Faith Lost – Part Three

"He's not really a bad person." The voice was pleading, as if everything depended on Jyou's faith in the truth of what this quiet digimon said. There were many ways Jyou could answer; the first thing that came to his mind was a bitterly sarcastic retort...and yet, somehow, gazing into the fervent crystal-blue eyes of this strange little creature, he couldn't make the acrid words pass his lips.

Sometimes, belief is all you have to keep you going.

Whisper it to yourself enough times, and someday it might be true.

Suffer the silence, the pain...he's not really like that even if he acts in such a manner.

The two sat underneath the stars, wind whipping through the human's hair as the fortress journeyed across the night sky, a black and silent behemoth. The door to the top of the citadel hadn't been locked, and Jyou, mindful of the Kaizer's rules, had taken the chance to escape from that hellhole commonly known as his room. He had found himself being followed by the strange digimon he had seen earlier, but did nothing to discourage his little spy.

Amazingly, Jyou finally found himself responding. "No, I don't think he really is." And even more astoundingly, meaning his words. The few pieces of the puzzle the Kaizer had inadvertently given him were coming together in a very unique picture of the young man. It was like straining through a thick soupy mist to see the true outline of something...something that might not even be there in the first place.

"Aren't you cold?" The digimon was speaking again, pausing between each word almost as if he expected physical blows for his pains. The night air was chilly, but Jyou didn't feel like going down to his room quite yet.

"No, I'd like to stay up here a little longer."


Ken tapped his foot impatiently, making a dull thudding sound against the floor. His teacher sighed in irritation, but made no further attempt to find out where the noise was coming from. Actually, Ken usually took a sort of sadistic pleasure out of school; he enjoyed grinding his fellow students' noses in the dust. He always knew the correct answer, and even though he was never overt about it, there was an air of pity emanating from him after an embarrassed classmate sat down and he was finally called upon.


Today was different, however. Instead of deriving any sort of enjoyment from his surroundings, he was antsy...impatient. A few of the other students had noticed, and a collective whisper was spreading like an out of control forest fire in the back of the classroom.

Let them talk.

He had more important things to worry about.

Worry? Where had that come from?

Ken never worried. He was always sure of himself. Better to say he had more important things to do, rather than muse over what might have happened to his toy in his absence. After all, there were always his plans for this afternoon…

Ken smiled to himself as he thought about what he had carefully tucked away in his satchel. He had seen it while walking to school that morning and had bought it on a whim. That whim had blossomed under time into a beautifully subtle plan.

He was being surprisingly hedonistic, Ken finally decided, before firmly stopping his impatient tapping—much to the frazzled teacher's relief—and sitting quietly.

The model student. Even if his mind was elsewhere.

Kido Jyou...ka?

He had a name now…not that he would use it, but it was fun to roll of his tongue silently. For some reason he couldn't fathom, it seemed beautiful.

Like a fine crystal goblet. All you had to do was discover the proper breaking point, and it would shatter into a thousand pieces.


"Taidaima." It was an empty custom he followed as he walked through the door. Quite frankly, he didn't really care it his parents knew he was home or not. It was just something that expended little energy and made his life flow a little bit smoother in return.

On the way up to his room, his mother accosted him. She smiled at him nervously, like one would approach a wild animal, and for some odd reason it irked him today. Now she was probably going to insipidly question him about his day.

He couldn't understand her; both his parents had what they wanted right? If they wanted to know how he was doing in school, they could just as easily wait for his report card or call his teachers. For so long, their entire focus had been on his studies, or other things to make them proud, that he found it a bit hard to believe they might actually care about what else he might be doing.

Ken shook her off with a few curt answers before continuing to his room and locking the door to prevent any further interruptions.

A few moments later, he was on his way to his world.


To the Kaizer's surprise, Jyou was not in his room. For a brief second, a surge of some sort of emotion ran through him. He'd be hard pressed to put a label to it, so he didn't even bother, telling himself it wasn't even important.

Just call it irritation.

That out of the way, he pressed a button on his consol to turn on his viewscreen. There was no place in the citadel that could be hidden from his sight, and he located his plaything in a few moments.

He was on the very top of the fortress, right next to the door that led to an outside balcony.

He wasn't moving.

It was odd, but in that moment, the Kaizer felt something like helpless fury. He was unsure of something for once, not knowing if his toy was hurt, sleeping, or...even dead.

Not even bothering to alert Wormmon to his presence, he stalked up to the top of the stairwell and wrenched the door open, noting the chilling wind blowing in the back of his mind. The opening of the door hadn't been enough to awaken his plaything—at this distance, the Kaizer could see his chest rising and falling gently.

And his fury grew.

How dare he?!

How dare he cause the slightest doubt in the Kaizer's plans?!

How dare he, a lowly insect, make the Kaizer feel con—

And Ken cut off his thoughts right there.


"He's back in his room, Ken-chan..."

The Kaizer turned to face his digimon, something inwardly pleased at the wince of fear that came into its eyes. That's what was so wonderful about his digimon. Not that much was, after all he was just an insect. Certainly not worthy of someone who planned on conquering the whole Digital World.

But at the same time, it was almost sinfully easy to keep him off balance.

The Kaizer smirked.

"Thank you, Wormmon."

Amazing what the barest hint of praise would do. The punishments brought Wormmon constrained to him in the closest binding possible. He'd never betray him; if he did that, then any chance of scanty praise reaching him would be forever silenced.

Love and hate.

Such interesting bonds to utilize.

The Kaizer didn't say anything else as he turned back to the monitor, pressing a few buttons in a seemingly random order.



"I see you're finally awake. Any particular reason for your choice in bedding places?" As usual, Ken's voice filled the dark room, like the rise and ebb of waves.

"I don't like my room." Jyou responded, deciding to try being instantly on the offensive. He'd given something away at dinner last night, and he didn't know exactly what the Kaizer planned to do with the information.

"My, I must say that I've never had such a picky guest before..."

"Let's dispense with the formalities, please. What do you want?"

"Oh, I just wanted to inform you that you were wrong." There was crinkling sound from the very walls, as if a giant was opening his daily newspaper. "You made the front page. Shall I read you the article?"

"Go ahead." Jyou couldn't stop the pounding of his heart, hope making him dizzy like too much red wine.

"Kido Jyou did not return home from school yesterday. Police have not ruled out foul play or kidnapping, though there has been no ransom note found. It is also believed he might be a runaway..." Ken continued with the article, stopping only to inform Jyou that his picture did him no justice.

The boy known as the Digimon Kaizer grinned darkly as he watched his monitor, inwardly chuckling at the hope registered on the other boy's face. Giving a person hope, then slowly extracting a tiny particle day by day...the newspapers would do it for him. Ken made a mental note to make sure reading the news was a part of their daily playtime from now on.

After all, today he was on the front page. Tomorrow, perhaps the second. Then as a week went by, buried deeper and deeper into that paper tomb. Like lowering a coffin into a grave.


He made me worry...

For some odd reason, the thought returned unbidden to his mind as the Kaizer surveyed his domain from his desolate vantage point.