with a satisfied smirk.

    “Up here, you backwater dragon!” Tiwaz roared as he skillfully threw a glowing Dragon Soul Sword at the MetalSeadramon, only for it to land a few meters into the ground in front of it.

    “Really? You missed someone as huge as me?” Hagel asked with a smirk.

    “Who said I was aiming for you!?” Tiwaz replied smugly, landing on the ground, one knee against it. “Pyro Dragons!” he roared out slamming his palms into the ground

    A large circle suddenly formed on the ground where the Dragon Soul Sword was embedded with the weapon at the center. The circle itself was almost as large as the MetalSeadramon, holding at least the metallic serpent’s form within its outline. At eight points of the circle were eight smaller circles, each one burning brightly with intense flame.

    “Time to skedaddle!” Hagel said as he was about to dash away from the circle.

    And before his eyes, a pillar of fire suddenly appeared, and he backed away in surprise. He was about to escape to another direction before another one shot up, and then another, and another, until he was surrounded by eight large pillars of fire that, while certainly not larger than him in any way, seemed to radiate intense power. It wasn’t until he looked closely that he noticed that they were coming from the small spheres around the circle.

    “The sword!” he said, realizing the source. “All I have to do is take it out!” he decided, narrowing his eyes as he turned to the offending weapon.

    “I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” Tiwaz said, smirking. He hoped that the MetalSeadramon didn’t see how draining his technique was on him. He was basically summoning draconic energy that lived deep within the earth’s core, and it was especially difficult to do on an island so far away from the main continent. “They wouldn’t like it.”

    “They?” Hagel wondered, looking at the pillars. Another realization struck him: the pillars were moving! He looked up, and to his fight, he realized that he was surrounded not by eight pillars of fire, but eight dragons of fire, each one looking at him with fiery eyes. “Oh boy…”

    “Now, I’m pretty strong, if I do say so myself, but those eight? Altogether, they’re stronger than I am, and every time I call them out, they hate listening to me. Hate being controlled, like me. I guess I rubbed off on them; they are pretty much using my energy to get out. And it’s a good thing I have a lot to spare,” Tiwaz explained as he stood up, trying to keep his legs from shaking as he approached the circle.

    Hagel didn’t reply, he simply cowered under the fiery dragons’ enraged eyes.

    “One more thing,” Tiwaz said as he entered the circle. “They just hate things that even vaguely look like them. Guess what you look like,” he said with a smirk as he held the hilt of his sword.

    “Them?” the MetalSeadramon said in a tiny voice for such a large creature.

    “Right. I suggest you try to run, since fighting back won’t be a good idea,” Tiwaz said. “Go crazy, dragons of the earth!”

    With a roar, the first pyro dragon shot towards Hagel’s head, but the MetalSeadramon was able to fly forward before it could hit him. However, the second and third one coiled around his body, effectively pulling him back downwards. With a roar, both fire dragons gave the MetalSeadramon a searing bite on different parts of his body, and the sea dragon let out a pained yell. Following suit, the other dragons started to wrap around the much larger serpentine Digimon, their bodies searing his body with their burning bodies.

    “It hurts! It hurts!” Hagel yelled in agony.

    Tiwaz grit his teeth. “You damn hypocrite! How do you think those townspeople that you killed felt!? Those defenseless seamen who drowned because of you!? How about their pain!?” he roared, and in tandem, the burning dragons coiled around the MetalSeadramon harder.

    “Gwaaagh! S-stop! Let me go!” the MetalSeadramon pleaded as his body began to blur even more.

    “I’m normally the merciful kind…but for someone like you? Maybe I’ll make an exception,” Tiwaz snarled, pulling the Dragon Soul Sword from the ground. Although this severed the connection between himself and the pyro dragons, they still had enough energy to at least hold the MetalSeadramon still while he aimed a final blast at him.

    “N-no!” Hagel cried, his eyes turned wild with panic.

    “Goodbye, you piece of crap,” Tiwaz snarled as he gathered the last reserves of his energy. “Dragonfire Crossbow!

    His weapon burst with orange energy before firing a fiery stream of fire towards the MetalSeadramon. Before it struck, bright light suddenly blinded Tiwaz, causing his aim to suddenly change. When the light died down, he found himself staring at the pyro dragons, already beginning to disperse and disintegrate without his energy to keep them in the mortal plane. The MetalSeadramon was nowhere in sight, but he could see traces of white data scattering around.

