Heya, everybody. It's a day later than I was hoping it would be but that is because I went home to spend some time with the family, and I had to put a lot more time into this per day than I originally intended if I want to stay on schedule and get the next QOTG out soon. Still here's an awaited chapter about what happens to Beelzemon and Wisemon so, to that end, I won't detain you any further. Happy reading.
To Be a King
Chapter 19:- Lady of Light
The forest of golden trees that Beelzemon and Wisemon had found themselves in seemed to be a very large place, for the people who they had fallen into company with had been leading them through it for a considerable amount of time. This might have had something to do with the fact they were moving slower than they might have done – none of them particularly wanted to take their eyes off the strange pair that they were guarding, and they moved with caution and excruciating slowness.
Beelzemon's ears were relatively keen and at one point he had managed to hear one of the humans that were not humans murmur to a couple of the others. "Be wary. This is the first time anyone we have had to escort to Caras Galadhon has wings. Whatever these creatures are, they can surely use them. They might try and escape upwards if they think they can get away with it."
Neither Beelzemon nor Wisemon though had any intention of using their wings just now. Wherever they were being led, it was likely to have some answers to their many questions, or at the very least allow them to get a sense of where the heck they were.
Still, there were lots of Digimon that had wings, so if these Elves had never encountered them before that wasn't reassuring. It seemed to support Wisemon's theory that they were indeed not in the Digital World anymore.
And if that was the case, then just where were they? For this did not seem to be the Human World either. But then again neither could be sure for information on the Human World was comparatively low. Most of what they knew had come by word-of-mouth from their generals and what they had seen themselves briefly when they had been there.
Wisemon in particular was trying to listen in to what these people were saying, his boundless thirst for knowledge kicking in as per usual. He had managed to deduce that these people referred to their kind as 'Elves.' And he could see a few differences from the humans he had seen before, such as the pointed ears which stuck out from their long hair, and for the most part they seemed to have more angular features, as if they had been sculpted from stone.
But did that make them some sort of human subspecies? Or were they a different species altogether. Wisemon felt the need to know, but he restrained himself for bringing it up for the time being, largely because the Elves seemed to be quite on edge around them.
They moved even slower when night fell, and they were forced to move a little more cautiously, for the Elves were determined to make sure that they, particularly Beelzemon did not try to escape Beelzemon's darker armour and wings meant that he blended into the night much better than some other Digimon did after all. Still, both the Elves and the Digimon in question could see relatively well in the dark, so they had been able to continue into the night for some time before their leader… Haldir, if Beelzemon had heard right… called a halt.
"We shall rest here until sunrise," he said, standing regally at the helm of the group. "Set up a temporary camp and make sure to stay alert," he called to the rest of his patrol.
Beelzemon smirked at his subtle choice of words. An ordinary Digimon might not have picked up on the meaning but Beelzemon was a warrior and knew this sort of thing. What Haldir has actually meant by 'stay alert' was 'make sure that you keep an eye on our two extra companions." You couldn't call either Beelzemon or Wisemon a prisoner, for the Elves had been about to shoot before they received word that someone, apparently their leader, wanted to speak to them. Not to lock them up.
Which was why Beelzemon was still going with this. If he had thought of himself as a prisoner he would have tried to bust out a while ago.
But that wasn't what was going on here. Most of these Elves were just extremely wary of him, and if he was the first like him that they had ever set eyes on before then they had every right to be. Beelzemon probably would have been very wary himself in their place.
Even though the darkness set in fully the place never really seemed to get completely dark. That was something that both Beelzemon and Wisemon noticed. The canopy blotted out the light of the moon and the stars like most canopies did, but the trees seemed to illuminate the area quite well by themselves, even in the darkness. They were not glowing exactly… it seemed more like they were giving off some strange sort of… ghost-light. Like lamps that were not really lamps.
It made it seem like the whole forest really was more alive than it originally seemed. It was as if it had not only life, but a soul. It reminded Beelzemon a great deal of the temple of the goddess which he and his fellow warriors had resided in before the encounter with the Bagra Army. Everything around him seemed to beat to a different rhythm, as if the forest itself was thinking and breathing.
It was an ethereal effect.
As the Elves settled down and silently kept an eye on their surrounded companions, Beelzemon decided to try and break the ice a little bit. The journey had been nothing but awkward up to this point, both sides wary of the other though Beelzemon got the distinct feeling that there was no need for 'sides' in this affair.
