"Your little problem is going to become a huge problem if his mating drive is still going strong," Sora commented as Pluto joined them in the Mess Hall, hair wet after another long bath and once more in her robe. "Not that you're complaining much."
"I am still complaining, Sora. Sexual gratification once in a while is alright, and if I want it," Pluto replied, irritated beyond all measure. "In terms of the aggravation it holds, considering how much I've been pushing my abilities lately, it's becoming tiresome. When we get out of here, I'm going to ring Chrono's neck."
"None of us will stop you. It's got to be equally aggravating for the demons. I mean, to be completely dominated by lust and the need to breed... makes me glad I'm human."
"That's true." The Time Senshi leaned back in her seat, sighing. She wished she had been reincarnated with the rest of the Scouts. It would most likely have blunted the curse a great deal. "And we still have Mimi and Lilika's drive to worry about. We still have no idea how long those bracelets are going to be able to keep it at bay. And the last thing we need to worry about the sudden need to procreate starting in the middle of a combat situation. Speaking of which, how are they holding up?"
Sora grinned. "Lilika is handling it like she handles everything else; as it comes her way," she replied. "But she was also raised Lunarian, so that's not surprising. Mimi, after the initial relief, is walking on egg shells. She's afraid she'll become a sex crazed psycho at any moment."
"Which might happen."
"We don't need her worrying about it. She's our strongest magic user right at the moment, next to Mia."
Pluto nodded. Her gaze shifted to the window, watching the patter of rain drops against the glass. It seemed that the only constant they had these days was the weather. It wasn't going to change for a while. Dark, dreary, and very wet. She found it oddly comforting right at this point.
"Well, on the plus side, Gomamon's Secar Triad environments are finally completed," Sora added, grinning. "It might help distract us from our problems for now. You getting involved?"
"… … You know what? I think I will," Pluto replied after a moment. It did sound like a good idea. And lord only knew they needed to relax. "I cannot wait."
"Relax?" Mimi echoed incredulous. "How do you expect me to relax? This is about as relaxed as I'm gonna get! I'm bloody laying here, muscles limp as noodles, and you're telling me I need to relax?!"
Palmon and Lilika shook their heads in unison, the former sighing in exasperation. Mimi was indeed laying down on her bed, not moving an inch. And it did look like she relaxing... at least, physically.
But muscles limp as noodles? More more corded steel. Palmon could almost see them shiver.
Mimi's brain was going into overdrive. She was worrying far too much than was healthy for a preteen, let alone a Lunarian teenager. And they knew the reason why.
Palmon sat down next to Mimi, watching her. "Mimi, we know that you need to relax more than your body, which you suck at presently," she told her gently. "Now, considering the fact that your regular method of... stress relief is presently denied because of demon heat, you need some other way to let it go. And you happen to love Secar Triad. That could be exactly what you need."
"Yeah... I know. It's just..."
"Sister, I have the same concerns as you, and I can tell you that it is a very real problem." Lilika smiled. "Sometimes, a little distraction can go a long way to lessen that stress." She laid down next Mimi. "And we all need a distraction from everything that's happened."
"Come on, Mimi!" Palmon cajoled, a big grin on her face. She could see her half human partner weakening, and went in for the kill. "You might be able to team with Izzy for a tag team."
That clinched it for Mimi. She sat up, looking around for her bag. "Where's my deck?" she asked. "I need to get it set up."
Lilika smiled as she rose. Her and Palmon's work was done.
Tanakah was feeling much better, now that the majority of the mating drive had now dissipated. He had a feeling that the ladies that had helped him were probably appreciating this fact now. It meant they didn't have to worry about him going and taking them again and again.
It also meant that he could put pants on, at least, as there were some children present. He did need to stretch his legs after being in a bed for nearly two days. And if he was feeling this good, then there was a good chance that the rest of his clan were coming out of the mating drive, too.
He was also surprised by the sheer number of people and... creatures that were inhabiting the building, and had been told that there were several more. And everything they had endured... it was a miracle that they were all still alive. It was almost inspiring.
Tai and Alex soon joined him at the table, one of them handing him a bowl of stew. "I don't know what you usually eat, so..." He gestured helplessly.
Tanakah smiled slightly. "I wouldn't worry about it," he replied. "My digestive system wasn't altered in the slightest, so I can eat normal food like everyone else." Accepting a spoon, he started eating, blinking in surprise. "This is really good."
Jupiter grinned, raising a hand. "Thank you. I always make sure no one leaves the table hungry."
"Mimi helps," Agumon reminded her. "You're not the only cook in the bunch."
"...We're both ignoring that little detail." This got a chuckle out of the blond girl next to her. "Shut it, Mina," she murmured, coloring slightly.