    “Does that mean…?” Tiwaz wondered out loud, thinking that maybe the MetalSeadramon was already on the verge of dying. The pyro dragons were really strong, but he couldn’t really believe that Hagel would be defeated just by that.

    And then he heard a splash.

    “Tiwaz, he’s getting away!” Taranis called out from above.

    “What!?” the dragon man yelled, turning towards the sea just in time to see a red, serpentine tail disappear into the waters. He gritted his teeth; he didn’t have enough energy to call back the pyro dragons. Even if he did, they wouldn’t be able to last long underwater, and their effective range was limited to only a few meters near the circle. “Why didn’t you stop him!?” Tiwaz demanded.

    “I didn’t notice him until now,” Taranis replied sheepishly.

    “He couldn’t have gotten far! See if you can find anyone that can follow him!” the EmperorGreymon demanded.

    “O-okay! I won’t let him ‘worm’ his way away from us,” Taranis complied, flying off.

    Tiwaz made sure that the MegaKabuterimon was out of sight before he fell to one knee, panting and barely keeping his eyes open. He had to lean on the Dragon Soul Sword to keep from keeling over. He cursed. All that energy wasted, and he didn’t have anything to show for it. Worse, he was already feeling the aftereffects of his fatigue.

    The dragon man looked at the ground, barely able to keep his head up.

    “I just…need a little rest,” Tiwaz muttered before his vision blacked out for the second time that week.

    -​

    “Wir are yoo gooin’, yoo dim bust’rds!” Skulken yelled as he fired random shots at a certain bear man. He had digivolved into a higher form, not one that Boreas already didn’t know about.

    He was an Assaultmon. He had a cyborg body that was reminiscent of a centaur. His four legs were machine-like boots with three sharp toes each, all worn on a green body that could barely be seen under all the machinery that was his armor. His torso was a plate with a pair of guns on each side, and his chest plate and arms were attached to a pair of machine guns. On his back were two more pair of guns, if ever his machine guns failed him. He had a helmeted head that had a resemblance to a gas mask, as well as a red scalp. While this form was definitely more powerful, it was hard to use on a boat, and it also meant that he wouldn’t be able to swim if he fell in the water.

    “They’re running away! Something you do often,” Boreas replied with a smirk, using familiar terrain to his advantage. It helped that his fur blended almost perfectly with the snow and ground. He had a few injuries here and there, nothing he couldn’t handle.

    “No! No, no, no!” Skulken yelled, momentarily stopping his gunfire to stamp at the ground angrily.

    That was the chance that Boreas needed, and he quickly shot forward, yelling, “Glacier Torpedo!” As he jumped, his braids suddenly snaked towards the Assaultmon, wrapping around his forelegs and pulling them from under his feet.

    With a yell, Skulken fell forward, his legs forelegs and hindlegs spreading, slamming his underbelly hard against the ground. “What the-eeep!“

    “Not one more yell out of you, you, Skulken,” Boreas said, placing one axe blade at the other’s neck as his other braids kept the Assaultmon’s machineguns from pointing at him again. “You’ve been terrible, destructive, savage, apathetic, and downright annoying to everyone ever since five years ago!”

    The Assaultmon, instead of fearing for his life, only glared at the Korikakumon. “What do you know!? I’m a pirate! That’s what we did!” he snarled back at the bear man.

    “That’s not what he did!” Boreas said back, pushing the blade more against the neck, causing the Assaultmon to lean backwards. “He was good to us! He took care of us! He would never have done what you’ve done to us for the past five years! In fact, he would have stopped you!” Boreas answered back with a toothy snarl near Skulken’s face.

    “Sh-sh-shut up!” Skulken replied. “You don’t know that at all! He always told me to do what I wanted! That’s what being a pirate’s all about!”

    Boreas narrowed his eyes at him. “I don’t know why I always try to talk to you,” the bear man said. “And I don’t know why I keep sparing your life.”

    Without saying any more, Boreas forcefully slammed the hilt of his other axe hard against the Assaultmon’s head with enough force to knock Skulken’s head back. Another blow, using the back of his hand, knocked the pirate captain’s head to the side, the force of Boreas’ blow sending the Assaultmon’s whole body onto its side. Skulken groaned as he lay on the ground, falling unconscious a few seconds later. He had never been good against physical blows.