So even through the darkness he stepped towards Haldir at the front of the escort. He felt rather than saw all the Elves around him tense slightly, but Beelzemon ignored them as he stepped closer. Haldir himself seemed rather tense, but his expression remained carefully neutral as he said, "What do you want, stranger?"
"To talk," Beelzemon replied evenly. "You must have some questions about my companion and I. Just as I have some questions about you and your company. And yet you are taking us to your main stronghold at the request of what is apparently your leader."
"The Lady of the Golden Wood is infinitely wise," Haldir replied. "She understands the ways of the world in a sense that no mortal Man ever could… and even in a sense that most of we, her fellow Elves, could not hope to fathom. If she says that you are capable of trust then I shall have faith in her decision."
"Perhaps," Beelzemon gave him a friendly smile. "But you cannot deny that, even with your faith, you and your fellows are extremely wary of me and my own ally. There is an awkward enmity between our two groups and I feel it is because neither knows enough about the other, so I thought I should attempt to put a change to that."
"Enmity perhaps," Haldir agreed, a little tight-lipped. "Because to us you resemble some kind of servant of darkness. We have lived long and seen full well some of the creations by the various powers of darkness that infest this world. Creatures of your visage are more often than not on the side of our enemies."
"Then we are not like those enemies of yours," Beelzemon replied simply. "I can tell that you're a man, or Elf, of honour, Haldir. You have the air of a warrior about you. A warrior that looks up to a leader with faith and a good heart."
"And you are the same?" Haldir asked.
"I am," Beelzemon nodded. "I have done questionable things in my past to tell you the truth but I have long sought to make up for them in any way that I can and I too have a leader that I follow with faith, though I am unsure as to his current whereabouts. Or indeed my current whereabouts. But one thing I can tell you is that you have nothing to fear from me or from him," he nodded towards Wisemon, who was staring at an Elf as if trying to work out how his body was put together and making the Elf squirm.
Haldir regarded Beelzemon silently for several moments, before he said, "Something tells me that you are being truthful. But I shall reserve judgement for the time being. I wish to hear what the Lady has to say about this in person. As well as the Lord. These are dark times. Very dark indeed. Evil has been stirring across the lands to the east and west both and trust is a commodity which we cannot afford to give freely. Not anymore."
Beelzemon nodded. "I understand. I only wish to try and assure you that I will not attempt anything untoward against you and your friends."
"And I find it reassuring," Haldir gave Beelzemon a grim smile, which Beelzemon returned. "But I feel sure that I have more questions of you than you of us."
"Maybe," Beelzemon chuckled.
"I must admit there is one question that plagues me," Haldir stated. "And that is your left arm. I apologise in advance for any rudeness this question may produce but why does it have that strange rectangular shape? Is it some form of disfigurement?"
"Disfigurement?" Beelzemon took on a look of faux-indignation. "No, it is not. It is true that this is a part of me," he looked down at Berenjena hanging by his side. "But it is completely made of metal. Perhaps it might make you more uneasy if I were to say it but I shall be honest and tell you that it is a weapon. I could give you a demonstration on how it works, but it would definitely destroy something. It is perhaps left better unused for the time being."
Haldir did indeed look more wary at this declaration and he eyed the cannon thoughtfully. "It is a part of your, you say?" he asked. "It is impossible for you to remove it?"
"I could remove the bulk of the cannon," Beelzemon said. "But I would be unable to remove the mechanism inside that causes it to fire. But it is dangerous, so I will only use it against enemies. And I already know Haldir that you are not my enemy."
Haldir nodded, looking a little reassured.
"When do you expect for us to arrive at our destination?" Beelzemon asked. "I would rather like to receive some of the answers to my questions and I get the impression that this Lady of yours would be able to provide me with some if anybody around here can. I have my own friends that I must find who may be somewhere close by."
"If we continue our journey at dawn and pick up the pace a little we should arrive at Caras Galadhon, the stronghold of the Golden Wood of Lothlórien, by midday at least. I suggest that you… that we all… get some rest."
Beelzemon nodded. "It has not been a long day but a lot has happened in it," he agreed. "Even I don't know the half of it."
And with that, Beelzemon and Haldir parted company and Beelzemon made his way back to Wisemon.