Chuckling, Tanakah took another spoon full of the delicious stew, before leaning back. As much as he would love nothing more than to just eat, he still had a story to tell. "We finally arrived at the Magic of Jerrod," he began once again, thinking back to those fateful days. "As it turned out, we were going in quite the surprise when we did. The Head Priestess at the time, an elderly lady named Lindsey, had been brought by Althena to help handle the negotiations, alongside a member of the Ausa family..."
"Now, remember Jorbas," Tanakah whispered as they entered the Magic Guild of Jerrod's primary entrance, "Althena is many things, but she is no fool. Our ancestors were banished to the Frontier because of blood-lust, and their attempt to bring back the dark god Zophar. Once she sees that we have changed, that we desire to end this war of attrition, she will be quite amicable with conditions and terms."
Jorbas nodded, obviously hanging on to his every word. After all, knowledge could be just useful as any weapon, if not even more. Many a battle had been won or lost due to the right information. "Althena is very wise, but I doubt she is perfect," she replied quietly.
Skarde smiled next to her, even as her eyes darted over the crowd that had gathered, seeing if there were any potential threats to her entourage. Tanakah approved. Though it wasn't an ideal way to start good relations, the Queen had to protect her own people first. "You would be correct," she said after a moment. "I have heard rumors that she can be quite moody many days because of the war. Apparently, even a goddess can feel the effects of death, even if she cannot die." She sighed. "It must be a curse, to live forever, while those you deem friends and children, die from old age. Perhaps she is tired of it all. I know I am."
The captain didn't say anything to that, but he agreed whole-heartedly with her. There came a time when one just got tired of all the destruction, of making choices that brought more suffering to the people you were supposed to protect. There came a time when you were tired of just hating. This time had come, and now it was time to heal.
The Vile Tribe entourage finally came to a halt at the main doors of the Guild itself, waiting patiently for their Lunarian counterparts to greet them. And they would greet them. As the hosts of this conference, they had to... even if they didn't want to.
Thankfully, the doors opened almost a minute later, allowing one person to exit. A single magician.
Tanakah blinked as surprise flooded his system. It wasn't possible... it couldn't be possible. Was the Magic Guild of Vane crazy? Did they want an assassin to target this one?
It looked like Skarde was also surprised, but hid it far better. Her posture straightened slightly at this new bit of information. He knew why, of course. If Vane was sending the daughter of their city here, then it was far more serious they had thought.
The young lady bowed to them, though it looked to be a little stiff. Her chestnut-blonde hair was perfectly coiffed, and away from her face. Her red eyes observed them for a moment. "Welcome to the Magic Guild of Gerrod, your Majesty" she intoned politely, if more forcefully than expected. "I am Lemia Ausa, and I am serving as the military's voice for these negotiations."
Tanakah observed Lemia, and relaxed somewhat. If there was any resentment to her assignment, or hatred towards the Vile Tribe, she was keeping it under control. It didn't mean he was going to lower his guard any while they were there, but there was no hint of threat from this one.
Skarde bowed her head as well. "If you are the military's voice, then I suspect that negotiations will go much more smoothly than I originally thought," she returned with, her body relaxing. "It is said that your skills at diplomacy are superior to your skills on the battlefield. And those are nothing to be ashamed of."
"I thank you for your praise, your Highness. Now, if you would all follow me, I will show you to the main hall. The rest of the group awaits."
Tanakah and Jorbas traded looks as they all entered the Guild. They were hoping that the welcome within was just as polite, if nothing else.
The main hall had nowhere near the opulence that Shrine of Althena possessed, but it did have its own appeal. It was a throw back to the days when Lunar was young, and man had just begun setting up for living there. It was the oldest Guild in existence on Lunar, and was once the premium Guild... at least until Vane rose to the heavens and the Ausa family had taken the reins.
It was also the closest Guild to the Frontier, and was one of the home front bases for the LAF (Lunarian Allied Forces.)
Even now, as the Vile Tribe entourage made their way into the Hall, Tanakah could see the damage that had been sustained throughout the hundred years of war. Three of the walls had been patched up a number of times. The fourth wall had been rebuilt at least twice, if the stories were true.
He decided that when this war was finally put behind them, he would come back to see this place when they were able to rebuild it. He wanted to see what it looked like during peace time.
And then... he took a look at the Lunarian delegation. And promptly paled.
It was a strange entourage, to be sure. He recognized each and every last one of them, even. There was Ghaleon, one of the most devastating mages in Vane's Guild. Mel deAlkirk; the most fearsome pirate to sail the seas of Lunar. And Lemia Ausa; the heir to the throne, so to speak. There was a man standing next to her seat. A farmer boy, from the looks of him. But the way he was holding himself told Tanakah everything he needed to know about him, and where his allegiances were.
