Chapter 29: The Knight of Justice! Beelzemon vs. Gallantmon

"What do you want, Beelzemon?" spat UlForceVeedramon, not yet turning around to face the Demon Lord.

"What's with the harsh tone?" Beelzemon smirked, leaning on one knee while his tail slammed on the sandy ground below. "All I wanna know is where Alphamon and Lord Yggdrasil are. I have a feeling you know where they are, so if you wouldn't mind telling me, I'll let you live."

"Why worry about them?" UlForceVeedramon retorted. He turned around to face the evil Digimon, glaring at him. "I'm right here! I'll take you on!"

"Wait a second, UlForceVeedramon!" Alex raised her arm out to him as a reflex as if to grab and stop him, even though she wasn't anywhere near close enough to make physical contact with her partner. "Nero didn't want Alphamon to fight him. Maybe we should think about this."

"Better listen to your little human," cackled Beelzemon. "Fighting you lot would be pointless. Especially you, MetalGreymon!" Beelzemon said the last bit as if he were interested in the weakened Ultimate-level Digimon, grinning at him. He leaped into the air and landed in front of him, looking up at him.

"What do you mean by that?" MetalGreymon asked weakly, struggling to keep his form now that a new threat had emerged before him.

"Even if you could digivolve to the next level, you would still never be able to defeat me," Beelzemon replied, his words causing anger to stir up inside MetalGreymon. "Getting angry at being called weak, eh?" Beelzemon observed MetalGreymon's facial expression, the image of BlackGabumon popping into his mind. "You're more like him than I perceived you to be."

"What are you talking about?" MetalGreymon questioned, now seeming interested in his words.

"Don't listen to him, Metal!" barked UlForceVeedramon. "And you, Beelzemon! Shut that trap of yours and fight me!"

"Can't you see I'm talking to the incomplete Digimon over here?" Beelzemon waved his hand back towards UlForceVeedramon as if he were trying to shoo him away. "Unless you plan on telling me where Alphamon is, I have no interest in you in your condition."

"Incomplete?" thought MetalGreymon, thinking that the Demon Lord didn't appear to be lying about whatever it was he were talking about based on his attitude.

"Well get interested!" UlForceVeedramon roared, extending an energy blade and charging at Beelzemon with such speed that he was invisble to the naked eye. Alex and the other couldn't even tell where he was, though that didn't stop the Digimon's partner from calling out to him and telling him wait.

Beelzemon took a deep breath and sighed, reaching into his gun holster and grabbing hold of his weapon. The evil Digimon jumped up high. UlForceVeedramon suddenly reappeared underneath him with his arm extended. He was flabbergasted that Beezlemon seemed to have anticipated his attack and avoided it with such ease. Beelzemon took direct aim at the blue Digimon from above, firing a single shot from his weapon. The attack hit its mark, striking UlForceVeedramon in the wound given to him by SkullSatamon after piercing his armor.

UlForceVeedramon collapsed onto his back in front on MetalGreymon, releasing a deafening cry of pain into the air/ He could no longer hold his Mega-level form and became Veemon once again, blood leaking from his injury and pouring onto the sand. Veemon continued to cry out in an uncontrollable spasm, the sound of voice causing tears to fill Alex's eyes. Without any concern for her safety, Alex left the others to run over to her partner.

"V-Veemon?" Aimi stuttered. She had never heard such a horrific sound before.

"That's…. That's just awful!!" spouted Ana. It was difficult for her to continue looking on, but she knew that she couldn't let Beelzemon out of her sight after a stunt like that.

"I told you that I wasn't interested in fighting you in your condition," Beelzemon sighed.

"H-How could you?!" MetalGreymon growled, unable to bear the sight of his friend screaming in pain. Still, seeing how quickly UlForceVeedramon was taken out, what chance did he have of doing anything in his condition? He felt powerless to fight back. Alex was now holding Veemon's head up in her arms, doing her best to keep him calm.

"It's all right, Veemon," she continued to tell him in the calmest voice she could muster. "You're going to be okay!"

Beelzemon simply shook his head as he raised his leg up behind him, kicking WarGrowlmon in the chest after the Digimon tried a failed sneak attack. WarGrowlmon was easily pushed to his rear and his back by the Mega-level Digimon. Beelzemon seemed uninterested with WarGrowlmon's strength and returned to Veemon, whom was still crying out in pain.