"Do you think that these Elf creatures would allow me to take a sample of their hair?" Wisemon asked, seemingly unaware of what Beelzemon had just been doing. "I have always wanted to examine the constitution of this DNA phenomenon that Taiki mentioned to me once but I never got the opportunity to ask any of the Generals for a sample. Curse my lack of hindsight."
Beelzemon chuckled. "I would wait until our audience with their authority figure before you go asking questions like that. It might be best not to offend anyone by accident."
Wisemon sighed. "I suppose you might be right. Very well, I shall wait. But I look forward to having some of my questions answered."
"As do I, Wisemon," Beelzemon nodded. "As do I.
Nobody slept for the rest of the night, though everyone got the opportunity to rest a little, and they continued on their journey the next day in much the same manner as before, except a little faster, as Haldir seemed to be slightly more willing to give the Digimon the benefit of the doubt. They proceeded through the ethereal golden trees and the moss covered ground and all the while Beelzemon and Wisemon were enthralled by the scenery around them, even though it remained largely the same.
Would that the Digital World had a place like this. It was a world of wonders no doubt but something like this would be a highly popular place amongst forest Digimon. Perhaps the Stingmon and Lilamon which had helped the Xros Heart team on more than one occasion would find it a paradise. The two of them were still in regular contact with Shoutmon and the rest back in their world, but both Beelzemon and Mervamon had flat-out refused to perform the Love-love Dance despite Lilamon's begging.
"We do not need to prove that we have love," Mervamon had said. "It should be fairly obvious anyway."
Beelzemon smiled at the memory. He wondered what Mervamon would be doing with herself right now. He wondered if she was alright. She was a powerful Digimon, more than capable of looking after herself, but that didn't stop Beelzemon from worrying. After all, was that not what mated couples were supposed to do.
He remembered fondly the time when they relationship had began. Yes, they had been fighting for their lives at the time, and Beelzemon had shortly after sacrificed his own life to put a final stop to Lilithmon, the woman who had ruined his life and made the warriors he had stood with to start killing each other, but Beelzemon found that he greatly approved of Mervamon's prowess in battle.
Though it seemed Mervamon had developed greater feelings for him at an earlier stage. He still recalled how she had smacked him over the head so hard he had almost fallen over with her snake arm when he brought up the fact she cared about him. And who could forget the fact that she had literally jumped on top of him when he had been reborn or the final battle against DarknessBagramon.
But for now, he knew that he could not help Mervamon wherever she happened to be. Until such a time as he found out where she was, he could not do anything. So he decided to focus on himself, and out just what was happening to him.
And so they went on through the forest. Eventually they reached a place where a river blocked their passage, and the Elves seemed to use some kind of rope system to get themselves across – a single tightrope for their feet and another rope at around shoulder-height for the use of their hands. Not that any of them seemed to need this extra rope. They stepped up one by one and walked across the tightrope with smooth ease, only one hand resting on the other rope more to make sure that it stayed out of the way than actually use it for balance.
When gestured to go across themselves, both Beelzemon and Wisemon just chuckled and lifted themselves into the air. The Elves tensed and hands tightened on bows and went towards quivers but they needn't have worried. Both Beelzemon and Wisemon simply moved across the river and alighted on the other side wordlessly, turning to wait for the rest of the Elves to walk across.
The Elves seemed to be slightly less wary around them after that, but they still kept a rather careful watch.
And then, at midday just like Haldir had predicted, they arrived.
"Look well, strangers," Haldir turned to them as they saw the Elven stronghold from over a rise, while Beelzemon and Wisemon stared in wonderment at the wooden structures which rose around the trees in the distance, ornately carved and every inch seeming to have been neatly caressed into shape by hand. "You are about to enter a place which few eyes beyond those of our own people have ever set eyes on. The Lady must think quite highly of you to allow you passage into the heart of our woods. You would do well to show it the respect that it deserves."
And they certainly did, as they proceeded down into the valley that Caras Galadhon lay in. They were both astounded, and that did not happen often to either of them. Considering the fact that they were from the Digital World, a place full to the brim of weird and wonderful locations and environments, the phrase "out of this world" should have theoretically not applied to them. But it didn't. Neither of them had seen anything quite like this before in their lives.
It was enrapturing.
