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Digimon: Unholy Crusade


Dancing Prince
The Gray Keep

Zainab "Zaza" Cadaceus (MagnaKidmon)

She knew this was going to happen. She had expected from their reputation alone. No one gained the renown of 'mons, the fear of criminals and the scorn of the arrogant like the Royal Knights without earning it. And yet still she absolutely loathed the fact that Gawain quickly dictated the flow of the battle like the conductor of an orchestra and a merchant with a monopoly on a business. It may seem like they were doing pretty well since they weren't getting skewered by the Royal Knight, but they did nothing in return. He just weaved, deflected and predicted their shots.

Like they were nothing.

Like their lives were nothing.

She wanted to shoot him full of lead so much she felt like bursting.

A slight prick at her sense though made her glance to her left to see Henry looking at her, almost as if he wished to ask something, as if he wanted to know if she had his back. So she simply gave the hardest, and likely most burning, stare from her rage and an subtle nod.

And then it happened.

Michael suspiciously charged forward like there was no tomorrow (which was very much a possibility) and got himself thwackwd away by the leopard knight. Henry took this chance to digivolve into an AvengeKidmon and followed up on Miachael's "mistake".

Zaza grinned like a madwoman.

Now Henry was the one to close in but because of the unexpectedness of the MagnaAngemon's choice, it was Gawain's turn to start reacting to all the point-blank lethal shots. But with every move he did, Zaza was now right there behind him to force him to either take her bullets, Henry's bullets or another move entirely. Unsurprisingly, he was more than fast enough to avoid their shots. But it was obvious from the once again very slight shift of his eyes that he expected their shots to slow down with her and Henry's close proximity and potential for friendly fire.

They didn't.

She and Henry kept firing like the other wasn't there, not caring the injuries either got and it seemed to actually annoy the Leopardmon that now he was taking a quite a number of hits because of their lack of care of friendly fire. Oh sure Zaza would admit that she made sure any shot that could potentiall be lethal on Gawain wouldn't also be the same on the AvengeKidmon simply because of the trajectory. And yes it always hurt like hell whenever she not only took the bullets of Henry but a swipes of Gawain.

But she was smiling too much to care, her eyes once again burning.

So what if this was probably a bad idea in the long run?

If Zaza had her way, the Royal Knight wouldn't be able to capitalize on that at all, damn their reputation as the protectors of their world.

They deserved to be humiliated for starting this whole mess.

Shula Hernandez & Tyfrigo "Frost" Rex
Current Form: Machinedramon

Back, forth, back, forth, back forth.

That was the simplest Shula would put their fight and that was all she really wanted to describe because, well, it really was simple. They and Dagonet traded blows, some of them skills and some of them not. They trying to wear down on the knight and his famous defenses, him actually slowly wearing down on theirs. All Shula, and by consequence Frost, could think about was what was in front of them. That was all they could do. No fancy tricks, no clever schemes, just two warriors with a gigantic skill gap in between them going at it and it showed.

Which was why she was grateful, and surprised, when a BelleStarmon came and assisted them against knight, managing to grab his attention after basically shooting at the blade of his spear. With that chance provided, they bodied the shield and spear knight into the ground with a Booster Claw, face first. But they were not done. They then braced themselves and charge up their cannons to full blast. The arrival greeted them, but all Shula and Frost did was nod, putting their cannons in point blank range before they said,

"Infinity Cannon!"

And let loose their all.

With no chance to brace himself from their blast, the Royal Knight was sent flying across the keep, right through the ground and sending him crashing into the floor below, the attack being a laser meaning Shula and Frost and the BelleStarmon didn't have to worry about the floor collapsing below them. And then as soon as they finished that energy blast, they said,

"Catastrophy Day!"

And released a barrage of missiles from all over their body straight at the fallen knight.

She and Frost had no idea how well that worked on him, but it was enough they allowed themselves a single moment of rest, eleasing steam from all of their joints like a docking Trainmon. Yes, they were still in the middle of fight, she knew, but they wouldn't last long if they didn't pace themselves.

Besides, there was someone by them and it'd be rude not to answer her so Shula said, with a only a hint of Frost's voice and of course still keeping an eye on the Craniummon below,

"Don't mind at all. Thanks."

However, their rest, as she expected, didn't last long as a roar sounded some distance away.

But Shula, with some consolation from Frost, knew she wouldn't be able to deal with it since it was only them and Serra against the Craniummon.

Kogoro Cadaceus & Morgan Cadaceus
Current Form: DarkKnightmon

Morgan had been fighting with the newly digivolved Ceresmon and its Medium, a grand Digimon he would've likely stared at in awe if it were any other situation, and holding his ground quite well if he said so himself. He was at a level lower than the other after all. He felt the thrill of battle fueling his movements and his wish to protect his family empower them, filling him with so much energy that...

...he was once again disappointed when Sir Bors, the unstoppable Sir Bors, was stopped and practically disappeared in a show of rock and fire.

He knew he should be grateful but...

That was TWICE he had been in a middle of a fight and his opponent taken care of without him contributing much to it on the same day.

So he felt he could cut himself a little slack for feeling let down.

Those feelings vanished though as Kogoro unexpectedly appeared from behind him and said,


He twirled at him with wide eyes. "Brother?" he said, worried for his safety. "What are you—"

And then Morgan turned once again when a roar shook the air and the Ceresmon moved protectively in front of him, his brother and its Medium.

Before them stood the towering and fearsome presence of a Titamon who...

...felt almost like Auntie Zaza for some reason, but much, much mote hostile.

Was it its anger?

"Get ready," Kogoro said.

He shoved aside his concerns and stood at attention. "Yes Brother."

Morgan brandished his double spear, ready to fight with the Ceresmon but would take priority of keeping his brother safe.

