A/N: Sequel to The Future I Dreamed of. Written for Guile Fanfic Contest 2015. This is set after episode 23 (When the Digivice is Tainted by Darkness or Genesis of Evil) and during episode 24 (Ankylomon – Warrior of Earth or If I had a Tail Hammer) of Digimon Adventure 02. Contains character death.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own Digimon and Chrono Cross in any shape or form.
And so it begins…
"You were the woman in my bedroom last night," Ken spoke to the white-haired woman in the computer screen. "Why are you here?"
Aghast by Ken's shout, Minomon hopped off the bunk bed and slowly glided towards the blue-haired boy. Stopping beside a black digivice and the boy, the pinecone-like digimon uttered softly, "Ken?"
Ken remained silent as he kept staring at the computer screen. White hair. Purple glasses. Red purple-striped pointy hat. Crimson dress. This woman was the one who had been stalking him since last night. What did she want?
She chuckled. "Come to Digital World and let us have a little talk."
A talk? That was all she wanted? It sounded suspicious. Ken had never known this woman, and now she asked him to come to Digital World just for a conversation?
"If you want to talk, why don't you just speak now?" Ken asked. "You can contact me through my computer."
The woman laughed softly, before speaking in a deep voice, "It's something important, Digimon Kaiser."
Slamming his palms to the desk and standing up, Ken snapped, "Stop calling me that!"
The woman snickered. "My, my, why don't you just play nice and come to Digital World? I'll tell you why I'm calling you 'Digimon Kaiser.'"
"Tell me now!"
The only answer was the woman's cackle before the screen went black.
Gritting his teeth, Ken picked up his black digivice and brought it facing the computer screen. "I am no longer 'Digimon Kaiser.'"
"Ken!" Minomon called out, hovering towards Ken. The boy's unusual outburst was an unpleasant sight for him, especially seeing how reckless he had become. Entering Digital World by himself was the craziest thing a human child would do, especially when the 'invitation' came from a stranger.
"Let's go, Minomon! Digital Gate, open!"
The computer screen emitted a beam of light, pulling Ken and Minomon in.
In the midst of a desolate desert, a small television rested on the sandy ground. Its screen was black, but soon, it glowed with white light as it spat out a blue-haired boy and a green caterpillar-like digimon.
Standing still, Ken scanned the surrounding. There was nothing, save for sand, dunes, a few cacti, the television where he and his partner digimon came from, and a silhouette of something slim and tall. The shadow caught Ken's attention.
"That shadow looks like a Dark Tower, Minomon," Ken muttered. "I wonder if she is there."
"Ken, I'm Wormmon now. I've evolved," the digimon replied.
Letting out a 'huh,' Ken immediately turned his attention to where that voice came from. Beside his foot, Wormmon stood on three pairs of legs, smiling at him whilst waving the two pairs of appendages that did not touch the ground.
Ken smiled. His old friend was back, and in child form, he should be able to protect him. Wormmon was not a very powerful digimon, but he was better in fighting than Minomon for sure.
"I think entering Digital World makes me evolve, Ken," Wormmon said. "Let's find that woman."
Pointing at the silhouette of a sky-piercing spire, Ken suggested, "We'd better check that area first."
Wormmon nodded, and together with Ken, he walked towards the shadow.
The walk was basically a test of endurance. The harsh sunlight and windless weather had made Ken's face red and sweaty. However, wearing a long-sleeved grey suit intensified the heat. With wet fabric sticking to his skin, Ken imagined of having a shower after finishing his business with that woman.
But suddenly, he stopped in his tracks as he spotted a tall, lavender-haired man hovering in front of him. He wore a white duster with floppy sleeves, and his equally bright-colored pants contrasted his black boots. Was that a digimon?
Wormmon's voice confirmed that it was not. "Guile!"
The man turned, revealing a pair of green eyes behind a golden domino mask. "Wormmon?"
"I'm back, Guile!" Wormmon shouted, creeping towards the masked man quickly.