The place seemed to glow with the same ethereal light which had been keeping the forest illuminated even at night, only stronger so it could be seen in the day. The trees rose to incredible height and around them were surrounded by wooden spiral staircases that wound their way around the trunks and up into the leaves. It was like an entire city that had been built from down to up instead of in to out. Huge platforms and structures and bridges adorned the trees around them everywhere they looked, and yet it somehow seemed to look completely natural, as if the forest had grown that way rather than having been added to articificially.
It almost seemed to be a work of art. Except that even works of art looked artificial so it was even better than a work of art.
Neither Beelzemon nor Wisemon could think of anything to say and just stared around the almost dumbly as Haldir and his fellow Elves led the two of them up a staircase that Beelzemon had to stoop and fold his wings down to get into since he was so tall in comparison to the Elves, who were pretty tall for humanoids already. Lanterns seemed to float everywhere of their own accord. There were other Elves around them in flowing silken robes which stopped in whatever they were doing to watch them with interest.
But not fear. Some of them were certainly wary, but none of them had any fear.
It was as if this place was a paradise.
"Ballistamon would have a field day if he came here," Beelzemon finally muttered. "He loves art and if this place is not beautiful then I am not sure what is."
Haldir actually chuckled. "Now I am more convinced," he said. "A servant of darkness would never call this place beautiful, despite the obviousness that it is. They would like nothing more than to ravage this land and burn all of this to the ground."
"Never me," Beelzemon shook his head. "Such fine craftsmanship should last for all eternity."
"I am glad you say this," Haldir replied. "For we are of a similar mind. But now it is time that you meet with the Lord and Lady of this wood – Lord Celeborn and the Lady Galadriel."
"As I recall," Wisemon said. "It was the Lady who requested our presence here was it not?"
"Indeed," Haldir nodded. "I need hardly tell you that you would do well to treat them with respect."
"That," Beelzemon chuckled. "Is my specialty."
The group proceeded up the stairs still further until they arrived on a platform at the base of a short flight of stairs. More Elves stood around in golden armour with long spears or lances that had white streaming flags attached beneath the points that seemed to sweep around willy-nilly despite the fact that there was no wind. As Beelzemon and Wisemon were led towards the centre of it, a bright light seemed to shine from the top of the stairs, so intense that both felt the instinct to shield their vision, but finding that neither of them needed to for the light did not sting their eyes.
As they stood side by side and watched they became aware of a pair of figures reaching the top of the stairs in the middle of the bright light, hand in hand with one another as they delicately stepped to the edge and made their way slowly, regally, downwards until they came to a stop half-way down the short flight, putting their own heads at eye-level with Beelzemon's.
Both the Digimon stared.
One of the figures was clearly male despite his long hair. He wore a lustrous grey robe that fell around him and seemed to highlight his sharp face and even sharper ears. His eyes were the same grey as the cloak and he seemed to be giving a stern and intense look from him eyes, immediately giving the two Digimon the impression that he was a just and fair ruler of this forest.
But it was the Lady that really caught their attention, particularly Beelzemon's. Where the Lord wore grey, the Lady wore white. Purest white that looked like it had been freshly taken out of a wash that had lasted for three days. There was not a trace of dirt of grime to be found on the material and it put any human wedding dress to shame, as it seemed to glow even against the glow of the surrounding woodland city.
Her hair was long and gold and flowed down almost below her waist-line in smooth lines like a curtain. Her eyes were a piercing blue, set in her picturesque face that looked like it had been shaped out of marble by the finest craftsman in the land who had diligently gotten every detail to perfection over several weeks. But the eyes were the parts that really stood out, for when they turned to look into Beelzemon's three red ones, they seemed to look straight through his outer skin and into his heart, his mind and his soul, baring every part of him open like a book – his darkest secrets to his greatest of joys.
Wisemon muttered, "Oh my," quietly to himself, and Beelzemon had to agree with him, but it didn't really register in his ears. He was transfixed as he stared at the visage of the Lady of the Golden Wood. But not just because it was a beautiful face. As he stared at her, he felt himself overcome with emotion and a sense of deepest reverence and, indeed… nostalgia.
She was so familiar to him.
Though of course neither of them had met before. But Beelzemon knew exactly who it was that this woman, this Elven Lady, reminded him of.
The Lord Celeborn looked like he was about to say something, but before he could even get the words out of his mouth Beelzemon dropped to one knee, folding his cannon over his chest and bowing his head, while holding his only actual hand up, palm facing outwards and fingers together, in the direction of the Lady.