"If it hurts so much, maybe I should just put you out of your misery right now," he said, holding a gun up to his head.

"No!" cried Alex, covering her partner and looking up at the evil Digimon with teary eyes. "Why are you doing this?! Nero said that you weren't infected by the virus, so why are you attacking us?! We didn't do anything to you!"

"Why am I doing this?" Beelzemon repeated, sheathing his gun. "For the same reason any Digimon would fight another: to get stronger! I could care less about what the master wants; I want power!"

"P-Power?" WarGrowlmon said, sitting up and getting to his feet. "You would make innocent people cry, even kill them…for that? How could someone like you be so evil?"

"Evil?" Beelzemon glared back at WarGrowlmon. "Let me tell you something about evil… It doesn't exist." He turned around to face WarGrowlmon. His stare was so cold it sent a chill up WarGrowlmon's back, despite the intense heat of the desert. "There is no good. There is no evil. There is only power! Power controls everything! It controls people's dreams… It controls people's fears. Give anyone enough power and they'll surely try to rule the world. Those without power will cower in fear, and desire the power to free them. In then end, it's all about power."

WarGrowlmon glanced down at Veemon, whom was fighting for life in a different kind of battle, and the human who was doing everything she could to keep him calm.

"Enough!" he brought his gaze to meet directly with Beelzemon's, the Demon Lord sensing a sudden change in him. "Your evil deeds must come to an end! I will stop you, even if it costs me my life!"

"You tell him, WarGrowlmon!" Ana cheered, clenching her hands into fists. Her Digivice suddenly started glowing, firing a beam of light at WarGrowlmon. WarGrowlmon could feel the energy whirling up inside him, his body growing more powerful, changing.

"WarGrowlmon digivolve to…" he yelled as his body began to morph. His body took on a more humanoid shape, with shining white kinght-like armor covering his body from head to toe. The elbow-like plates on the back of gauntlets were colored red, as were his shoulder plates and knee plates. His greaves, most of them hidden under the armor covering his legs, had gold coloring on the tips, and red coloring on the heels and ankles. A pair of yellow eyes was all that showed from behind his helmet, a Guilmon-like mask could be seen across his forehead. "Gallantmon!"

"Kick…his…ass!" Alex said with a slight pause between her words for emphasis.

The Mega-Level form of Guilmon raised his right arm up into the air, summoning a long white jousting stick. A round shield appeared on his left arm; a red digital hazard sign positioned in the center of it matched the one on his chest. "Your treachery ends here!"

Back in town, Hikaru and Ryudamon continued their search for the humans they knew to be there.

"The Digivice says they should be somewhere around here," the boy told his partner. "See anyone, Ryudamon?"

"Nada, Hikaru-sama," responded the dinosaur-like Digimon. She surveyed the area as far forward as she could, not seeing anything that looked like a human. "Wait, is that…" she began to say as she eyed a familiar blue figure. "It is… Veemon!"

At the sound of Ryudamon's voice, Veemon turned around to face the two. They ran over waving, but Hikaru realized that something was odd. Not only was Alex nowhere in sight, but he was looking at them like he didn't know who they were.

"Hey, Veemon, where's Alex?" Ryudamon wondered after noticing the human girl was nowhere to be found. "Don't tell me you ditched her food again."

"Who's Alex?" the blue Digimon blinked curiously, tilting his head a bit.

"Hold on a second, Ryudamon," Hikaru held his hand down in front of Ryudamon. "I don't think this is the same Veemon."

Ryudamon leaned in close to examine the Veemon, resulting in him backing away in a creeped-out way. Ryudamon brought herself back and bowed to him. "My apologies, Veemon, I mistook you for someone else."

Veemon watched as Ryudamon conversed with her partner and started walking away. A few clicks ran in his brain and he quickly came to the realization that he had just met another human like his partner.

"Wait!" he called, the two looking back over at him. "You guys wouldn't happen to know Lord Yggdrasil, would you?"

"You mean, Nero?" replied Hikaru. "Yeah, we've been travelling around with him for a while now. He should actually be here soon."

"He's coming here?" Veemon gasped. "That's great! I've gotta tell Jillian!"