Skarde bowed to Lemia once more, which was strange, but not unexpected. They were the visitors here. "Lady Ausa, I would like to thank you for agreeing to this summit," she said, ever the graceful noble.
Ausa returned the bow. "I'm forever grateful that you chose to try and stop this war, rather continue it," she replied with equal aplomb. "Enough lives have been lost as is. And the Goddess is most eager to rectify a mistake made many centuries before."
"Not much of a mistake as it was a desperate effort to bring peace to Lunar. I cannot fault her for that." Skarde sighed. "What's done is done. We need to look to the future. Otherwise, neither side will be free of the stench of war." She sat down at the table, while Lemia went to the other side, sitting down as well. "I suppose we should get this started..."
"It was one of the shortest negotiations in either camp's history," Tanakah stated, setting his now empty bowl aside. "It only took a few days, and required very few concessions from either side. In fact, the biggest concession Althena's group allowed was that the Vile Tribe be allowed to inhabit the unclaimed fertile lands near the border of the Stadius Zone."
"Which actually does beg two questions here, and you don't really have to answer it." Izzy leaned in. "Why aren't your people on those fertile lands? And why didn't Althena simply transform the entirety of the moon?"
Nash leaned in slightly. "According to ancient scripture, the Goddess in a human form could only call upon so much power," he explained. "And it does take a lot of power to change something from desolate to a paradise."
"Well... I wouldn't call it a paradise, considering you have four seasons, a year long cycle, and virtually every single kind of climate that you would find on Earth."
"... ...Very good point."
"And probably accurate," Tanakah added, thinking for a moment. "It is possible that Althena had always wanted us to have those lands, and our ancestor's insurrection against our human brethren prevented any chance of us having that. As to why we are not there now... well, I will get to that." His gaze widened. "And you bring up an excellent question, Izumi-san. Althena is an all powerful Goddess, even when in human form. Why would she only transform half of the Silver Star, and not the whole body?"
Tai frowned. "That's something that we can look through once we've reached the Tower," he decided upon, before looking up to the ceiling, listening to the sound of torrential rain. "After the storm's done," he added as an afterthought.
Alex nodded in agreement, though his gaze was pensive. He had always believed that Althena had left the Frontier alone because she simply couldn't reach it. But what if it was something else?
Just how much of their knowledge concerning the Goddess was wrong?
"Well, Tanakah was right on the dot," Gomamon stated, grinning. "They're starting to lose steam really fast downstairs. A couple more hours, and Mimi and Lilika won't have to worry about hiding from sex starved demons."
"No, they'll only have to worry about becoming sex starved demons in the future," Angewomon reminded him, sighing at the little digimon's premature good cheer. While it would be a very good thing not to have to worry about sexually maddened beings roaming about, it was only for a limited amount of time, if Izzy wasn't wrong in his assumption.
"You do realize that we need a little optimism after everything that's happened." Gomamon sighed. "I honestly don't want to know what bee is caught in your bonnet, Angewomon. But you usually aren't this... uptight."
Angewomon turned away, so he couldn't see her mouth turn downward. She wanted to tell him not to talk about things that he didn't know, but she couldn't do that to him. He didn't deserve to bear that. After all, he didn't know all of the pain she had endured, had never experienced the whippings, the emotional abuse, the rapes from Demidevimon when she was just a rookie herself. And if she had any say in it, he and the others would never know.
So, to divert him from his inquiry, and possibly more questions, she asked, "When will the Secar Triad tournament be ready?"
Gomamon grinned. "We can get it going as soon as Gabumon is satisfied with the environments. Right now, he says that they aren't freezing or cooking him, or anyone else for that matter."
Now that, she could smile about. Ever since Alex had successfully managed to stop one furry digimon from deleting another, Gabumon had taken over setting the environmental controls, so to speak. He was doing one hell of a job of it too, getting the effects perfect without the actual temperatures going with them. Rather impressive.
Her brief moment of happiness dissipated though, as they usually did these days. Stuck in a building that was partially flooded, with nowhere to go and not being able to fly was forcing her to think a great deal more than she wanted. And if she thought too much, it would start to interfere with the life she had made for herself.
She wasn't going to...
Angelica rolled around in her bed, trying to fall asleep, but couldn't.
It wasn't because of the bed, which was very soft. It wasn't because of her injuries, as they had been completely healed. It wasn't even because of the company, as Angelus was as calming an influence as any could be... when she was awake.
It was when she closed her eyes where that calm was less than useless. For every single time she closed her eyes, she saw and felt the various atrocities that she had both witnessed and experienced. If she kept them closed long enough, she could even hear the voices of her tormentors, laughing cruelly. And she simply could not handle that.