The Elves just stared at him blankly, and even Wisemon looked a little bemused. None of them had ever seen anybody do this before to their Lady though they all knew that she commanded a great amount of respect from all who even looked upon her. Still, this gesture was something new to all of them.
"What are you doing?" Celeborn asked him. This had probably not been the form of greeting that he had been intending to give, but he too looked slightly confused. He had long since known that his wife held much more power and respect that he ever could, for Galadriel was more in tune with the ways of nature than even he, so he was not surprised that the stranger was acknowledging Galadriel rather than him. That happened all the time. But the method of his respect had still caught him off guard.
But Galadriel just smiled warmly and said, "Arise Beelzemon. You have no reason to show me such a sign of respect."
"Forgive me, my Lady, but I do," Beelzemon said, as he looked up. "Your aura… the air you have around you… your stance, your warmth and your light and the way that you look down on us with affection and love… you are akin to the Goddess of the Sand Zone that I long pledged my allegiance to. In fact you are almost exactly the same. I can sense your intense power and unending love for life and for your subjects. How can I not compare you to my own Goddess when you are so very alike?"
"Ah yes," Wisemon raised a finger. "I understand now. You are the last of the Goddess' warriors, are you not? I have read much about the Goddess but never encountered her myself. You say that this Lady is just like her?"
"Very much so," Beelzemon nodded. "She stands like the statue that the other warriors always prayed to. Though of course, she does not have wings," he added. "Wherever we are now, perhaps it was no mere coincidence that we landed close by to this place."
Galadriel's smile grew in length and in warmness. "Arise," she repeated. "I am not your Goddess, though the fact that you compare me to her is indeed flattering to me. I am the Lady Galadriel of the Eldar and you do not owe me such kindness or respect."
"But nevertheless I give it," Beelzemon said as he got to his feet and lowered his hand. "I do not understand the full situation at hand, but I feel obligated to do so."
"And I thank you for it," Galadriel nodded her head. "To be regarded in the same light as your Goddess is a high honour indeed, for I can sense the loyalty that you feel to her. You went through many trials before you finally became her warrior and her legacy lives on in you now, Beelzemon. And she made the right decision to grant you your warriorhood. Your heart is noble and your soul is kind, and your actions have steered you into the path of the light in her name. In fact…"
Even Celeborn suddenly gawped as Galadriel broke her hand away from his and suddenly bent down to one knee. Every Elf in the place was staring in abject shock as they watched Galadriel lower her head to Beelzemon. This was an unprecedented event! Galadriel had never bowed to anyone in any of their long memories! And yet here she was bending her knee to a complete stranger and a creature that they didn't even know the species of.
Beelzemon looked a little bit flustered as Galadriel stood back up and resumed her place by Celeborn.
"There," she said, with another smile. "Now, we are even."
"Um… thank you," Beelzemon muttered. "I… I apologise if you thought my former actions inappropriate."
"Not inappropriate, just unnecessary," Galadriel laughed. "You have no allegiance to me, Beelzemon, nor any cause to give me such respect, for you are not of this world. And you have your own loyalties to consider, such as the loyalties to your own Goddess. As well as the loyalty to your King and your loved one."
Beelzemon's three eyes widened. "How do you know this?" he asked. "And I now realise that you know my name. I do not believe I have ever told it to you. Who informed you? Are there other Digimon here already?"
"None," Galadriel replied. "Your friends are currently scattered, spread out across the various kingdoms and countries of our land, dotted in various places. But while I know comparatively little of your Digimon or your world or your ways, I know much of what transpires in this land of Middle Earth. And I have been aware of your arrival since before you were even snatched abruptly from your own domain yesterday."
"So you know what it is that happened to us?" Wisemon asked eagerly.
Galadriel's eyes turned towards the hooded and robed Digimon. "And you are Wisemon, the greatest seeker of knowledge in all of your world. You have proven yourself to be a valuable asset to your team many times with your ability to analyse and determine the meaning of various key factors. And before you ask, the answer is no. You may not dissect any of the Elves of this world to find out how their internal organs work."
"Aaw," Wisemon visibly deflated. "I couldn't dissect Taiki and his friends because Taiki saved my life. Now I'm told I'm not allowed to dissect any of these people either. How am I supposed to find out who things work if I cannot get inside to have a look?"
"Are you reading our thoughts?" Beelzemon asked. "How did you know that Wisemon was going to ask that?"