Kogoro, meanwhile, looked at the Titamon with a notiecable frown.

He didn't know who this Titamon was, but he knew it couldn't be one of the Royal Knights and he knew there was a very low chance it was an evolved Greymon, the form not draconic one bit except perhaps the rage it exuded. So there was only one conclusion he could draw in such a short time.

"Don't hold back but nothing lethal," he said. "There's a chance it's a Guardian."

Of course Morgan jumped a bit in surprise but returned to being alert, knowing the danger.

With Morgan at the ready, now all Kogoro needed to do was figure out if there was a way to calm the Titamon.

He feared his chances were very low though.

Dinadan Snow (Mistymon)

Well, Samael, who he assumed was the Beelzemon that was before him, certainly lived up to the stereotype of demons. He had appeared out of nowhere in the middle of the fight between Greysvald and his BlackWargreymon ally who he assumed was the "Theo" Shula had described before, not only rending the leader of Greystone fatally wounded, but drawing out the agony from him, confusing and threatening him before his final moments came to pass, absolutely bloody and uneccessary. Dinadan flinched at sight, almost as if he hinself were feeling the pain of being mauled. On instinct, Dinadan's hands twitched in preperation for healing, but he held them back. Even if it wasn't too late to save the Chief, he had to conserve his energy for his allies. He would deal with any injured from the enemy side later.

Speaking of healing though, he healed the aged Theo as much as he could in a couple of seconds, which left the BlackWargreymon near top form barring his stamina. He was tempted to do the same with the demon, but even if he didn't seem like the kind who would refuse such a thing, Dinadan noted no concerning injuries on the Beelzemon.

However, it was that moment the ground exploded some distance behind them, sending someone flying overhead from the looks of it, and some very angry Digimon walked out of the destruction. Understandably Theo urged him to follow him to go against the thing, also likely using it as an exuse wanted to get away as soon as possible from the Beelzamon. Before he actually followed the BlackWargreymon, Dinadan turned to the demon and said,

"Thank you for dealing with him."

And he meant it, even if the demon wouldn't like the thanks nor did Dinadan particularly like his cruel methods.

With that, he finally followed Theo, scanning the area for any injured allies nearby and ready to help offensively or supportively.


God of Monsters
< Svarog Rodsyn >
The Grey Keep, Greystone

Lancelot was a damn near perfect fighter. Any attempt to out-range him was useless -- he could out-pace any attack thrown at him from a distance. He had his cannon, and could alternate between strafing beams and rapid fire. Up close, he had that wickedly sharp blade, and was skilled enough to out-fight just about anyone.

There was almost nowhere that Svarog could conceivably gain an advantage, except one. Ultra-close range combat; fighting Lancelot too close to effectively utilize his weapons, where his long, thin limbs would be more of a hindrance. Where Svarog's superior hand-to-hand capabilities would allow him to edge-out the Royal Knight; close enough that he couldn't bring his cannon to bear without throwing off his rhythm entirely. Close enough that he couldn't swing the sword without having to turn and thrust at an awkward and cumbersome angle.

Who could possibly close the distance between themselves and Lancelot, break his guard, and hold their ground at that range? For anyone else it would've been a pipe dream, and impossibility.

For Svarog...there was a chance. If he kept close, weathered the attempts to create distance, and kept his blows tight and concise. He could do it, fighting in the cramped spaces of Greystone's underbelly, surrounded on all sides by a mountain of rock. They fought through corridors and hallways, smashing through storage rooms, armories, bunkers, and holding cells. Svarog fought with everything he had, all elbow and knee strikes. Each blow Svarog stuck sent Lancelot into a backpedal; Svarog pushed forward to match him.

Every strike came from a single, linear direction, directly from Svarog's center. He held his fists high and tight, ready to strike out with a fist jab or elbow, or block any attempted counter, and danced nimbly on the balls of his feet, ready to throw a hard knee-strike towards Lancelot's center mass. He kept his profile tight and small so as to stay as deep within Lancelot's guard as possible.

Each blow set his bones rattling. Lancelot was impossibly powerful; impossibly swift. Despite his lithe frame and cumbersome-looking armaments, he hit and moved with the momentum of a digimon three times his size. It was like fighting a comet. He'd quickly found that, even with this strategy, for every step he forced Lancelot back, the knight pushed two forward. It was maddening.

Svarog hadn't felt this alive in over three hundred years.

A whipped-up elbow cracked Lancelot in the jaw and sent him staggering back. Svarog grabbed the wrist of the knight's WarGreymon arm and allowed himself to be pulled along with him, then used that momentum to deliver a pair of knee-strikes that doubled Lancelot over with a gasp of pain.

But Svarog realized his misstep a moment too late. The double-over Lancelot was in the perfect position to drive his shoulder into Svarog's midsection and slam him through the heavy stone walls, carrying him through room after room after room. Svarog held on for all he was worth, knowing that if he let the distance between them grow, he'd never be able to close it again. Lancelot wasn't the most tactical fighter; he could see that now -- the knight had probably never needed tactics before. Never come up alone against a foe that could contend with his overwhelming power. And if something could? Just turn the job over to Galahad or Gawain.

Svarog held fast, wedging Lancelot's sword arm under his own, and snaring him in a front headlock while wrapping his legs around the knight's torso. He wrenched back hard, his hands clasped together, twisting at Lancelot's neck and shoulders. The knight thrashed in his grip, but couldn't break free. Every attempt he made to rise to his feet, Svarog countered by twisting him back to the ground. His sword arm flailed awkwardly in Svarog's lock, and Svarog's superior wrestling skills kept the knight's cannon arm either pinned beneath their wrestling mass, or mis-positioned for a strike.