    Boreas grunted and folded his arms. He looked around him, noticing that there weren’t as many fighters around. He knew that they didn’t get out of this fight unscathed.

    “Boreaaaaaas!”

    “Huh?” the bear man said as he looked up. He saw Taranis flying over towards him.

    “Quick! We need to get someone in the water and help Tiwaz!”
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2013
  11. Blades clashed, sparks flying as metal met metal.

    Fenrir grunted as he parried Iskandar’s moon blade to the side. He let out a yell as he pushed forward a free hand, only for him to penetrate through air. Instead, he found his wrist suddenly elbowed downwards, and the wolfman winced in pain, even with his gauntlet absorbing most of the blow. But he didn’t let it stop him from swinging his sword horizontally. Instead of meeting with Iskandar’s flesh, it met the body of his metal staff. The weapon’s blade slid upwards due to the wet metal, and Fenrir ended up slashing empty air above Iskandar’s head, giving the Shawjamon the chance to land a powerful hit on Fenrir’s chest. The Beowolfmon landed on his back, his head submerged in the shallow water. He had barely pulled his head up before he saw Iskandar’s intimidating figure over him.

    “Not yet!” Iskandar yelled out, quickly spinning his staff to slam the barrel end of his staff at Fenrir’s head. It was only due to Fenrir’s exemplary speed that he was able to roll to the side through the water, his body splashing the water around.

    He stood back up using the momentum of his roll, aiming the Roland rocket launcher at the Shawjamon. “Cleansing Light!” he yelled out as he sent several homing missiles towards the captain.

    “I told ya before, matey! That won’t work against me!” Iskandar said as he spun his weapon in the air. “Kouyoujou: Kamon no Jin!” he yelled out.

    The water around the Shawjamon suddenly started to rise above him before quickly turning into water spout around him. The missiles that Fenrir sent towards him went into the spout harmlessly, getting soaked in the process and negating their ability to explode upon impact. Iskandar then stopped his attack, looking at Fenrir smugly.

    “See? I can take everything ya throw at me and more, puppy,” the former captain said confidently. “Now see if you can take this!”

    Iskandar slammed his staff the ground and propelled himself forward by pushing it against the ground. He raised his weapon up in the air. Fenrir grunted, his legs still recovering. It looked like he would have to guard against the attack. He raised his weapon and let out an adrenaline-rushing yell as the Shawjamon slammed the moon blade end against his weapon. Fenrir grunted, using his other hand against the back of his blades, pushing back. He let out a loud yell as he forcefully slashed the Shawjamon’s weapon away. Before he could attack again, however, the Iskandar flipped over him.

    Fenrir turned around, horizontally slashing at the captain before he could get attacked in the back. However, his blade only met Iskandar’s staff again. The Shawjamon’s weapon was completely vertical, the barrel end on the ground while the moon blade pointing the ceiling.

    “I knew you’d do that,” the frog man said with a smirk. “Kouyoujou: Taki no Jin!

    As if he pressed a button, a column of water suddenly shooting from the ground right beneath Fenrir and blowing him away, although it didn’t seem to affect Iskandar at all.

    “Not as strong as I thought you were, puppy,” Iskandar said as he pulled his staff from the ground and spun it gracefully before making a stylish pose. He let the Beowolfmon get back onto his feet as he continued talking. “Is this the best that ya got? Not that I’m complainin’. Ya just hafta get out there an’ say that you din’t get it.”

    Fenrir panted from his position, staring at the Shawjamon. Unlike his opponent, he was tired and had used up more energy. It had been obvious in the first few minutes into their fight: their environment, particularly the water they were standing in, was detrimental to Fenrir’s speed, which he often relied on in fights, but it complimented well to Iskandar’s attacks.

    Of course, that didn’t mean he didn’t have a plan.

    “Not a chance,” the Beowolfmon replied, standing up.

    “Oh yeah?” Iskandar said as he prepared himself once more. “Come and try, puppy.”

    “I’m not a puppy,” Fenrir said with a hard tone as he threw his sword at the frogman.