Galadriel smiled enigmatically, but she said no more on the subject.
Celeborn chose this moment to clear his throat and say, "I am afraid that the present situation has shifted beyond my realms of understanding. I am not following the direction of this conversation. Please, visitors, state your intentions. We have not had many guests to Caras Galadhon in recent decades and never have we encountered creatures such as you, and many of us have lived long lives indeed."
"You do not look that old to me," Wisemon stated. "Were I to base your appearance with what I understand of human physical changes I would estimate you to be only a little over thirty years of age."
"We are much older than that," Galadriel replied. "We are not humans. Humans are referred to as Men in this land and we are the Elven people. Unlike mortal men, we do not fade as we age. And we do not die unless we are brought down through strength of arms. I have lived and walked among this world and its inhabitants for nigh on ten-thousand years and you are something new completely to our world."
"Ten-thousand?" Beelzemon's eyes widened. "Wow. That's far older even than Jijimon."
"What is relevant is that you are strangers to us," Celeborn said. "I would very much like to know what it is that you are doing here and what it is you are." Galadriel gave another vague smile at these words, and Beelzemon wondered how much about them she knew exactly.
"Well, my Lord," Beelzemon placed his hand on his chest and lowered his head. "We are creatures known as Digimon and… well… apparently we hail from a completely different world. An alternate universe. Yes, that might be a better way of putting it. As to what we are doing here I cannot honestly say. It would seem that the Lady Galadriel knows even more about it than I do and I know next to nothing."
"All that we remember," Wisemon threw in. "Is that one moment we were within the banquet hall of our castle back in our own world and then we somehow ended up lying unconscious in your enchanted forest. If there were any events that transpired between then neither Beelzemon or I have any memory of them. I believe it is safe to assume that our Code Crown deposited us here somehow."
"Code Crown?" Celeborn asked. "What is a Code Crown?"
"It is a conduit throughout the entire code of our universe flows," Wisemon explained. "It might be a difficult concept to grasp. In simplified terms, it is a device that would allow whoever to possess it to shape the world in any way that they choose. But it is also alive, so it is capable of acting on its own, meaning that anyone who attempts to use it for evil may certainly succeed, but it would probably be attempting to find a way to stop them. For some unknown reason, I believe that it may have felt the need to send us here, though I cannot begin to guess why."
Beelzemon frowned slightly, remembering the conversation that he had had with Shoutmon moments before the Code Crown had started acting up. The conversation about Shoutmon's doubts as to whether he should still be King and his own uncharacteristic lack of confidence in himself. Could that have had something to do with it?
Indeed, said a voice in his head – Galadriel's voice. Beelzemon's head snapped up to focus on her as he realised she was speaking to him telepathically. The concept of your Code Crown is puzzling to me. Never have I heard anything like it throughout all of my many centuries. But I can feel that the Code Crown did have a motive in sending you all here. A motive that revolves around your King and his sudden lack of confidence.
So you are reading my mind? Beelzemon thought back.
I find 'reading your heart' to be a much more appropriate term, she smiled. And then she continued aloud. "This is no mere accident that they are here in our time of need," to the assembled Elves and to Celeborn. "Nor is this the work of a force of their universe alone. I can feel through the flow of the world that this is the desire and the work of Eru Ilúvatar himself. It is by his will that these two Digimon are here in our world when we would most need their skills and power in the fight against the Dark Lord and his forces."
There was whispering amongst the Elves. Apparently this was very big news indeed. Beelzemon was not sure that he was following the conversation, but apparently some higher power, perhaps this world's version of his own goddess, had apparently something to do with their sudden appearance in this land.
"We have known that Eru has been watching us of late," Galadriel went on. "Gandalf was returned to us at the time when we would need him most, with power renewed and strength restored, succeeding the corrupted Saruman as the White Wizard of this land. And though Eru will not interfere with his own direct power, he has seen reason to draw these Digimon, good people all, out of their own world with the aid of their world's mystical power, in order to aid us in this fight. They are to be trusted. That, I sense without a doubt."
"Then there are more out there than these two, milady?" Haldir asked.
"Indeed," Galadriel smiled. "With a good thirty different body shapes and designs but Digimon all as I am led to believe."
Beelzemon was seriously beginning to get impressed by how much this lady seemed to know. She was not an average person even by Digimon standards, and Digimon could be extremely different from one another.