And with each passing moment, Svarog's flames billowed with greater fury. He could feel the knight's white armor begin to glow hot under his touch, could feel the knight's struggling become more and more desperate while the heat drained his energy at the same time. He felt the thick slabs of the Grey Keep begin to grow soft beneath them, and they began to sink down. Slowly. Slowly. Just a hair's depth at first, but then the stone grew even softer, hotter, and more liquid. And they sank deeper and deeper into it.

Until the heat and fire became too much for Lancelot to bear. He let out an actual howl of pain as the molten rock seared into his armor, seeping into the cracks and flashing against his skin. But the liquid rock gave Lancelot's longer limbs purchase before Svarog's own, and he used that leverage to his advantage, maneuvering his cannon arm out of Svarog's manipulations, and pressing the cannon's mouth into Svarog's side.

With a bubbling howl of "Supreme Cannon!" Lancelot sent a torrent of supercooled power into the room. Svarog was tossed away in the blast and the rock resolidified around them. Before Svarog could right himself, Lancelot had burst through his rocky entombment and was upon him. There was a searing pain in his abdomen, and the war god only just managed to grasp the blade of the Transcendent Sword before it drove fully into him.

Svarog snarled with the effort of holding back the one arm of the Royal Knight. He was shaking -- all the effort of raising his body temperature to pummel Lancelot into submission had drained his strength, and the chilling blast from Lancelot's cannon had extinguished the flames and cooled the molten rock around them that he might have otherwise drawn strength from.

He felt the strength of Lancelot's arm falter for a moment, and forced the tip of the sword from his chest. He locked eyes with the Royal Knight, but found only grim certainty. The sword was pulled back and out of his grasp, and the mouth of the cannon slammed into his gut, forcing the air from his lungs.

Svarog had a moment of recognition -- he'd seen this move before -- then a frozen blast of power exploded from the cannon's maw, bore into him, and buried him in the chilling darkness.


< Michael Ha'Yisrael >

Michael kept his wits about him, even half-buried under crumbled slabs of volcanic stone slabs. He'd positioned himself as he fell, positioned his shield and bracer against the falling rocks above him, ready for the moment when opportunity presented itself. Henry had been right, when he'd chastised them earlier; Michael hadn't been giving Henry enough credit, hadn't trusted him. He'd wanted Henry to deal with the minutiae of organizing the Guardians and keeping them motivated and energized while he had the freedom to deal with the bigger picture (and Samael).

But that wasn't working. It couldn't -- it wasn't their dynamic (they had none). So Michael had chosen instead to do the least-predictable thing he could think of: lose, and take himself off the board, hoping to distract Gawain with this just enough to make him question each step against Henry and their new ally, while trusting Henry to do what he did best:

"I prod the map, I look for anything at all that might give us an edge."

He lay still and pooled his power, watching with eyes half-shut for the moment when he could make his move. Henry and the MagnaKidmon (he swore she introduced herself as "Zaza" but that couldn't be right), were quickly becoming an effective duo. Henry was all he claimed to be -- adaptable and cunning. The two of them were quickly learning to work together, with scarcely an introduction between them. And with Michael out of the way they no longer had to worry about him getting caught in the crossfire.

Their similar capabilities also meant that Gawain was no longer splitting his attention into two separate fighting styles. He was solely focused on their fighting, developing a rhythm to counter them. The Royal Knight was gaining ground, slowly beginning to encroach on their range. But he was still moving in long-range motions; his movements were long and graceful, his sword positioned more for launching his attacks than engaging in close. Michael had seen the way he fought up close; that weapon struck like a shrapnel in a tornado.

He'd have precious few seconds to pull this off before Gawain regained his bearings and they were back at square one.

With Gawain distracted by the MagnaKidmon and Henry, Michael made his move. He leaped from the rubble he was trapped under and shot towards the Royal Knight, digivolving mid-flight. He felt the added weight of his thick silver armor, but also felt the strength and the power of the form. His eight white wings became ten wings of gold, and they shot him forward with renewed speed. It had been a long while since he last donned the Seraphimon form, but he immediately regained his bearings. His blade ignited with a flash, drawing Gawain's attention a split second sooner than Michael would have liked.

Gawain disengaged from the others and readied a parry, but a burst of gunfire from Henry slowed his movement by a heartbeat and his defense was half-formed. Michael's slash was deflected, but not entirely. His blade found purchase in Gawain's shoulder beneath his pauldron, and tore into and through his flexible armor. Gawain pulled away from Michael's blade, but the motion sent him spinning in place.

Michael stopped, wheeling around to face Gawain who, despite his injury, had already managed to raise his guard and step into a defensive stance. Michael shot forward, then swerved away at the last moment as more gunshots fired from Henry and the MagnaKidmon and peppered Gawain and sent him stumbling back.

Michael whipped through the dust and smoke and shot back towards Gawain. He slashed heavily, capitalizing on Gawain's stumbling; another haphazard block saved the Royal Knight any additional damage, but undermined his footing even further. They faced off again, and again Michael darted away as his allies let loose a volley of gunfire. Gawain backpedaled into another clash of blades; this time Michael didn't wait for the barrage to finish. He let his heavier armor take the shots, and let the tactic throw Gawain into further confusion.

He noticed, however, that in the midst of all this, Gawain had continued to reposition himself and had regained a stable footing and fighting stance. Seconds. That's all it had taken. Despite a dizzying barrage from all sides, Gawain had defended himself, regained his bearings, and gotten a read on their rhythm.

They were falling into a comfortable pattern; and even after mere seconds, Gawain was beginning to read it. On his next charge, Michael didn't feint or leap to the side. He struck full force with his blade, locking against Gawain and pushing him back across the quickly-crumbling stone floors of the Keep. He had to keep this up, had to build a new pattern. It was like chess; he and Gawain could counter one another's moves all day, but in the end Gawain would win. He'd demonstrated that much. Michael's only choice was to take a page from Henry's book: "Slip a gun under the table so that the game hardly matters."