Looking at her wrist, she observed it thoughtfully, running her fingers over the pulse point. Many a night she had thought of simply ending it, freeing herself of the endless emotional agony she was enduring day in and day out. She was no good as a Guardian, but so long as she lived, her power wouldn't transfer to the next worthy human. And she didn't want to be a burden to her Love, who meant everything to her. He had already risked his freedom, his very soul to save her.
It was his very presence that stopped those thoughts from gaining strength though. And she had been told that it would take some time before the nightmares and memories would fade. It was all about patience. She would be in therapy for a long time, and it would be even longer before she would be allowed back onto active duty. She wasn't sure she wanted to go back.
She also hoped that she would get the chance to pay them back for their transgressions against her and all of the others. She hoped it was for justice, not vengeance.
Though she wasn't entirely convinced she would get one without the other...
The female Angelic blinked, startled by the unexpected inquiry, and looked down at Gomamon. "Sorry, Goma. A brief vision just made itself known. One that could've waited until I was alone to come." She smiled. "Don't worry, I'm alright. I'm just going to go lay down for a while. Let me know when the tournament is ready start, will you?"
"Yeah... sure," Gomamon replied, eyeing her as she walked away. Something about that seemed off to him somehow about that. It might have been a brief vision, but it definitely shook Angewomon down to her feathers. The question was; why?
Maybe he should go and find Kari. She might know.
Sora sat outside Pluto's door, twirling one of her sais around in contemplation. She knew for a fact that she had been chosen, but for what reason. Plenty of other people loved, some with greater intensity. Why her? What possible reason was there?
She wasn't at Pluto's room to ask her that, of course. The Senshi of Time was busy with Tanakah's story, as was the rest of them. She just didn't have any other place to be, and she had no real interest to hear the tale. Mimi had already told her it during their walk through the Digital World, even though they had both thought it was just a story.
Looking at her outfit, she was somewhat surprised by it, even after the last few weeks. The pants were practically molded to her legs, almost to the point of showing every little detail. The top was similarly molded, cut low on top to show cleavage that she was only starting to develop. She had a feeling that she was supposed to be several years older before acquiring her sacred weapons, but they had been forced to accelerate that a little.
"It still looks cute, Sora."
The young Digi-Destine turned in the direction of Biyomon's voice. "What is cute?" she asked, though she had an idea as to what her partner was referring to.
"Your outfit," Biyomon replied, smiling. "It's cute, if a little risque."
"A little risque? Biyomon, it almost looks like it was painted on. It really doesn't hide anything."
"Yeah, but it's best protection you have ever had."
That was true. Out of everyone there, she had been the only one whose clothing hadn't become drenched with rain. The areas that had been covered had remained completely dry, so she had only needed to towel off the exposed areas (head, arms and upper chest area.) Apparently, her clothes repelled water easily. "I think Tai is trying to not look down the chest," she settled with.
Biyomon would smirk if she could, but that was impossible for her. "I'm pretty sure that wouldn't be a bad thing for you," she parried. "For pities sake, if we were all dumb and blind, we'd know that you two really like each other."
Sora was about to groan in exasperation at this, when Luna decided to make her presence known. "Sora, Tai needs to see you. It's important."
The Warrior of Love sighed, internally grateful for the escape from this conversation before it even began. She honestly didn't want to try and argue with her own digimon partner concerning human crushes. She would rather talk to Angewomon about that, as she was closer to human these days. No offense to Biyomon, but in terms of mating, she and Gabumon mated more like animals than people. Intelligent animals, but animals nonetheless.
"Talk to you later, Biyomon," she said in farewell, heading down the hall.
Biyomon sighed as she watched Sora walk away, shaking her head. "Why is she adamant with hiding how she feels?" she asked.
Luna would shrug, if her body structure allowed for it, in agreement. "Humans are strange creatures sometimes," she replied. "Grant you, digital monsters and talking cats aren't exactly normal, either."
Tai observed Tanakah as he spoke to Izzy concerning demon mating practices, and sighed in amusement. The poor computer. It was going to be groaning from the inevitable information download soon enough.
Turning around, he caught sight of Sora as she entered the Mess Hall, looking around. He took a second to admire her maturing form swathed in tight leather, before waving her over. "Hey, Sora," he greeted her quietly, so as not to disturb the two talking. "I need your help with something."
"Sure." Of course, Sora had noticed Tai checking her out, but decided not to call him on it. Mostly because she had a feeling that he wouldn't care if she did. "So, what's the problem?" she asked, as Biyomon's words started floating through her mind.
Several ideas popped into his mind, but he stayed on the main reason. "I need you to go and explain things to his people," he explained quickly. "Most of them are going to be disoriented. Darien found quite a few garments in a closet, so they won't have to wander around, naked."