The name sparked the plugs in Hikaru and Ryudamon's minds and both noticed that the name sound human-like. As Veemon ran away, the two pursued him.

Hikaru and Ryudamon had yet to become aware that Nero had actually passed by the town already and were set on-course to meet with the girls that had been left alone at the farthest point.

Beelzemon ginned evilly at the new challenge that had unexpectedly appeared before him, placing both of his hands at his waist. "So, you think you can take me on, eh? Seeing how you're in better shape than that other guy, I suppose I could play wit you for a little while. It'll be a nice little warm-up for Alphamon."

He disappeared before Gallantmon's eyes; the Demon Lord was fast, but not as fast as UlForceVeedramon. Having already seen the movements of Veemon's Mega-level form, Beelzemon seemed to stand still. He raised his shield up to his left side, blocking a kick thrown at him by Beelzemon.

"Impressive! You saw that one coming…" Beelzemon raised both of his guns up to Gallantmon's head, his foot keeping the shield down. "But not this one. Take this! Double Impact!"

Gallantmon ducked his head down. The bullets fired grazed the top of his helmet and bounced away with a clang sound. He pulled his shield down a bit and forced Beelzemon to lose his footing on the shield. The knight-like Digimon slid on the ground underneath the enemy, attempting to land a kick into Beelzemon's back. Beelzemon shifted his body in midair to block the kick with his arms. His whole body began to spin with the force of the impact, but he safely landed on the ground without any sign of injury.

"This is getting to be fun!"

While Beelzemon seemed to think of the battle as nothing more than a game, Gallantmon was quickly discovering the reason as to why Nero didn't let Alphamon fight him.

"This form takes a lot out of you," ran the through in his mind. "And I haven't even used one of my special attacks yet." He tried to hide his fatigue, which wasn't too difficult to do while hidden behind his helmet. He raised his joust up to Beelzemon's chest, the point charged with electricity. "Lightning Joust!"

A wide toothy grin came across the Demon Lord's face as Gallantmon prepared to launch the attack at him. He beat his chest vigorously before holding both of his arms out in front of him. "Bring it!"

"He's a beast!" MetalGreymon observed.

Gallatnmon released the stored up energy in his lance, sending it all at the Beelzemon. The lightning hit its intended target, but Beelzemon seemed to be enduring it. He let out a lout warrior-like yell while standing his ground, being pushed back about two feet based on the marks in the sand his feet produced. Despite the intensity of the attack, Beelzemon had received naught but a small burn mark upon his chest.

"Is that the best you've got?" Beelzemon cackled. "Kid, let me tell ya something… In this desert, the occasional lightning hurts worse than that."

Nero had implemented such a feature into the game. The weather changed in the game much like it did in the Real World, and while the desert received little to no rain, it did receive electrical storms from time to time.

"Now then, I think it's my turn."

Beelzemon charged at Gallantmon with so much force that he caused the sand underneath him to part. Even though Gallantmon had managed to defend himself with his shield, the punch the Digimon delivered hurled him backwards. Gallantmon raised his shield up again just in time to block an aerial kick from Beelzemon, the power of the kick causing his body to dig into the sandy ground.

"Shield of the Just!" shouted Gallantmon.

Beelzemon looked down at the shield as several red triangles circling the hazard symbol lit up.

"Shit…" the Demon Lord said before being shot with a humongous beam of energy released from the shield. He was flung off into the distance by the massive burst of energy before finally skidding against the ground and landing in a sand dune. Te dune exploded upon impact, resulting in a shower of sand falling from the sky.

Gallantmon began panting very heavily, having exhausted almost of all of his energy at this point. After using up the energy he did as WarGrowlmon and using up most of his power in his last two attacks, it was a surprise that he was still in his Mega-level form. The Digimon thought he had finally caught a break before an evil laugh permeated the dense air.

Beelzemon emerged from the pile of sand he had been under looking beat up. His jacket was torn with holes in various places and his mask had several soot marks scattered about.

"Does this guy ever quit!?" Ana complained, knowing her partner wouldn't be able to continue fighting this monstrosity.

Aimi had sought comfort from MetalGreymon and could be seen huddled up against his leg, while Veemon had finally calmed down and fallen unconscious in his partner's arms.