Ken blinked at this. First, this guy was not a digimon because he did not have a 'mon' suffix in his name, but how could he be here? Second, if he were not a digimon, how could he fly? Third, how could Wormmon know him?
Curious, Ken rushed towards Wormmon. But he soon halted as Wormmon turned to him and pointed at the man with an appendage. "Ken, this is Guile. He's my friend."
"Uh, Guile?" Ken gulped. He wanted to introduce himself to Guile, but there was something odd about the masked man. The weather was scorching, but why was he not sweating even when wearing a coat? Was he a digimon, just minus the 'mon' suffix?
"Is there something wrong?" Guile asked.
Ken shook his head slowly. Judging from the way Guile spoke, Ken could conclude that the masked man was friendly. Reaching out his right hand, Ken said, "I am Ken Ichijouji."
Guile chuckled. "My apologies, it looks like we cannot shake hands."
Ken blinked at Guile's peculiarity. "What do you mean?"
Smiling, Guile stretched his right arm. It looked like he was grabbing Ken's hand, but Ken felt nothing. This sent chills down Ken's spines.
Speechless with his mouth ajar, Ken could only watch Guile pulling back his hand slowly.
"Don't worry, Ken," Wormmon assured. "Guile is just a ghost, not a scary digimon."
Ken let out a sigh of relief. If Wormmon said so, that should be correct, especially because the green caterpillar digimon knew Guile.
"Your name is Ken, huh? Wormmon often told me about you," Guile began. "But you look too gentle to be a person who has the heart to abuse Wormmon."
Ken smiled faintly at that remark. He was glad that there was someone who did not view him as that savage Digimon Kaiser. But on one side, he still felt bad of treating Wormmon like a trash during his days as the evil emperor.
"It's all thanks to you, Guile," Wormmon suddenly spoke. "This is the good old Ken I miss."
Ken blinked. "You're involved in destroying Chimeramon?"
"Indirectly involved," Guile corrected. "I told Wormmon to use every bits of the strength he had instead of searching for more power to snap you out of your madness."
"By the way, what makes you come to Digital World?"
"To find that woman. You know her? She is a white-haired woman with purple glasses."
"I thought I saw that 'person' earlier," Guile answered. "The woman you mentioned is wearing a crimson dress and a striped pointed hat, is she not?"
"She headed towards the Dark Tower earlier. Fortunately, I could hide in the dunes with ease, so she didn't see me."
"Did she say anything about the Dark Tower?"
"'The Digimon Kaiser did a great job.' That was all she said as she walked."
"She is still calling me that." Ken stomped past Guile. "Wormmon, let's find her now!"
"Halt!" Guile suddenly said. "Allow me to accompany you."
Ken stopped in his tracks and looked at Guile, his eyes widening.
"I may be an apparition, but I am still a capable mage." Guile turned around. He raised his hand, sending a huge column of sand shooting skywards.
Watching the rain of sand that soon followed, Ken gaped.
Guile gave a smug grin. "In addition, no physical attacks can touch me. Only spells can harm me, but do you think a competent mage like me can't stand a chance against magic attacks?"
Ken chuckled. "All right. Let's go."
With that, they set off to the looming Dark Tower. Unlike the previous walk in the desert, it was more comfortable now. Less sweat trickled down Ken's body thanks to the breeze coming from Guile's hand.
Soon, the Dark Tower stood tall before them. Beside the very small part of the black spire, a white-haired woman in red waited.
"You're that woman." Ken stormed towards the woman. "Tell me everything."
The woman snickered. "You finally come, Digimon Kaiser. Are you going to be the mighty emperor again?"
"Not anymore! I'm not going to be a cruel person like him again!"
"Oh, I see." The woman pulled a strand of hair out of her head. She inserted it into the Dark Tower. "You'll regret your choice, boy."
Ken stepped back and gasped at the sight of the shrinking Dark Tower. No, the spire didn't just shrink; it was morphing into the shape of a dragon with a spike jutting out from its head. Soon, the dark form gained its color. Brown head. Yellow skin. One blue eye. Wagging silver tail. A massive crimson-clawed arm with a spiked iron epaulet on the shoulder.