"No problem, since I have a very good idea as to why you don't want Mimi to do this." It wasn't really that difficult to figure out, as Mimi and Lilika alike both were still teetering on the brink of Heat themselves. Meeting with a group of demons who were just coming out of their mating cycle would probably be like adding fuel to an already going fire. "Anything else?"
"Yes... are those actually clothes, or did they paint them on when you passed your trial?"
"You know, I was actually wondering the same thing, but since I can take it off in order to take a bath, I'm pretty certain they're clothes."
"Oh... good." Tai gestured her to follow him as he made his way over to the table. "Izzy, Tanakah, sorry to interrupt this enlightening conversation," he apologized. "but I figured we could try and handle the situation that's about to form. Tanakah, this is Sora, the current Warrior of Love. I figured that she could help you with getting your people settled in for the duration of the storm."
Tanakah smiled, inclining his head in greeting. "Hello, Sora," he rumbled in greeting, his eyes roaming over her form for a second. "While the help is not required, I appreciate it all the same."
Sora bowed slightly as well, blushing lightly. The demon sure had some charm to him. His very voice was quite calming, almost hypnotic. The keyword there being almost. "Pleasure to meet you too, Sir," she replied. "So... anyway, I'll have Joe go get those clothes and talk to your people. I'm pretty sure they're going to want to rest a little after... well..."
"True, true." Rising, the demon stretched out a little, getting the blood flowing once again. Sora struggled not to let her eyes roam over his torso. "Well, shall we? I can tell you what not to do in their presence."
"Let's." She shot a glare at Tai, who was smiling innocently at her, before heading out, Tanakah following behind.
Izzy turned, shaking his head. "Tai... really? Did you have to do that?" he asked.
Tai shrugged. "Sora really does need to accept the fact that she's hot," he replied. "I figure that Biyomon would be a good first strike."
"You're making this sound like a battle."
"Either that, or I take a more direct approach."
"... This way is better."
"I'm glad you agree."
As the Common Room emptied, Ginny remained where she was, near the fireplace with a Padd in her hand, reading. It had been one very long day, as she had had to return to her classes. Professor McGonagall inquired as to why she had been late for Transfiguration, and she had told her what was happening on Lunar. "Just remember to focus on your studies and duties," was the extent of the reprimand. "Mister Ishida would probably not appreciate you failing, regardless of the circumstances."
Luckily, she had managed to do just that, so here she was, continuing her research on what the Alliance's newest friends were.
Neville plopped down next to her, looking over her shoulder. "Heavy reading," he noted.
Ginny nodded. "Definitely," she replied. "Genetic manipulation, mystical augmentation with long forgotten rituals. They did everything but shove the proverbial kitchen sink into them." Not for the first time, she was grateful for the Chair pumping all of that knowledge into her brain. Otherwise, she wouldn't have a clue what 'genetics' meant, and thus would make this a whole lot more difficult.
Neville sighed, leaning back somewhat. "Looks like some things are the same no matter where you go," he mused darkly. "People using other people for their own means, experimentation on unwilling subjects. What purpose is there in defeating evil, when another evil is just going to pick up where the previous one left off?"
"It's a good question... and one that can't be easily answered." Ginny put the padd down, rubbing her neck for a second. "But I do know a piece of muggle advice, and it really does apply to wizards as well. 'What is good, but the opposition of evil? What is evil, but the task of good?' Maybe not a perfect quote, but you can guess where I'm going with this."
"That evil can't be destroyed, only beaten and forced back."
"Exactly. If evil were to be destroyed, Creation would be thrown into chaos." She frowned for a second. "That's how the Guardians view it, anyway. And I can't really say that they're wrong."
"Well... can't they just control it?"
"That would be just as bad as if evil tried to control good. Besides, you can't control evil. You can contain, drive it to the darkest corners of the universe, and your own soul, but it's always there, waiting for the right moment to strike."
"So... it's neverending."
Ginny frowned thoughtfully for a second as she mulled over the observation. "I think," she noted after a minute, "that some things need to be neverending. Otherwise, the multiverse would collapse in on itself."
Neville nodded at that. "Well, I don't think I want to screw with that. I don't think anyone would."
"... For some reason... I think someone did. And they're using the Deadly Alliance to do it."
Joe decided that he was glad that he wanted to become a doctor. Otherwise, he was pretty sure that he would have gone and hidden in a corner somewhere, rather than volunteer for this particularly embarrassing job. A job that he had taken after and Tanakah had finally managed to get enough garments for the whole tribe.
The embarrassing job; greeting the demon tribe as they emerged from the water. And, as they were just coming out of a mating cycle, they would be completely naked. And Sora had literally jumped at the chance to avoid this potentially embarrassing first step, though she did accept talking to them after the fact.
So now here he was, waiting at the doorway for the first of them to come up. He wondered if there was something wrong with him, or if it was just teenage hormones.