    Iskandar quickly swung his weapon down, slamming the weapon into the water before it could reach him. The next thing he saw was Fenrir’s rockets flying towards him, having been fired right after he threw his sword.

    “I told you! It won’t work!” he yelled as he swung his weapon, quickly using his Kamon no Jin technique to summon the whirlpool around him again. Once more, the rockets got drenched in water and failed to explode. Iskandar smirked inside his cage of water before letting it down. And he saw Fenrir right in front of him, throwing a punch at his face. He let out a surprised yelp and raised a hand to block the block. To his surprise, he was able to catch Fenrir’s fist.

    “Too bad, puppy! I’m going to end this right now!” Iskandar said triumphantly, gripping tightly at Fenrir’s gauntlet. “He slammed the barrel end of his staff into the ground again. “Kouyoujou: Taki no Jin!” he yelled out, causing another column of water to shoot up at Fenrir. Unlike last time, however, a good portion of Iskandar was also inside the pillar with Fenrir.

    “My turn!” Fenrir growled. In his hand was his sword, which he had taken the chance to get while Iskandar was inside the whirlpool. His plan was risky, but right then, that was the only one he had. “Frozen Hunter!” he yelled, inserting his sword into the pillar of water.

    Almost instantly, the pillar started to freeze from where Fenrir’s sword was. Iskandar let out a yelp, trying to pull his staff away, only to realize that the top part had already been frozen in. He grimaced; it was either keep trying to get it, or end up frozen with it. He knew what he was going to pick, and he let of Fenrir and his weapon in order to escape before he got frozen.

    With nothing holding him any longer, Fenrir was also able to get away, although he had to leave his sword inside the pillar as well. He was able to get away as the pillar continued to get frozen until it was completely solid from the bottom up.

    Iskandar stared, unable to get his weapon anymore. He let out an uneasy smile. “Nice trick. I don’t have my weapon left, but neither do you,” he said turning to Fenrir. The moment he did, his smile did.

    “Not quite,” Fenrir said, pointing the Roland at him. “It’s my win,” he said, breathing heavily.

    The Shawjamon stared at him. Without his staff, he no longer had the ability to summon the whirlpool. And he knew the destructive ability of Fenrir’s attacks; he wouldn’t be able to last long under continuous fire. He knew that Fenrir was tired, but it wasn’t like the Beowolfmon had to move to fire his rockets. They both knew it: it was checkmate, Fenrir’s favor.

    “Don’t move, Iskandar,” Fenrir said, as he sidestepped slowly towards the frozen Digimon. Both fighters had been careful to keep from attacking near the statue. One didn’t want to end up hitting the statue, and the other didn’t want to risk making the relic emit any uncontrollable power.

    “Stop! Please!” the Shawjamon called out, although he didn’t move a single inch. “There…there has to be another way!” he called out.

    “There’s no time,” Fenrir said simply, taking out the runed glove with his free as he got close. He didn’t dare let his weapon face away from the Shawjamon.

    Iskandar’s jaw tightened, his legs tensed up. He couldn’t allow Fenrir to take the relic. He wouldn’t let his captain shatter into tiny little pieces. Not while he could still do anything about it.

    Eventually, Fenrir had to reach for the relic. He had to look at it or risk letting it touch a part of his body that wasn’t covered by the glove. He would end up like the captain otherwise. And that was the chance that Iskandar took.

    The Shawjamon quickly jumped forward, relying on the frog-part of his species to propel himself powerfully towards the wolf man. He crashed right into the Beowolfmon, his arms wrapping around the wolf knight’s waist as he knocked him down.

    Both Digimon splashed into the water behind the statue. Iskandar let out a triumphant cry, pushing himself up and placing his hands on Fenrir’s arms. “Ha! I did it! I stopped ya! No offense, puppy!” he yelled out loud as he let himself look at the Beowolfmon.

    Fenrir, however, only looked at him emotionlessly.

    “What? Cat got yer tongue?” Iskandar he asked with a smirk.

    Once more, Fenrir didn’t say anything. Instead, he glanced up at his.

    “What are you…looking…at…?” Iskandar asked slowly as he turned to look at Fenrir’s gloved hand. And he saw the relic of ice in his grasp. “No…no! Captain!” he yelled out, getting up and off of the Beowolfmon.

