Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon. Sad, but true.
A/N: And another chapter is finished! Again, though this story isn't related to any of my other stories, it does have a familiar face in it. Hope you all enjoy!
Chapter 19: Within the Crystal Ball
Willis was surprised to find himself following the mysterious robed digimon into the cabin without protest, the others trailing along behind, and as they moved towards the back of the building he noticed that the room they were heading for appeared to be glowing from within with a strange crimson light.
Upon entering the room, Willis discovered that the red glow seemed to be coming from a light source he could not immediately identify, and frowning he studied the walls of the cabin with curiosity.
Is that light coming from...the walls maybe?
The crimson light seemed to pulse with life, almost as if it were alive, and unable to look away Willis continued to survey the room with interest.
At one time the space itself must have been a decent sized living room, but age had definitely taken its toll on the little cabin. After years of neglect, the room had grown dusty and dirty, and all of the furniture, except for a small round table and several battered chairs located in the centre of the room, had been covered in dirty white sheets and stored to one side. There was a layer of dust over everything except the table, and sneezing Willis studied the table with apprehension. It was the only piece of furniture in the room that looked new, and it was covered in a midnight blue table cloth that was decorated with silver stars. In the centre of the table stood what appeared to be a glowing crystal ball, and giving it a rather suspicious look Willis proceeded to take a seat at the table, Lopmon and Terriermon quickly jumping into his lap so they could see what was going on a little bit better.
"If you don't mind me asking, who might you be?" Izzy asked politely, his expression calm and unhindered by any obvious concern.
Willis glanced at the computer expert seated to his left and then at T.K., who had chosen the seat on his right, before allowing himself to study the mysterious figure sitting across from him a little more closely. The strange digimon was wrapped in a midnight blue cloak, and her face was completely hidden by the cloak's hood. The only thing Willis could make out was a pair of deep violet eyes that were staring back at him from the depths of the hood, and her thin, white hands were folded together neatly on the table. The hands looked skeletal in the gloomy darkness of the room, and they were so white they appeared almost to glow in the dim red light that pulsed steadily all around them.
"My name is Seermon," the female digimon replied after a tense moment of silence, her violet gaze settling on Izzy. "I am the one they call the Keeper of the Prophecies."
"So...you're the one who sent us those messages," Yolei said slowly, exchanging a look with Kari, who sat on her left.
Seermon, who was seated on Yolei's right, nodded in agreement, and bowing her head, she said softly, "Indeed, you are correct. I have seen things, things of a rather alarming nature, and I felt I must warn you so you would have time to prepare yourselves for the coming disaster."
"What things?" Davis asked curiously, sitting on Seermon's right. "And what exactly does being the Keeper of the Prophecies even mean?"
Seermon turned her violet eyes on the goggle-headed leader, and once again bowing her head, it was a moment before she decided to answer. "I am a digimon who has devoted herself to protecting this world, and due to this difficult task it has become my duty to analyze and decipher the visions and prophecies of the Digital World in order to help maintain the balance of light and darkness in this beautiful land that we digimon call our home. Due to my gift, it has become my responsibility to foretell any impending darkness that threatens us so that the digimon of this world can prepare themselves for the dark times ahead. Thus the reason why many of the digimon in this world refer to me as the Keeper of the Prophecies."
"I see," Izzy murmured, his expression growing thoughtful.
"Hey..." Davis said slowly, growing suddenly indignant. "If that's true then where were you all those times before when evil digimon like MaloMyotismon kept trying to attack us?"
Willis couldn't be entirely sure, since he could not see her face, but he had a feeling Seermon was now smiling in amusement deep within the hood she wore. "You may not have been aware of my presence, but do not think I had abandoned you during your time of need in the past."
"The prophecy," Ken said softly, his sapphire eyes growing wide with sudden understanding. "The angels of hope and light, and the hour of the beast. That was you, wasn't it. You were the one who originally predicted what would happen."
Seermon nodded in approval, and sitting back on her chair, she said softly, "I have been with all of you since the very beginning, even if you may not have been aware of my presence, or aware of the assistance I have provided you on several occasions. I have my ties to Gennai and his counterparts just as all of you do, and I have been watching you all every step of the way. Like Gennai and his counterparts, I have dedicated my life to protecting the Digital World. I watch over File Island and the four hemispheres of the Digital World, or I suppose it would be more accurate to say that I watch over the prophecies of this world."