"Everything okay?" Lilika asked as she stood next to him, looking down the stairwell. It was obvious that she was curious, but knew that she couldn't stay there for long. They had no idea just how much of her mating drive was suppressed, and they didn't want to find out what would happen if either she or Mimi were in the same location as a bunch of demons just coming out of heat.
Joe shrugged slightly. "Gomamon's down there, telling them about what was going on. Hopefully, they'll take it well."
As if to give him hope that all was indeed well, Gomamon hopped out of the water, shaking for a few seconds to get as much water out of his fur as he could. He didn't look smug or proud, though considering the fact that he was a talking dog-like creature with flippers, it was sometimes difficult to tell. "Well, everything is set," he reported, saluting Joe. "They are on their way up... I think."
"You think?" Joe echoed, shaking his head. "Gomamon, you were down there for thirty minutes, and you don't know?"
"Well, to be fair, it's not as if they can actually talk underwater. Even nodding is something of a chore."
Lilika giggled as she picked the furry digimon up. "That is true," she noted cheerfully. "Well, I shall leave you to your assignment, Joe. Enjoy."
Joe sighed as she walked away, scratching the top of his head for a moment. "Enjoy... yeah, right." He shook his head in resignation, before turning back to the stairwell. "Well, let's get this over with," he muttered, as the first of the demons began to emerge from the water.
"Hmm... thanks, Joe." Tai deactivated his D-Terminal, turning towards Tanakah. "Good news, the rest of your clan is coming up, and they're all looking okay. Jessica and Joe are probably going to check each and every single one of them to make sure that is the case, though. Then Sora will tell what has been going on in the world recently."
Tanakah frowned thoughtfully for a second, before nodding. He knew that Jessica deAlkirk was a Healer, and he had been told that Joe Kido was studying to become his world's version of that. He had a good feeling that they could trust them. And Sora, after he had flirted with her for a second (just to fluster her, nothing more) had proven to be very receptive. He had decided that she didn't need him hovering over her, and that it would be a good trust building exercise. With any luck, there would be no problems. "It has been over a decade since we have had a good checkup, so I see no problem with that," he replied. "I will have to speak with them, but I will have them report to them afterwards."
"Thank you." Tai frowned for a second. "Tanakah... I was wondering... if one is dating a royal member, is there anything they need to know? My friend is presently seeing one of Sheyra's daughters, and Joe may start seeing the other when he's older. Is there some sort of royal protocol they have to follow?"
"Well... that is something that I will talk to them about when it is safe for all of us to be in the same room together. But in all honesty? ...What Izumi-San and the Princess have been doing seems to be a very effective first step."
"Pretty much lock them in a room and let them rut like animals?"
The two of them chuckled for a little bit at that, before Tanakah finally asked, "What of you, Kamiya-san? Is there anyone you wish to be with?"
Tai was quiet, though a hint of red emerged on his cheeks. A flash of reddish brown hair, tight leather pants, and open honest eyes flashed over his vision for a second. "Maybe... when she's older," he replied after a moment.
Tanakah nodded, having a very good idea who Taichi was infatuated with. He understood the need for patience.
"So, how are they taking the news?" Matt asked Biyomon, as the two of them walked along the hallways, simply wandering about while Sora spoke to the demons. There was literally nothing else for them to do until the Secar Triad tournament actually began, as Gomamon's work was being looked over by their resident magicians.
"Pretty well, all things considered," Biyomon stated, eyes twinkling with mirth, "though that might have been because some of the younger ones were trying to see if Sora's top was going to fall off."
"Did she tell them that from where she was, that could be construed as harassment, not to mention that she's not Lunarian?"
"... … You know, I don't know. I think she's either not aware, or is waiting to vent until later. Pray it's the former."
He was forced to agree with her there. Sora had a tendency to hold in what she was feeling until she knew it was safe for her to unleash it. It probably wouldn't be safe for them later on, but they knew how to handle her when she started ranting; just stay quiet until she calmed down. The only ones who could come near her during this period of time were Biyomon, Mimi, and Tai, and that was because they let her use them as a sounding board... and they could handle it.
(I've never seen Sora go into a rant. Is she like Hermione?) Ginny asked, eager for any and all information concerning Matt's group of friends. Probably for good reason.
Matt frowned thoughtfully for a second. "Probably not as bad, but pretty close," he replied. "Just don't tell Sora that, okay?"
(No promises.) Now she was just teasing him.
Biyomon twittered at this, eyes shining with new knowledge. Clearly, Ginny and Matt were close due to their bond, but maybe they were even closer than they were showing to everyone else. She really couldn't wait to talk to Sora and Mina about this, get their viewpoint on it.
Then she would see if they wanted to tease them about it.