    “What is it, Isky?” a deep voice called out.

    -​

    Cold. It was really cold.

    Tiwaz groaned, wondering why it felt like his body was being rocked over and over. It was making him feel sick. It also reminded him of something…

    “You’re finally up!” a familiar voice called out.

    “W-wha?” Tiwaz muttered as he opened his eyes. He found himself in a familiar looking setting: a wooden bed, wooden ceiling, wooden floor, and a small circular window that showed him the horizon of the sea. The thing that hit him the most was the strong smell of the sea wafting out and into the room. He wrinkled the bridge of his snout.

    “Erk…what’s…going on?” he groaned out as he pushed himself up.

    “Get back down!” a female voice shrieked as he was pushed back down with a surprisingly strong pink fin.

    “Gwagh!” Tiwaz yelped as he lied back down. “What the hell, Tethys!?”

    “Patients should stay in bed until their properly healed!” the MarineAngemon said, her fins on her hips.

    “Tiwaz? Are you finally up?” Taranis’ voice called out as he came into the room in his Beetlemon. “Heeey, you are!” the bug man said with a huge smile.

    “Taranis? What happened? Why the hell are we back on a boat?” Tiwaz groaned out as he pushed himself up. “What happened to the fight?” he asked before getting pushed back on the bed again.

    “I said, stay down!” Tethys ordered, glaring at him. “Or do I have to get the rope?”

    Taranis immediately took three steps away from the pink marine Digimon. If Tiwaz were able, he would have done the same. Instead, he simply stayed lying on his back. Even after only knowing the other Digimon for barely a couple of days, he had no doubt that Tethys would go through with her threat.

    “Anyway, what’s going on here?” Tiwaz asked, turning to Taranis.

    The insect Digimon sat down on a nearby chair. “We’re going off to our next destination,” he said with a small smile. “Fenrir and the others found the Spirit of Ice on their first try! Isn’t that cool?” he asked with a large, mischievous grin.

    “R-really?” Tiwaz asked, blinking. “But isn’t it too soon? What about the pirates?”

    “Oh, we got that handled,” Tethys said, folding her fins smugly. There was an air of happiness about her that Tiwaz found unfamiliar. He didn’t want to ask why.

    “Yeah, so, basically, we’ve done everything that we needed to,” Taranis said, raising a hand. “We found the Spirit of Ice,” he said, flicking one finger. “We helped with their pirate problem,” he added, flicking up a second finger. “And with the townspeople so happy about what we did – particularly what you did against Hagel – they practically resupplied everything that we lost in the shipwreck,” he finally said, raising a third and final finger.

    “Hey, that’s great!” Tiwaz said with a large grin. He was disappointed that he wasn’t able to say a proper goodbye to everyone, but he did realize that they needed to get back on the road, and fast. Staying there any longer might tempt the MetalSeadramon to come back and start shooting at the town in revenge. Without them there, at the very least, he would leave them alone. He hoped.

    “Yep, and there’s, uh, another thing,” Taranis said, rubbing the back of his head. “It’s…another surprise!” he said, with a hesitant smile.

    Tiwaz raised an eyebrow at him. “Oh? What is it?”

    “I’m officially travelling with all of you!” Tethys said happily, putting her fins together.

    Tiwaz stared at her.

    YOU’RE WHAAAAAAAAAT!?
     
  12. Griff4815

    Griff4815 No. 1 Grovyle Fan

    Well, I'm finally getting around to replying to this, even though I read it some time ago. xD I brought up most of my issues during the beta, so there's not a whole lot to say. I'll see what I can do though.

    It was nice to see Tethys. She's going to be... interesting to team dynamics. xD

    I also see that the Tiwaz and Fenrir rivalry is still going strong. That's good. Character dynamics are always fun.


    "sometime" -> "some time"

    Also, Skulken's accent sounds like it's some sort of screwed up hybrid of Welsh and South African. xD

    "How worry" -> "How much worry"

    Hagel's an interesting villain. He's affable but a monster. xD

    Okay, I'm done reading. Sheesh, that was long, but I guess I can't really complain when I've done a four-poster once myself. xD Anyways, it was a good chapter. Nice mix of light-heartedness and drama. Looking forward to reading the side chapter next. I'm intrigued to see the fallout of the events of this chapter.
     

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