He had to keep Gawain guessing, keep him reading the patterns in their movements, and trust that Henry and the MagnaKidmon were competent enough to fill in the blanks with their own attacks. Until the time was right for him to shoot from under the table.

He struck again, this time with an upward sweep of his blade to break Gawain's guard, positioning his charge so that his allies were directly behind him; a broken guard would leave Gawain wide-open for their next volley. Gawain's guard broke, but he recovered quickly, stumbling through the fired shots into a defensive stance that allowed him to batter the last few safely away.

Michael moved again, this time swinging harder and more recklessly. Again Gawain managed to withstand his strike, even keeping his footing, and Michael moved out of the way as Henry and the MagnaKidmon's volley tore behind him.

He continued on. Keep Gawain guessing. Continue to change the direction and strength of each strike. Let him grow comfortable with the pattern, but make him attempt to anticipate the wrong part of the pattern until he was closing back in on an even footing with the three of them.


Michael dropped down from the sky with his blade energized and a shout on his lips. Gawain heard, and braced for a quick block, and their blades clashed for an instant. Then Michael deactivated his blade suddenly. Gawain stumbled forward and Michael dropped under his guard. He coiled, and drove a crackling fistfull of energy hard into Gawain's unguarded chest.

Gawain let out a breathless gasp of pain that was quickly swallowed up as Henry and the MagnaKidmon let loose with a final barrage of blasts. Michael followed them with a shout.

"Seven Heavens!"

Seven iridescent spheres of blinding light punched through the air and drove themselves, one-by-one, into Gawain.

The Royal Knight lay in a crumpled heap on the hard stone, surrounded by charred and half-molten rock. Michael allowed himself to feel (but not show) a moment of elation and relief. This was a victory, for certain. It had taken three of them to obtain it, but it was a victory nonetheless. And it was a validation of all their efforts so far.

He took a steadying breath. They weren't done; they had to find a way to secure Gawain and assist the others against the remaining Royal Knights.

"Well done," Michael nodded to Henry and their new ally. "Now let's--" He stopped suddenly as a massive pressure built behind him.

Michael whirled around and crossed his arms in front of him just as a massive blast of power slammed into him. It filled his world with explosive light and drove him into the ground. He clawed his way to his feet just as a shimmering white form dropped from the sky. There was a flash of gleaming metal, and Michael raised his Excalibur blade on sheer instinct to clash against the falling blade of his foe.

The energy blade held for a heartbeat's length, then crumpled under the pressure of his opponent's strike. It slashed down and shred through his armor. A second slash shattered his Seraphimon form entirely and sent him careening into darkness.


Lancelot paid the archangel no further mind as he crumpled to the ground like a puppet without its strings. He turned solemnly to the other two who had attacked Gawain. Wretches. He raised his cannon and fired two quick shots, striking both Digimon center mass.


< Thor Odinson >
The Grey Keep, Greystone

Gunnar lowered into a fighting stance and Thor stepped into a loose one of his own. The fiery sword and shield ignited in his grip, his wings flared, and he shot towards Thor. But he met Gunnar's charge, outpacing him and slipping into his guard. A slash of his sword forced Gunnar's weapons upward, and Thor drove the pommel of the White Sword into Gunnar's chest.

Thor stuck again with his sword, and Gunnar threw up a sloppy block. He held for a moment, and it seemed like he could block Thor's strike in full. But then Thor's power raced along the blade's length and Gunnar's flames sputtered out under it. Thor knocked his hands aside and grabbed the ShineGreymon by the throat, hoisting him into the air.

"I didn't come here to kill you," Thor said. He glanced quickly around to the other four Greymon lying prone on the ground around them. "Despite what you and your lot tried. I came in peace. I will offer you one last mercy. Yield."

Gunnar struggled, but it was in vain. He couldn't break free, regardless of how hard he fought and struggled and clawed at Thor's arm. Thor could feel the heat of Gunnar's power building beneath his fingertips.

"Screw...you…" Gunnar choked out. He choked out a roar and brought his hands in front of Thor's face. Before Thor could throw him away, Gunnar released his power in a torrent of fire. The force of the blast broke Thor's grip and pushed him back, though he managed to remain upright.

Thor shook his head and squinted against the blinding light. When his vision cleared he saw Gunnar standing across from him, his arms spread wide and his body bursting with red-hot fire. He raised his hands above his head, pooling the power there for a brief moment, and then hurled it towards Thor with a cry of "Final Shining Burst!"

"Omni Sword!" Thor shouted in reply. Light cascaded from the edge of his weapon. The collision of his and Gunnar's attacks sent fire and light spilling out over the courtyard and flooding the entirety of the Grey Keep.


< Samael Cain >

Samael rolled all three of his eyes at Theo and turned to stalk off. He scanned the chaos, peering through the ash and fire, but even with his vision he couldn't see more than a few feet in front of him. Then a massive explosion caught his attention. Half of Greystone seemed to explode along with it. Two more blasts followed in quick succession, bursting with enough force to hurl away the smoke and dust of the battlefield.

A grin split Samael's face as he took in the chaos. Greymon lay strewn about, moaning and groaning, clutching injuries to staunch the bleeding. The Royal Knight...red-horse and gold-loincloth were down for the count. Ratty-wings and Sir Edgelord were on the ropes and weren't going to last much longer. That just left…

Samael's grin faded as he caught sight of the white knight in the middle of everything. He had his foot planted on Henry's chest, holding him down. Thankfully, for Henry's sake, he seemed to be just staring down at him, none of that incessant jabber that these holier-than-thou types loved. Scattered around the knight lay Michael and a red-Henry.