"So you've met Gennai before," Kari finished, her words more of a statement than a question.
"Yes, I have. And now at last I finally have the opportunity to meet all of you. Or some of you at least, as I see a few of your companions are not with you today."
"Tai and the others weren't able to come, much as they would have liked to," Izzy explained, a hint of an apology in his tone of voice.
"Now that we know who you are, what is it exactly that you feel the need to warn us about?" Gatomon asked suspiciously from her seat in Kari's lap. "It must be pretty important if you felt you had to warn us in person this time."
Seermon's aura immediately became much more serious, and leaning forward slightly in her chair, she fixed them all with a steady gaze that seemed to pierce right through their hearts. "The Powers of Darkness can be used as a strong tool of evil, and once you have allowed that power to enter into your heart, it isn't so easy to separate yourself from its alluring pull again. It is the same for both humans and digimon. No one is immune to the darkness that lurks inside all of our hearts, and anyone can succumb to that power if they do not have the strength to keep it at bay. You, as the Digidestined, know this lesson well. Some more than others, for you have experienced it yourselves."
Seermon's violet eyes settled on Ken, who was sitting between Davis and Izzy, and lowering his head, the raven-haired Digidestined said solemnly, "It is not a fate I would wish on anyone. I can't even begin to explain how lucky I was that there were those wiling to risk their lives to help me find myself again."
Davis put a comforting hand on Ken's shoulder, and turning to Seermon, he gave her a defiant look. "After what we've all been through, there's nothing we can't handle if we all work together. The darkness might be strong, but all of us are even stronger!"
"Let us hope that is so," Seermon said softly, her violet gaze studying the stubborn look on the goggle-headed leader's face. "The darkness hunts you, and I fear it is so deceptive in nature that if you cannot uncover the truth before it's too late it will claim the hearts of those who cannot see through the mask it hides behind. The shadows are gathering, and they lurk in every corner. They are watching you, and they will strike when you least expect it."
"Huh?" Terriermon said, scratching his head in confusion.
"The light must continue to burn brightly within all of you if you do not want to lose sight of your enemies."
"You can't see shadows or detect them if they are hiding in the darkness," T.K. finished, his blue gaze fixed intently on Seermon.
Seermon did not reply. Instead, she merely gave the golden-haired Digidestined an unreadable look, and watching T.K., Willis felt his heart start to race.
Through the shadows, evil calls. The face of nightmares shall be shown.
Remembering the lines of the poem that had been sent to Yolei's email, Willis leaned forward in his chair, trying unsuccessfully to see into the depths of Seermon's hood. "That poem you sent to Yolei's inbox. That was no ordinary poem. That was a prophecy, wasn't it."
There were several gasps around the table, and growing excited, Patamon said, "It's just like the one about us, Gatomon!"
"Yeah, but what does it mean?" Gatomon asked, frowning in confusion.
Everyone turned to look at Seermon, and gazing back at them she placed her hand on the crystal ball, her slim, white fingers running lightly over its smooth, glass surface. "It came to me in a dream, and though I can decipher it to a certain extent, even I do not know the entirety of what the prophecy means. Only you, the Digidestined, can answer that question for yourselves."
"That sounds like a lot of work to me," Terriermon complained.
"And how are we supposed to figure out what it means if even you can't figure it out?" Veemon piped up, looking at Davis for support.
"You must find a way because you need to know the threat of what waits for you in the darkness," Seermon replied, avoiding the question. "While I may not be able to decipher exactly what the prophecy foretells, I can still offer you my wisdom and guidance on the matter. If you choose to take my words to heart, that is."
"Don't mind Veemon," Wormmon said, giving the seer an apologetic look. "He's just impatient like his partner."
"Hey, what's that supposed to mean?" Davis shouted, glaring at Wormmon.
"Please, do tell," Lopmon said shyly, ignoring Davis and gazing eagerly at Seermon. "We would love to hear your opinion on this matter of the prophecy."
"Something hides within the darkness, and it will not rest until it has claimed the light burning within all of you. Hold onto your friends, and do not lose sight of the strength that all of you possess. It will be your greatest ally in the days to come. The heart must be able to see the truth within the lies or all will be lost."
"A warning," Izzy said softly, his mind obviously somewhere else. "The prophecy is a warning to be wary of the darkness that threatens us. And if we ignore it, it could potentially threaten the entire Digital World."