"Did you know that some of those demons were trying to look down my top while I was trying to tell them what was going on?" Sora asked, barely stopping herself from ranting as she and Mimi sat down on Sora's bed, the former simply sitting there while the latter massaged her feet. "I swear, they would have tried to grope me if I didn't keep moving, handing them something to cover themselves with."
Mimi smirked, rolling her eyes before pressing down on a particular point on Sora's arch, eliciting a groan of relief from her. Frankly, she was kind of glad that her best friend was trying to not yell or anything. In her current state, she just wasn't in mood to deal with her. "Sora, let's be fair. Considering how much I've embraced Lunarian culture, I would grope you... if you were physically old enough."
Sora chuckled at that little confession, even as Mimi slid a finger along the entire bottom of her foot. "Mimi... what are you doing, besides something I'm sure is because of your problem?" she asked.
"Just... checking to see if there were any other knots on this particular foot." She pressed down on a spot nearer her toes, making Sora let out another moan of relief. "Demons have slightly more sensitive fingers than humans, probably due to all of the magic we use. It definitely helps with massaging when I want to find trouble spots." She grinned. "Maybe one day, I can give you a full body massage."
Sora could bet on that happening when she was older. But she set that aside for a future conversation. Instead, she focused on the here and now. "So, what do you think? Do you think you can stand meeting them?"
Mimi's hand stopped its motion as she thought about it for a second. She knew who Sora was talking about, and she had to admit, she had been juggling that very question herself over the last half hour or so. Would it be a good idea? Or was it just reopening flood banks that were just being sealed?
"Mimi... you're quiet. That's not a good thing. And you stopped all of a sudden."
Blinking, the half demon looked at her fellow Digi-Destine, blushing slightly. "Sorry, I was just thinking about that. And... I don't know if it's a good idea to do so, given the circumstances."
Sora smiled. "Well, you can't hide in your room forever, you know," she informed her. "Eventually, you're going to have to venture out. I mean, you're going to participate in the Secar Triad tournament. And I think meeting the other part of your family genome would be a good thing for you."
"Couldn't I do it when I'm not in heat?"
"I don't think you're going to get a chance after the storm ends and the water drains out. Besides, you're still in control, and you won't let that control slip for any reason. And if it does, we'll just knock you out."
Mimi rolled her eyes, smiling once more. Sora always did know what to say when it came to defusing tension. She could make a career out of being a counselor. "Well, if you think that it'll help, then I'll go meet them," she decided upon. "Maybe I'll keep control." Her smile turned saucy. "But if not..."
"I'll clear the room before I'm traumatized for life," Sora deadpanned, laughing. "Now, finish that foot massage, woman."
"Tanakah, my love, where have you been?"
Tanakah whirled around in his seat, a grin breaking out. "Ah, my love!" he exclaimed, leaping up to engulf a very lovely woman in his arms, kissing her passionately as if he hadn't seen her for years. "Forgive me, but I did not take into account being captured by the present inhabitants of the inn. How are you feeling?"
The woman shook her head, smiling. "I will forgive you... this time, Tanakah. And I am quite well. That human boy certainly has a good grasp on the human body. Now, as our mating period is over and done with, perhaps you should introduce me to our new friends."
Tanakah grinned at that. "Taichi, Pluto, this is Jorbas, my mate. She has been one of few balms in what has been a very turbulent life."
Tai grinned, holding out a hand, vainly ignoring the fact that this woman, who he knew had to be the same Jorbas from Tanakah's story, was wearing nothing more than a sheet wrapped around her chest. "A pleasure, ma'am," he said. "Tanakah's been telling us a lot about you."
"I hope all of it good."
"Actually, I was in the middle of telling him how we came to live in the forest," Tanakah replied. "We had arrived at the summit portion. Would you like to tell them your recollections of the event?"
Jorbas nodded as she sat down, her gaze turning pensive. The memories of those final days still haunted her to this day, and would most likely haunt her for many years to come. The weight of loss, the sting of betrayal, and everything in between, she wondered if there was such a thing as justice.
Sighing, noticing how both their newfound allies leaned forward, she began her tale...
Despite all she had been told by the soldiers, and despite all of the bloodshed she had heard about over her life, Jorbas was surprised by two things.
For starters, she was surprised by how skilled Lemia Ausa was during the negotiation, and how even tempered. She actually listened to her Queen's suggestions, as well as offered some in return that were acceptable, and rather fair. Use of the fertile, unclaimed lands at the rim of the Stadius Zone. Supplies to help with the construction of settlements, including seed and livestock. The Goddess Shrine to those who wanted to learn about the religion.