"Ugh," Samael sighed dramatically. "Guess I'll save them." He cracked his knuckles and strode forward. "Oi!" he shouted. He drew his pistols and waved them towards the Royal Knight. "You just posing there? Or are we gonna--"

He shut his mouth as Lancelot turned. There was a crack, and then the knight had closed the distance between them by half, with a damn-near sonic boom in his wake! Samael stood stunned for a split second before his instincts kicked in. Lancelot planted his foot hard, sending cracks through the weakened stone and almost shaking Samael's footing. But despite Lancelot's explosive power, Samael was quicker. More nimble.

Samael moved through Lancelot's strike, pivoting and stepping out of the blade's path and then weaving back beneath his guard. Then it was Lancelot's turn to stammer. A half-heartbeat, but that's all Samael needed. He let out a savage howl and drove the double barrel of his weapon into Lancelot's face and filled his eyes with hellfire.

The blast snapped Lancelot's head back hard. He spun, a tight backflip through the air, then stopped suddenly with his cannon extended and sent a huge blast barreling down onto Samael from barely an arm's length away. There was nowhere for Samael to dodge. The blast swallowed him and the ground around him and exploded, hurling him away and crashing across the ground in a smoking heap.

His body was charred and bloody as he clawed his way to his feet. His instincts urged him on. Samael had his blades up just as Lancelot crashed upon him again. A goddamned avalanche. Samael's blade groaned under the force Lancelot unleashed, and none of his deft swordplay or quick footwork afforded him an inch. Not that he could use much of his highly-vaunted skills with his body half-ashed, with two of his ribs sticking through his chest, and his hip dislocated.

For the first time in ages Samael felt the strain of his injuries overwhelm the ferocity of his demonic healing.

A sweep of Lancelot's blade knocked Samael's defenses aside; he repaired his guard too slowly and Lancelot plunged his blade into Samael's guts. Samael was lifted off the ground and slid down the blade's length to its hilt. He gasped and gagged, and a dark voice in the back of his mind laughed low and deep and condescending.

Yes. There it is. That sound. The gurgle. The slow drain of life and strength and will that precedes one's inevitable failure.

He clawed frantically at the armored forearm of the Royal Knight, until the barrel of a cannon filled his vision. He glanced from that to Lancelot's face and saw only grim certainty. How many of these very moments had he experienced, either himself or through whatever fakakta ritual the knights went through? Did Lancelot know? Did he have a sense of that number?

The question gnawed at Samael as his mind raced and time seemed to slow down. Did the Royal Knights know? Or did they just have some vague sense of being there before, like deja vu?

They couldn't know, not for sure, not the way he did. Him, with his near-perfect recall, with every face etched into the hollow chasm inside him where his soul used to be, filling up that space with hundreds upon hundreds of kills. The knight's couldn't know, or there'd be no "grim certainty," no "holier-than-thou," no "noble cause." They would just be twisted and empty and hollow.

Just like him.

The thought set him off, and he scrambled wildly at Lancelot's arm as time quickened around him. He was Samael. Heaven's First Murderer. And he would not be done in by some mopey man-child who couldn't even remember his kills.

He grabbed the edge of Lancelot's cannon, tensed his shredded abdomen, and threw himself up and off the knight's blade just as a blast of power ripped through the space he occupied a split second before. He flipped through the air and over Lancelot's head, feeling his body begin stitching together the more serious wound in his stomach at the expense of the others. But he didn't have time to wait. He landed hard on his good leg--the one not attached to his dislocated hip--and pivoted.

He landed, sprang forward, and drew his blade in a single swift motion, before Lancelot had a chance to finish turning around himself. Samael ducked the blind slash of his sword and drove his own blade hard into the knight's exposed underarm.

Lancelot seized up and let out a howl of pain. Samael grinned and pulled back his blade, only to find that Lancelot had not in fact "seized up," but had pinned the demon's blade under his arm while still embedded in his body!

Badass, was the last thought that went through Samael's head before Lancelot swung his cannon down in a rage. The blow cracked Samael's jaw clean in half and drove him through the floor into the bowels of Greystone. The white knight followed with a howl of righteous indignation and let loose a torrent of cannon blasts into the hole, filling the foundations of Greystone with fire.

Lancelot collapsed his cannon and pulled the Obsidian Digizoid blade from his underarm. He gave it a look of disgust before tossing it away.

Lancelot turned from where the demon had fallen. Filth. Its presence among the Council's forces was proof enough that the Royal Knights were acting justly. That the Host of Paradise had even dared to send such a cretin only made their fall from grace more apparent. The world was corrupt it was dying all around them. And it had started with the humans. They had to be culled -- from Saga and the very least.

If that meant that Lancelot had to burn a few stale fortresses to the ground, then he would gladly do so. And if that meant he had to journey to the human's world to put them in their place then he would do that as well if his lord commanded it.

There was a flare of light from elsewhere in the castle, and it drew Lancelot's attention to Caradoc. His brother knight fell back under a two-pronged assault; though he should not have been so easily overcome. That could only mean...Lancelot did the math...the CresGarurumon was a Biomerge, that had been reported already. The BlitzGreymon was then the Agumon and the Tamer that he'd fired upon when they first sprung their trap.

Lancelot turned and strode towards them, watching them carefully as they continued to engage Caradoc. A small smirk played at the corner of his mouth; he could appreciate the ironic symmetry of the coming exchange.

He waited for them to charge, to strike at Caradoc; he waited for them to move and be unable to stop. Then he exploded forward.

Lancelot was on them within two long strides. He raked his blade across the BlitzGreymon's chest before it even realized he was there. The electrified barrier around it crumpled like foil. Then in the same fluid motion he whirled and fired his cannon into the chest of the CresGarurumon. Its blade had barely a chance to swing towards Caradoc before it was swatted out of the air.