"You are here to fight against Sauron then?" Celeborn asked of Beelzemon and Wisemon.
"Maybe," Beelzemon shrugged. "In fact… apparently."
"Who is Sauron?" Wisemon asked curiously. "Could he be this world's version of Bagramon – a dark and tyrannical figure bent of reshaping the world into that of his own desires and using various powerful minions to accomplish his task?"
"That is a fairly accurate analogy of Sauron yes," Celeborn nodded. "Though there is more to it than that. But hope in the fight against Sauron is negligible at best."
"No," Galadriel shook her head. "It was. The world is changing once more and I feel the great powers rising within it again to grant us this gift. With these Digimon fighting with the Free Peoples of Middle Earth, I believe that hope has been reborn anew from the ashes of hopelessness. And I am sure," she added, flashing them another smile. "That they will not turn their backs on us."
Beelzemon and Wisemon's eyes both widened. Now Galadriel was using the catchphrase of Taiki Kudou himself and the motto of the kingdom which Shoutmon had built. She was indeed remarkably well informed, and the two of them were finding themselves believing her words. It seemed that some powerful being who did not want to interfere personally too much in the affairs of the world had sent them here to help in any way they could.
At the same time, Beelzemon pondered the implications of the Code Crown's involvement. Was it possible that all of this was not only to help the locals of this world against some Dark Lord figure, but as a test for Shoutmon? A test to try and help him dissuade the doubts that plagued him?
He decided to try and ask. "Were there any others besides we Digimon who were transported to this universe, my Lady?"
"No," Galadriel shook her head. "No alternate transports from other worlds were made."
Beelzemon grimaced slightly. That meant that none of the Generals had been transported along with them. Taiki, Kiriha, Nene, Yuu and even the Xros Loader-less Akari and Zenjirou had all remained behind in their own world. That meant that they had landed themselves in the middle of a war without their Generals, making DigiXrosing and Super Digivolving impossible for any of them. They would have to use the bodies that they were in already, meaning that he himself, Mervamon and Deckerdramon were the strongest members of the group now.
It also meant that Taiki was not around to make all the decisions.
And that was one of the biggest issues that had plagued Shoutmon.
Beelzemon looked up at Galadriel again and wondered if she had been looking into his head to see his train of thought and he saw her definitely giving him a look. She inclined her head in a barely perceptibly nod, and Beelzemon felt his lip tighten slightly. So this was it? Aside from the will of this Eru person that the Elves were talking about, from the Code Crown's perspective this was a test for Shoutmon? It made some sort of sense. If there were dark invasions going on in this world then this would be the first time that Shoutmon had led his team through hard times without Taiki there to help and guide him.
Would the Code Crown's test for Shoutmon prove fruitful? Would it restore Shoutmon's faith in his own abilities?
Or would it break him and cause him to believe that he really wasn't worthy after all and force someone else to take up the mantle?
If this was the Code Crown's plan then the chances of it backfiring seemed to be extremely high. But then again, Beelzemon didn't know the full situation yet.
"Perhaps," Celeborn was saying when Beelzemon started listening again, unaware of how much of the conversation he had actually missed. "If Eru is willing to look out for us and send us further aid than he has ever sent our way before then there really is a chance of further hope. But there is still a chance that all this might fail considering the circumstances surrounding the Dark Lord's previous rise and fall from power."
"Indeed, but I know that the Digimon will be of monumental help to us. To all of us," Galadriel said. "All the free people's of Middle Earth. As I once said to a young Halfling who wondered through our woodlands on his journey south – 'Even the smallest of us can change the course of the future.' But many of these Digimon are far from small. And their powers are like nothing that this world has ever seen."
"Perhaps we should ask for a demonstration of this power," Celeborn suggested.
"Last night," Haldir voiced. "You said that that thing on your arm was a weapon, did you not?" he nodded towards the cannon situated on Beelzemon's arm.
"Yes, but I also said if I used it I would end up destroying something. Probably quite substantially," Beelzemon added, hefting the large barrel of his huge cannon. "And I would not wish to use it here, lest I damage the work that had obviously gone into the construction of this place." He then smirked. "However, perhaps… yes." He pulled his shotgun from the holster attached to his leg. "Give me a target that you would not mind being destroyed."