"It also mentions the crests," Kari interrupted, her amber gaze straying over Cody's head to glance at T.K., who was sitting on Cody's left, before settling on Seermon. "They must be important if the prophecy mentioned them."
Important enough to randomly make a new one out of nowhere.
Willis yanked the chain around his neck over his head in a sudden burst of frustration, and throwing the crest on the table, he ignored the clatter it made as it hit the base of the crystal ball, his gaze remaining firmly fixed on Seermon. "And speaking of crests, maybe you can explain this while you're at it."
I need to know. If my suspicions are correct then...
Willis could feel T.K. and Kari watching him, but he refused to look at either one of them. Instead, he kept his gaze focused on Seermon, who was staring back at him with equal intensity.
Seermon did not attempt to take the crest into her hands. Instead, she gave the small trinket barely a glance before her eyes once again locked with his. "There is nothing to explain. You know what it means, and deep within your heart I believe you know the reason why it was given to you."
"Willis?" Lopmon asked, looking uncertain.
Willis could feel everyone watching him now, and thinking back on the words of the prophecy, his hands began to shake as Seermon confirmed what he had already come to believe. "Faith."
"What?" T.K. asked sharply, leaning towards him to hear better.
"The crest. Its meaning is faith. The Crest of Faith."
"But...how?" Kari asked, leaning forward as well. "How do you know?"
Willis didn't answer. He continued to gaze at Seermon, and his next words came out in a whisper. "But...what do I do?"
"Only you can answer that," Seermon replied, her violet eyes growing suddenly warm and sympathetic. "I cannot show you the way. You must forge your own path through the darkness. The light of your crest and the strength of your spirit will help guide the way."
"What are you guys talking about?" Davis asked, looking rather frustrated.
"Forget it, Davis," Cody spoke up, his arms tightening around Armadilliomon. "Even if she gave us an answer, I doubt we would understand it."
"And if that light fails?" Willis demanded, determined to at least receive some sort of an answer from the digital seer.
"You know the words of the prophecy as well as I do," Seermon replied, shaking her head.
Willis was about to reply, but before he could get any words out, she leaned over the table and whispered, "Hold onto your friends. Do not lose sight of them. Do not forget what is truly important. Do not let him out of your sight or all will be lost."
Willis let out a gasp, and jerking away from her, he sat back in his chair, his mind racing.
"Do not let him out of your sight."
There was no doubt about it now. Though he still did not know entirely what was going on, he knew his friend was in serious trouble, and the crests were somehow the key to fighting the darkness that would eventually threaten them all.
He needs us, and if we fail him...
"I can tell you only what the prophecy reveals to me, but with that being said, perhaps you can enlighten yourselves a bit, if you have strength enough to glimpse what the future may hold for you," Seermon continued, speaking to everyone and waving her hand at the crystal ball. "Is the strength of your hearts strong enough to decipher the fate that may or may not await you depending on your actions?"
"This forest has many secrets. I wonder...Will you be able to decipher them all?"
For some reason the words of that strange girl from earlier came back to him, and frowning Willis continued to gaze at the crystal ball with uncertainty.
"Hold onto your friends..."
Seermon had insisted he already knew the reason why he had been given a crest, and thinking back on the prophecy, he felt his heart rate continue to increase.
The only way to save your soul,
Should darkness ever enter.
Take the hands of those who hold,
The power that is your equal.
The meaning was fairly obvious now.
The power of the crests. He needs me. That's why...that's why I was given one. That's why those particular crests, the Crest of Hope and the Crest of Light, have come back to us...
"Let's do this!" Davis said, making a fist.
Seermon glanced at each of them in turn, as if measuring the strength of their determination, and once again placing her hand on the glowing orb on the table, she said, "I want all of you to look closely into this crystal ball, and I will tell you what I see."
"Sounds good to me," Davis replied, shrugging and keeping his eyes focused on the crystal ball.
Seermon quickly swept her hand across the top of the ball, revealing several thin bracelets of silver circling her wrist, and immediately a milky white fog filled the glowing crystal ball, the crimson light in the room turning the mist a vibrant red.
Suddenly the mist inside the orb turned pitch black and the crimson light in the room grew dimmer, as if the darkness from the orb was beginning to seep out into the room all around them.
"What's happening?" Patamon cried anxiously, glancing fearfully around at the walls.