"Lancelot," Caradoc coughed. He pulled himself to his feet and glared at the Biomerged Digimon. Lancelot could feel his comrades disgust, the revulsion at such a phenomenon. Galahad had called it a desecration of a Digimon's self. Lancelot was more pragmatic, less...emotional about those sorts of things. What was the real difference if humans were infesting Saga or its Digimon? The end result was the same.

No. The true problem with the Biomerge was the strength it gave their enemies. These two…children were given power to overcome Caradoc.

"See to the others," Lancelot said, not taking his gaze from his opponents. Caradoc began to object, but Lancelot raised a gauntleted hand and stopped him. "Enough. See to the others."

His word was final. Galahad may have been the heart of the order; and Gawain might have been the brain; but Lancelot was its indomitable will, it's unrelenting hand.

He readied his weapons. Caradoc had underestimated his enemy and it had cost him. He had taken them seriously only after the damage had been dealt, or he would not still be standing. Lancelot would not make that error. He did not make mistakes. He did not falter or flail or stumble. He pointed himself at his target and went through it.

Lancelot burst forward, overwhelming them with the force of his charge. They had gained an advantage over Caradoc, but it had cost them. They were tired. Weak. And even at their best they would not be enough to stand against him.

He broke the CresGarurumon's guard with the force of his charge alone. A single stroke of his sword shattered its weapon and ripped a hole through its armor all at once. A stiff front-kick caved in its chestplate and sent it flying. The BlitzGreymon had avoided the charge and taken to the air, then turned and fired volleys of azure energy his way.

Lancelot weathered the tired blasts without worry. He fired a single shot that shred through the BlitzGreymon's defenses and sent it careening from the sky. Three more shots followed as it fell, each one perfectly placed, blasting it further and more violently towards the ground.


< Serra Castiel >

They'd managed to get Dagonet on his heels, which was impressive enough with just the two of them. The odd reverberation in the Machinedramon's voice signified it was either a Biomerge or (even rarer) a Jogress. Either way, Serra didn't much care -- power was power, and that Machinedramon had just sent a lot of it Dagonet's way.

It wouldn't be enough. It never was with these types. And true to form, the indigo-armored knight rose from the rubble. He was scuffed and scraped, but his movements were liquid smooth and seamless. Eerily not the movements of a Digimon that had just been blasted -- twice -- from damn-near point-blank range.

"I'm really regretting my decision to get involved in this mess," Serra muttered to herself, but she kept her eyes trained forward. The why of it escaped her now that she was asking herself the tough questions. Why had she gotten involved. It wasn't just because they wrecked her distillery in Glen Elendra, was it? It couldn't be. If that were the case she would have cut her losses and wiped her hands of the whole thing.

Why was she still involved in this?

Dagonet left her no time to ponder. He leaped out of the crater with surprising grace and landed gently in a crouch.

"Way to stick the 'hero landing,'" Serra clapped her hands mockingly. Dagonet whirled his spear and prepared to charge, but then the streets of Greystone erupted like a volcano. A shower of superheated stone blasted from the underground chambers with a deafening boom. Somewhere, tumbling through the shower of debris was the battered and beaten body of Sir Percival.

Dagonet turned to the source of the explosion, whirling his spear to clear away the smoke and dust, only to come face-to-face with a charging Titamon. It was huge, towering even over the burly Dagonet; arms like Glen Elenda tree trunks, shoulders as wide as some Digimon were tall, fists that looked bigger than her entire torso, and a sword bigger than Svarog's ego.

The Titamon's blade slammed against Dagonet's spear, and to the knight's credit he held firm. He swiped back, scoring deep cuts along the Titamon's chest and arms, but they didn't seem to faze him. A huge uppercut caught the green Digimon on the chin, but barely managed to move his head back. Dagonet's shock was palpable, and he hesitated just a split second too long.

The Titamon struck back with a blow of his own that cracked across the knight's face and knocked him to one knee. A huge slash ripped downward and Dagonet barely brought his spear up in time. The spear itself held, but the floor beneath Dagonet shattered. The force of the blow sent Dagonet deep into the earth with a monstrous boom.

The Titamon howled with all its monstrous fury.

"Hey, uh, do you know who that is?" Serra asked the Machinedramon. "I guess he's on our side?" But the wild and murderous glare the monster sent their way erased that notion from Serra's mind.

It let out a furious roar, only to have that roar swallowed up by a trio of explosions that bore deep into its emerald hide. A sweeping arc of fiery energy crashed into Serra and the Machinedramon, throwing them into the wreckage.

Lancelot strode forward, weapons at the ready. He eyed the Titamon warily. Lancelot recognized power when he saw it. Three dead-center shots, unprotected, and it was already clawing its way to its feet. This was something new. Something unexpected. But it burned and bled. It had managed to defeat Percival with some assistance and had caught Dagonet unawares. It would not have the same luxury with him. Unexpected or not, it would be dealt with.


Knight of RPGs
Hoshiko Yukimura and Okatsu Sekishusai
The Grey Keep, Greystone

They smashed to earth, landing heavily in a crater as shards of metal clattered on the ground around them. Okatsu's weapon was in pieces, her armor ripped and torn by Lancelot's fury. It had taken him so little effort, Hoshiko thought as they reeled, pain surging through her nerves where Okatsu had been wounded.

Slowly the CresGarurumon rose, shaking her head but doing little to break the concussion. A clawed hand brushed over her chest, her chestplate in ruin, a new wound left where the Grey Sword had rent Digizoid like paper. The hand came away red-stained, not before it touched scar tissue and the sensation stirred memories of what that wound had been.

Hoshiko closed a fist inside her cocoon of data, nails biting her palm.