"Cyclomon, do your job." The woman then turned away and vanished.
Cyclomon glared at Ken and opened his mouth. "Hyper Heat!" His fangs-filled maw glowed red before a blazing laser shot out of it.
Guile suddenly came out of the sandy ground and hovered in front of Ken. The mage countered the laser beam with a stream of flame from both of his hands.
Guile's gush of blaze consumed Cyclomon's laser and continued its way towards the dragon digimon.
Ken let out a sigh of relief at the sight of Guile's fire engulfing Cyclomon and leaving the digimon charred and unconscious. It was over pretty fast.
Guile turned and smiled at Ken. "I've told you."
"Then it's settled." Ken closed his eyes and sneered. "Well, I'll continue to look for that woman-"
All of a sudden, his ears registered Wormmon's scream of "Ken! Guile! Look out!"
As Ken opened his eyes, a violent gust sent him falling flat on his back.
And what he saw afterwards made his face contort in shock. A blazing laser was sticking out of Guile's chest.
When the laser faded, Guile levitated in a stooped position, wincing with a smoldering hole on his torso.
"Ken, leave this to-" Unfortunately, a bloodcurdling scream ended the speech as another laser projected out of Guile's stomach. "Worry not, Ken," Guile spoke to the tearful boy. "I shall not let that digimon harm you." He turned around. Soon, a laser protruded out of his back, carving another smoldering hole.
"You can't fight by yourself, Guile." Ken stood up and turned to Wormmon. "Wormmon, we should help him."
Wormmon nodded and together with Ken, he walked towards Guile. However, a gale from a swing of Guile's arm knocked them a few meters away.
"I am sorry, but please do not risk your life for a ghost's sake."
"But we're your friends!" Wormmon shouted. "We care for you, Guile!"
"Wormmon, we'll do it by ourselves if he doesn't let us do it," Ken advised. "Attack Cyclomon!"
Suddenly, Ken's pants pocket unleashed a flash of light. Ken reached into it with a hand and took out a shimmering black digivice.
At the same time, he heard, "Wormmon evolves! Stingmon!"
Ken looked at Wormmon. Who stood there was a humanoid insect instead of green caterpillar-like digimon. His shoulders were spiked epaulets. His hands were oversized gloves with claws. His back had two pairs of wings.
The insect man nodded. He then leapt into the air.
"Stingmon, attack Cyclomon! Protect us!" Ken commanded.
Flapping his wings very rapidly and almost invisibly, the hovering Stingmon pulled back an arm of his. "Spiking Finish!" With a purple blade of light emerging from his hand, he dived.
"Hyper Heat!" Cyclomon fired a sizzling laser out of his mouth.
Stingmon's blade cut through the laser, turning it into harmless sparks of flame. The saber eventually drilled into Cyclomon's torso, reducing the digimon into digital dust.
Ken smiled at the victorious Stingmon. Wormmon had evolved into a strong digimon. Whatever had caused that, Ken wouldn't mind. His partner had successfully protected Guile and him, and that mattered most.
Ken had almost forgotten the ghost. Together with Stingmon, he walked towards a hunched Guile.
Huffing, Guile grinned. "Heh, I was just…as pathetic…as always. Now, my time is about to end. Cyclomon's attacks burned most of my internal organs."
"No, Guile. You aren't," Ken told Guile gently. "You're just as strong as Stingmon…because you're kind."
Guile smiled with tears brimming in his eyes. "Thank you, my friend. I'm glad…that I learn my strength before…" Before he managed to complete his speech, he dissolved into dust. And the desert wind came, blowing his almost invisible remains away.
Ken couldn't help but give a tearful smile as well. Guile was gone, but at least, Ken had ever helped his newfound friend.
Good feels good, doesn't it?
Initially, I thought of using 'shinka' (the Japanese term for evolution/digivolution) instead of 'evolve.'