Beelzemon leapt into the air, doing a front-flip before landing directly in front of Gallantmon. Before the knight-like Digimon could react, Beelzemon dropped down and swept him off of his feet. Landing on his tush, Gallantmon looked up to find Beelzemon with a gun held to his face.

"Game over!" Beelzemon announced, standing on his lance so he couldn't strike back.

Gallantmon shut his eyes as the humans all gasped in fear and his partner called out to him. He was weak. Beelzemon was strong and experienced. Nothing he did would save his life this time. He heard the click of Beelzemon's gun, but heard no gunshot. He opened his eyes when his jousting stick became lighter, watching Beelzemon walk away from him with his guns sheathed. The Demon Lord was now approaching the humans.

"You're not going to finish me off?" the red and white Digimon questioned.

"My orders were to destroy Alphamon and apprehend Lord Yggdrasil," he answered. "Never once did the master ever order me to dispose of you lot. I want power! It's why I seek strong opponents! Killing a weakling would hardly increase my strength. Get stronger, kid. Live with the knowledge that you lost to a superior opponent. Hate me for what I did to your friend. Then, someday, when you're stronger, come face me again!"

Gallantmon was surprised by Beelzemon's words, but he still didn't want to risk letting him hurt anyone else. He reached out his arm, but his lack of energy caused him to revert back to his Rookie stage, Guilmon, before he could. Beelzemon approached the Alex, whom was still with Veemon.

"Where's Lord Yggdrasil?!" he demanded.

"I'm right here!" a familiar voice responded.

Beelzemon turned his head to the side to find Nero and Alphamon now on the scene. He smiled a sinister grin as Nero gazed upon the condition of his friends. Still, although Beelzemon was surely weakened by the look of things, Nero knew he couldn't win.

"That was quite cowardly of you two back there," he grinned, pulling out his pistols and aiming them at Alphamon.

"Hold it, Beelzemon!" Nero requested, rasing his hand into the air. Beelzemon seemed surprised by the gesture and fumbled back, curious as to what Nero wanted to say. "Listen, I know you want to fight Alphamon, and nothing I say will change your mind." Beelzemon seemed to chuckle at his words, agreeing wholeheartedly. "Yes, we ran! But that's only because I knew that we couldn't win. It was wrong to do. However, Beelzemon, hear me out! Please, give us three, no, two days to train! If you accept, I promise Alphamon and I will challenge you to a one-on-one battle!"

"Two days, huh?" Beelzemon replied, sheathing his guns. "And you're sure these extra days would allow Alphamon to reach my level of strength?"

"That is correct," Nero confirmed.

"I don't think I should," Beelzemon grumbled, crossing his arms across his chest. "I don't think I should. I did promise the master I'd defeat you guys, and as much as I hate the guy, I'm obliged to keep my promises. I can't risk you guys running from me again, and I'm positive that there's no sandstorm to save your asses this time."

"We won't run!" assured Nero, getting down on his hands and knees in a begging gesture.

This action confused the Digimon, finding it highly unorthodox. He spit off to the side and glared at him. "What can you offer me as collateral? You know, so I can be sure you're telling the truth."

"Collateral?" Aimi wondered.

"He means something of equal value," Ana answered. "Beelzemon wants a trade to ensure that he'll have something if Nero goes back on his word."

Nero panicked for a brief second, wondering what he could possibly offer. Beelzemon suddenly heard a strange sound and raised his arm, catching what looked like a Digivice.

"Will that suffice?" growled Alex, figuring that Veemon would be incapable of fighting for a short while.

Nero looked up; he was worried that Beelzemon might give the Digivice to the virus and use it to track their movements. Nero did voice his complaint, but Guilmon spoke up, telling Nero that he believed that the Demon Lord would not do such a thing.

Beelzemon glanced at Alex, who had a stern look upon her face, and then back at Nero. "Very well! Two days… In two days, meet me at the oasis."

Beelzemon walked over to his motorcycle, the Digivice clenched in his right hand, and rode off, leaving the humans behind.

Elsewhere, back in the virus' lair, a pair of golden yellow eyes appeared in the dark corridors of what looked like BlackGabumon's room. A black leg, seemingly covered in black armor, emerged from the door into the virus' chamber. The virus' voice rang out.

"It looks like your body has finally accepted the power, BlackMetalGarurumon," the voice cackled. "That's good, because there's something I need you to do for me."