A warm tendril of thought brushed her mind, Okatsu's concern resting on her own thoughts a moment. She was fine, she retorted, they had to focus. The CresGarurumon looked from the crater and found Lancelot's majestic figure in the distance, his cannon hammering shots into the chest of a Titamon. Icy determination made them rise toward him, injured legs buckling but Okatsu dug her claws into the broken ground and pulled herself up. Hoshiko felt the stone and dirt like it was her own hands in the earth.

Okatsu's palm found a sharp edge, the stone cutting like-

The thought ended abruptly as they took in the battlefield, seeing Artanis some way away. The BlitzGreymon was looking Lancelot's way, his armor chipped and dented, but he seemed unharmed otherwise. Even the Omnimon couldn't put him down, it seemed. And even after the beating he'd taken, Artanis seemed like he was preparing to charge back in.

Of course. The thought was like a shard of black ice, cold and sharp, stuck in her mind as Okatsu nodded to their fellow Guardian and weighed the field.


James Reeve and Artanis Dawnflame
The Grey Keep, Greystone

It happened so quickly. One second they were about to finish Caradoc, the next Lancelot entered the fray and both Biomerges were swept aside. Okatsu was swept away by a brutal flurry of attacks, the Omnimon's onslaught too fearsome for either of them to spare a glance at where she had ended up. The Supreme Cannon roared four times and hammered them into the dirt, forced to their knees by the icy power. It was like a blizzard coalesced into a sphere of energy each time, too fierce to weather when they had spent so much already brawling Caradoc.

Even if they were fresh, Lancelot wasn't to be reckoned with. James had seen enough of him to know that.

Even so, they rose, pain lancing back and forth across their bond. Plates of armor creaked as the BlitzGreymon stood, the Elec Guard so broken that James doubted they'd have it back before the battle ended. Artanis was buckled and dented, but not yet broken, enough strength left to fight on. And even if his strength was spent, his spirit was unconquered. They scanned the terrain to find where Lancelot's attack had blasted Okatsu, finding her literally clawing her way out of a crater. Her armor, lighter than Artanis's to begin with, was shattered, a few plates miraculously intact but her chestplate in tatters. Her weapon was gone completely, leaving her with just tooth and claw and ice to fight on. She met their gaze across the field and nodded curtly, gathering mist into an icy halberd in her grip.

Artanis turned his gaze to where Lancelot stood, cape billowing majestically as though the wind recognised the Omnimon's power and chose to enhance his gravitas accordingly. They followed his eyes to the Titamon. Stein? That was James's best guess, but the way it rampaged seemed at odds with the surprisingly gentle Boltmon. In any case, it clearly wasn't Lancelot's ally; he'd hurled three cannon shots at it.

"We can't beat him," James admitted. "Not like this. Thor could, maybe."

"Even so, if that is Stein, we can hardly let him bring his full power to bear," Artanis replied over the bridge where their thoughts touched. James nodded in agreement out of habit, even though his thought alone was enough to agree. The BlitzGreymon looked at Okatsu and found her still, like she was waiting to see what they would do. He inclined his head in Lancelot's direction as the Omnimon's cannon came up to fire at the Titamon once more. If he'd noticed them, he clearly didn't consider them a threat.

Artanis ignited his boosters and rocketed over broken ground, closing the distance in a matter of moments. A crackling fist drew back to strike. "Plasma Stake!"

Fast as thought Lancelot turned, sword blazing as it slid from his WarGreymon arm's mouth. "Transcendent Sword!" The arc he swung met Artanis's fist and effortlessly halted the punch, the Omnimon holding a moment before a sweep of his arm hurled Artanis aside in a wave of flames. Embers bit at scales through broken armor as Artanis landed and skidded to a halt, looking up in time to find Lancelot's cannon aimed his way. "Supreme Cannon!"

Artanis crossed his arms in a makeshift guard, but James knew even before the attack hit it wouldn't be enough. Metal shrieked and buckled as icy energy washed over them, the force of Lancelot's attack impossible to withstand. It tossed them like a leaf across the ground, the edges of Artanis's armor gouging earth and stone as he rolled to a stop.

Slowly he rose again, glaring Lancelot's way, the Omnimon's attention already back on the Titamon. At least that was the way his head turned. James was sure that if they attacked again, he'd counter just as quickly as he just had. But every moment he attacked them was one he wasn't attacking the Titamon, so with just a glance that found Okatsu making her way cautiously over, they raced back into the fray.

A stroke of Lancelot's blade screamed through armor and bit at the scales of Artanis's forearm, the BlitzGreymon straining to try and stop Lancelot forcing him to his knees. The Omnimon stared down, impassive, untouchable, invincible. It was like trying to duel a comet, that was what they might as well have tried to do. He didn't have to exert himself much to hold them at bay, cannon coming around almost casually to blast them again.

But they would rise again, the two thought as one. Again and again, as many times as it took.


God of Monsters
Power and fire flooded the Grey Keep in a flash of light, superheating stone and armor for a brief moment before rushing out and down the mountains. Lancelot stepped out of the Titamon's reach and wrapped his cape around him to weather the burst. Before him, the huge beast howled its fury, pausing only as its skin blistered in the wave. Lancelot was impressed.

The smell of charred hair and giant-flesh filled the space around the monster. Lancelot was struck by the impressions of his forebears. A thousand other battles, a hundred-thousand other foes. Just like this. All full of rage and uncontrolled power. All burning before him.

Then something flashed within the wash of power and fire. He raised his sword just as a force, like a crack of lightning, shot through the glow and crashed against him. He was thrown back, but regained control quickly and skidded to a stop on his feet a few paces away.

He stepped into a tight stance and stared across the battered courtyard at Thor. Superficial scorch marks trailed up and over the Eternal's armor, but he seemed otherwise unharmed by the fight with the Greymon.

So much for Gawain's meticulous planning. He should never have relied on outsiders to handle something so important.