"The darkness that threatens you is both mysterious and terrible," Seermon said in a misty voice that was barely above a whisper. "It seeks to use you for a greater purpose, to destroy the one whose heart protects you from the most crippling of weaknesses."
"What weakness would that be?" Yolei demanded.
"Despair," Seermon whispered, her voice full of sorrow. "If the darkness claims what it seeks, all of you shall be lost."
"No way!" Davis interrupted, his hands clenching into tight fists. "There's no way we're going to let that happen!"
"But how?" Cody murmured, almost to himself. "How do we protect ourselves from the darkness that hunts us?"
"You must harness the power of the Trinity. That is your only hope."
"The what?" Ken asked, frowning in confusion.
"It is your only hope," Seermon whispered. "The darkness seeks to use the one it hunts to destroy you all. Only the power of the Trinity can save you from the evil that threatens you."
Willis found himself unable to look away from the crystal ball, and watching it closely he gasped when a familiar face suddenly filled the orb. It was the face of the girl they had seen earlier. The one with the strange eyes and lavender hair.
Who is she, and why is she here in the Digital World?
Abruptly the crimson glow in the room flared brightly again, and the light from the crystal ball dimmed and disappeared.
For a moment everyone just sat there in stunned silence, and then Davis spoke, his words slow and uncertain. "I saw us...drowning in darkness inside the crystal ball, but...this digimon appeared. It looked liked Cherubimon, but he was all white. He didn't look like the one we saw in New York..."
"Like the one I became," Lopmon said sadly, shaking his head.
Willis hugged the little rookie tightly and whispered, "It's okay. We're past that now. That won't ever happen again."
"I saw feathers. Lots and lots of feathers," Yolei said softly, looking awed. "They were angel feathers."
"I saw the crests," Izzy said in excitement, his eyes flashing brightly in the dim glow of the room. "The three crests that we have now. They were glowing."
"I...saw a flash of something evil," Ken murmured, shuddering. "I think it might have been a glimpse of whatever is hunting us. The darkness emanating from it was immensely powerful. I couldn't see any features though. Just the shadow of an outline."
"I saw the words of the prophecy. They were burning," Cody added.
Willis turned to Kari and T.K., both of whom appeared reluctant to speak.
For a moment Willis was sure they weren't going to reveal what they had seen, but then Kari lifted her head and said quietly, "I saw pinpoints of light. They were glowing, and they were connected."
Pinpoints of light...
Willis was sure there was more to what Kari had seen, but it was clear she did not intend to elaborate on what had been revealed to her inside the crystal ball.
Like Kari, T.K. seemed hesitant to speak, and without looking at anyone, he said simply, "I saw myself in the crystal ball, and Kari and Willis were with me."
Willis was sure now that T.K. was also hiding something and that there was more to what he had seen, but he didn't have long to dwell on the matter as everyone was now staring at him.
"What did you see?" Yolei asked curiously, giving him an encouraging smile.
Should I tell them?
For some reason he felt reluctant to admit he had seen the strange girl from earlier, and feeling guilty, he kept his eyes on the table as he said, "I saw...a face. At least...I think I did. The darkness was so thick I could barely make it out."
That at least was true. The image had been very quick, and it had been shrouded in darkness. Maybe he had only thought he saw the girl, but what he had really seen was something else entirely.
Willis could tell Kari and T.K. didn't believe him, but luckily neither one chose to question him at the moment. Instead, everyone turned their attention back to Seermon, who was watching them all closely.
"What was that all about?" Davis demanded, a frown on his face. "What exactly were we seeing?"
"One of many possible futures, which may or may not come to pass," Seermon said simply, her violet eyes sparkling in the crimson light of the room. "Beware the darkness, Digidestined. Anger, murder, jealously. They have come to exact justice upon you. Beware the Winged Maidens. Beware the Daughters of the Night."
Willis was about to ask what she meant by that when the sound of a loud crash from outside suddenly caught his attention.
"What was that?" Armadillomon asked.
"Are we being attacked?" Tentomon gasped.
Everyone turned to glance at the door that led to the hallway, and a second crash sounded from outside, this one louder than the first.
What in the Digiworld is going on out there?
Willis quickly twisted back around in his chair to ask Seermon what was happening, but to his surprise he found her chair empty. A quick glance around the room didn't reveal her presence either, and there was no way she could have slipped through the door without someone seeing her.
Somehow, as if by magic, the seer had disappeared.