The second thing was how laid back the Four Heroes, as they were being called, were during the breaks (with the exception of Ghaleon.) Mel was a boisterous, tree trunk of a man who seemed like he could drink a tree's worth of ale every day, and still be able to fight. Lemia seemed to smile more when there was no weight on her shoulders. And Dyne was a prankster. By Zophar's freaking air stalk was he a prankster. She was just glad he didn't pull any on the delegation, though she thought she saw Lemia dragging the young man behind the Guild for whatever reason.
Sighing, the young woman walked the grounds, enjoying the warm air and the sun shine that the Silver Star was known for. She remembered the dinner she had had the night before, food plentiful that had not been synthesized. Beans and carrots and pig that had been roasted on a spit. She could better understand why her people had been willing to go to war for this.
But now, that war was coming to an end. Soon, they would get much of what they wanted without further bloodshed. And she could finally enjoy the warm air and sunshine in peace.
"Excuse me, do you have a minute, madam?"
'Well, that destroys that hope for today.' The demon turned around quickly at the sound of the unexpected voice, having never even sensed the presence of another. It was somewhat disturbing. It was like she had appeared out of nowhere.
The speaker, a woman with raven hair, held up her hands in a gesture of peace. "My apologies if I startled you," she said. "I just want to talk to you."
Jorbas relaxed, as she observed the woman for a second, coming to the conclusion that she was not a threat. Looking around, she saw no one else nearby. She had no idea why she was checking, but it seemed like this was a conversation that was only between them. She quickly walked over to her. "What is it?" she asked.
The woman also looked around, before leaning in slightly. "I think that your Queen made the right decision to pursue negotiations," she stated quietly. "War never truly gets you anything but pain and suffering, and I would that both Lunar and the Tribe have suffered enough."
"Of course." Jorbas had no idea what there was to this conversation was heading, and she quite frankly didn't care. She just wanted to get back to her tent and lay down, not listen to her own thoughts being aired by someone else. "Is there a point to this? I just want to relax a little before..."
"You have a traitor back home in the Frontier."
That shut Jorbas up real fast. This statement, delivered so bluntly, so quickly, was like a pail of cold water being dumped on her. Her full attention was suddenly on this mystery woman. She hadn't said what she had just said... did she?
"A traitor?" she asked, waiting for the nod. It came, which did nothing to assuage her worry. "Do you know who it is?"
"I don't know who it is, but I can tell you this; it is one of Queen Skarde's children."
It didn't take her long to figure out who it was, and really; was there any doubt? "Xenobia," she hissed. How could it be any of the others? Sheyra and Phacia were all for the pursuit of peace. And Royce loved Mother the most. Why would they betray her? Xenobia though... she had been against peace talks for the longest time. Royce had once said that the second eldest only seemed to be happy when there was blood involved.
She wondered if she had any feelings for her own flesh and blood.
At that moment, she remembered this little detail, she remembered something else, something more recent. Skarde had been called back to the Frontier several days ago for a matter of extreme urgency. And Tanakah had left with her.
Jorbas had the sickening suspicion that she now knew the answer to her question. And the answer was a resounding no.
Whirling around, completely ignoring the woman, she charged back to the Guild, to warn the Lunarians of a possible coup-de-tat in the Frontier.
And then she was going to grab her horse, and head back herself.
"It was one of the most terrifying self-realization moments I have ever had in my life," Jorbas confessed sadly. "I had known that Queen Skarde had left earlier that week, and that she had left while leaving half of her entourage to protect me. At the time, I thought that it was a riot, or a protest. And it wasn't as if she was really needed. We were more guests than anything, considering that everything had already been hammered out. But if I knew what I know now, if I had known that the Queen had left me there for protection, I would not have left the Guild."
"Or you would have been dead," Tanakah replied gently, turning his attention back to Tai. "Two weeks after the peace summit, the Vile Tribe attacked the Guild in question, wiping it out. A week later, everyone who was loyal to Skarde had been rounded up."
"And Sheyra had been exiled," Alex stated sadly.
"And with that, any chance of peace between our races."
It was a sobering thought, if they had been drunk in the first place. Peace so close within their grasp, only to be derailed because of one woman's desire for revenge. And, judging from the looks of it, she still wanted it.
Pluto leaned back in her seat, rubbing her eyes. Even though she had observe the downfall of the Silver Millennium and countless other atrocities aside, she still had a hard time accepting the fact that such relentless hatred existed. She opened her mouth to ask about what happened next.
She didn't get the chance to immediately, as the door suddenly opened, and Mimi entered the room. And everything seemed to stop.
"Oh boy," Tai muttered, as Mimi and the two demons suddenly locked eyes. "This is going to be a problem."
And here is Part Five. Sorry for the massive delay, but my job has taken me away from this, as well as writer's block.
This is a bit of a spoiler alert for Part Six, but no, there will be no more sex, or the mention of it, in this episode. Mimi will be fine... for now.