Lancelot watched the Son of Odin carefully, studying his own stance for any weaknesses and insecurities. They were there, but few and faint. He searched his impressions, as they always did, for sequences and familiarities. He found…


None of his forebears had done what he was about to do. None had stared down the edge of the White Sword, faced Odin's power head-on in true combat. In a thousand years. Not a single one.

Lancelot felt a shiver run down his spine. He felt adrenaline flood his body; he felt his heart hammer in his chest, a feeling so utterly foreign and strange that it almost shattered his focus and his fighting form. What was it?

The corners of his lips twitched upwards beneath the sheer white faceplate of his armor.

Excitement. For the first time in nearly twenty years. He was finally feeling something new. And not just new, but significant. This would not just be another impression added to countless similar ones, passed down the line of succession until the end of time. This would be unique and wholly singular; it would be his own lasting and immortal legacy.

The knight who broke the White Sword.


< Thor Odinson >

Before, when battling the ShineGreymon, Thor had thought himself the immeasurable sky above; now, despite that vastness, Lancelot was threatening to tear through him like a meteor.

It wasn't just the knight's power. He could handle that...he could match it -- no, it was the sheer explosiveness of his motions, the overwhelming force in the way he moved; the precision of his strikes, the power behind those strikes. There was nothing wasted. He could put on sudden bursts of speed to push through the already-breakneck pace of his combat style. No flourishes, no recalibrations. He was simply there. Always in position to measure the next strike.

Odin's Eye, it was impressive.

And for the first time, Thor found himself on the backfoot despite the Paladin Mode's power. It was sobering, to be suddenly unable to rely on the form's overwhelming strength. But Lancelot could match that power blow for blow...if not surpass it.

A sudden flaring of speed almost took Thor's head off his shoulders. He raised the White Sword and blocked the strike, but found himself bracing against its force with almost the entirety of his body. He had held a Burst Mode's strike at bay with one arm, but Lancelot's blow shook him from his hands down to the soles of his feet. He felt the bones in his shoulder grind and scream in protest as he pushed back against the white knight.

Lancelot danced back and Thor's balance faltered against his sudden absence; in that faltering, Lancelot struck again. Thor threw up a sloppy block, one that would have gotten him laughed out of his father's courts, but diverted Lancelot's blade from piercing through his heart.

He realized too late that the strike was a diversion. With Thor focused solely on the sword, it left him wide open to Lancelot's cannon. The knight thrust it forward swiftly, jabbing it into Thor's chest like a heavy haymaker. It knocked the wind out of him a split-second before its maw exploded with power and sent him flying across the ground.

Thor recovered more quickly than even he expected, but realized the blast had knocked the White Sword from his hands. He spun to his feet just as Lancelot was upon him. It was only a lifetime of training and battle-honed instincts that saved him from getting skewered; he stepped into Lancelot's charge and caught him with a hip-throw that sent the knight tumbling gracelessly over the stone ground.

Lancelot landed hard and whirled to his feet in a single, swift motion; before Thor had much chance to scan the battlefield for the lost sword. Then Lancelot was on the attack again, and three cannon blasts ripped towards Thor.

The Asgardian prince slipped around the first blast. He tried to do the same to the next, but miscalculated. The blast clipped his shoulder and halted his movements, forcing him to bring up his arms and guard himself against the third as it hammered home. The force and the sheer cold drove the breath from his lungs and left him gasping. Thor shook himself back into focus just as Lancelot closed the gap between them, his sword held high.

Thor reached his hand out and grabbed the base of the blade before Lancelot could muster the momentum to bring it down and, caught at the apex of its strike, Thor held it at bay. The Royal Knight maintained the pressure and swung his cannon to bear. But again Thor stopped it before it could find him.

He dug the fingers of his left hand into the barrel, fighting for purchase against the smooth metal. Blood ran down his right arm from where Lancelot's blade bit into his hand. But still he held. For dear life, he held strong, locked in place with the strong white fist of the Royal Knights.

But it wouldn't last. Thor could feel the edge of the sword begin to grow hot. He could feel the barrel of the cannon chill beneath his grasping fingertips. Both burned at his hands in their own terrible ways. He had to act; digging deep as he was, he could barely maintain the strength and focus to hold them back, but he dug deeper still. He sharpened his focus along the power of the White Sword and split his mind into three parts; two to focus entirely on holding back Lancelot's weapons, and the third…

"Giga Crusher!" Thor shouted. He straightened and the dragon-headed armor on his chest opened its mouth. The positron emitter slid forward and power built in its eye.

And then it was Thor holding Lancelot in place as the knight tried to backpedal. Thor's attack exploded from his chest and drove itself into Lancelot. It picked him up and hurled him across the Grey Keep.

But with impossible grace, Lancelot pushed himself off the sphere of power and threw his cape between it and himself. Thor's attack detonated, washing Lancelot in its baleful light. But instead of being crushed beneath it, Lancelot was "merely" hurled further away.

The Royal Knight landed hard, his armor aflame, his cape in tatters, the spiked ornamentation of his weapons cracked and scored; but he found his way to his feet in the span of a few breaths.

Thor felt his limbs begin to shake and grow numb as the weariness and exhaustion set in. His mind had been sharp when facing the Greymon, and he had held on to that sharpness when he charged into battle against Lancelot. But exhaustion was creeping in, and he was beginning to feel his hold on the White Sword's power slipping. It was taking every ounce of focus and willpower to keep himself from fraying.

He should have been proud of himself. He'd pushed so far; become so much more than he had been. But all that still fell short against the Royal Knight's overwhelming might.

Lancelot strode from the nuclear inferno of Thor's power, and Thor held his gaze with a glare. The white knight raised his cannon and positioned his blade beneath it. Power flashed along the blade's edge and pooled in the cannon's maw. Then, without words, or posturing, or anything at all, Lancelot's power exploded, and Thor's world went white.