Celeborn nodded to a pair of elves and they hurried off, returning a few moments later with a wooden target that was dotted with arrow holes… presumably used by younger Elves who were beginning the task of mastering their bows. Beelzemon moved his arm faster than could be tracked and fired a green blast from his gun that zipped across the gap and smacked right into the centre of the target, blowing a hole in it and cracking the entire thing in half with the force of the hit alone, causing it to fall to the ground in two pieces.
The Elves had never seen an energy attack like this before and were suitably amazed.
"And this…" Beelzemon lifted his cannon. "Is essentially a much more powerful version of that."
"And what do you do?" Celeborn asked of Wisemon.
"I?" Wisemon chuckled. "I am not nearly as built for combat as Beelzemon. My strengths lie more in seeking knowledge and being able to use what I know to solve technical problems and help my company with finding solutions to certain issues which crop up. Though I do have my own talents in battle. They just aren't as flashy or powerful as Beelzemon's."
"We thank you for your faith in us, my Lady," Beelzemon nodded. "But in truth I would still very much like to know what it is that will be required of us. As I understand it, we have been tasked by our Code Crown and your Eru to help bring peace to this world, which I believe to be on the brink of war if not already in it. Would I be correct in assuming this?"
"You would," Galadriel nodded gravely. "Middle Earth stands upon the very edge of domination by the darkness. The peoples of our lands are divided and the strength of each of us is not what it once was. The strength of the Elves is waning. The Dwarves become ever more reclusive. And Men are also falling to wreck and ruin. It is truly a time of evil, and there is one being to blame for this. And that being's name, as you have heard, is Sauron."
"Are we supposed to fight this Sauron?" Beelzemon asked.
"Fighting Sauron directly would be beyond even any of you," Galadriel replied. "For Sauron is currently nothing more than a spirit without a true physical body. No. It is his armies and minions that require someone to defeat them. Destroying Sauron will have to come from another angle."
"And what angle would that be?" Wisemon asked.
"To answer that," Galadriel replied. "I must go back to many years ago, before the Third Age of Middle Earth began. A long time ago even for myself."
And so she recounted everything, with Celeborn. Wisemon kept raising his hand and asking questions at certain places, the same intense look of concentration on his face that he always wore when he was focusing particularly hard on a puzzle that he had been given. The Elf Lord and Lady told the story of how Sauron had come to deceive the Elves into creating the Rings of Power and how he had used his own to rise up against the forces of Middle Earth, up to his defeat at the hands of Isildur and the events that Sauron had gone through from that point onwards.
"In short," Galadriel said. "The only way to destroy Sauron now is to destroy the One Ring before Sauron can use it to regain his body."
Beelzemon felt his face crease into a grimace. It seemed very similar to the idea of Bagramon and the Code Crown, except that this time they were trying to destroy the small object that governed the fate of the world instead of trying to get it back and use it themselves.
"Then how are we supposed to stop him?" Wisemon asked.
"The situation with the Ring is already being handled," Galadriel replied enigmatically. "But it may take quite some time before that hope can be fulfilled and this land can be cleansed. Until that time, the forces of the land of Mordor are beginning to roam out and it will not be long before all the Free Lands are effected by Sauron's new uprising. What is needed is for us all to keep our lands free until such a time as Sauron himself can be destroyed."
"But we Digimon are scattered and lost," Beelzemon said. "How many of us now know about all of this? If neither Wisemon nor I were given any prior knowledge on this then I believe it is safe to assume that the others now nothing of this either."
"You are a team, are you not?" Galadriel asked. "You must overcome these boundaries that have been set in your way. That is the work of the Code Crown and Eru combined, for there are many lands which will need the help of a Digimon soon enough and now they will mostly have one."
"I see," Beelzemon muttered.
Galadriel smiled and said, "Wisemon. If you have any other questions about our race and our land then I am sure that my fellow Elves would be happy to oblige."
Wisemon's eyes lit up and he immediately crossed over to Haldir. "It's a good thing that we've cleared the air between us a little. I have been absolutely bursting with questions about your race. My most burning one is this – what is the significance of the points to your ears? Do they provide some obscure function for your species, for the humans that have seen all had round ears before. Do you use the points as props for some articles of clothing, like scarves for instance."
The other Elves looked slightly scared as Wisemon moved his dark face close to them – the effect of his yellow eyes staring out of the blackness in his hood was unnerving. But as Wisemon was pre-occupied, Galadriel moved down the steps and moved towards Beelzemon, who noticed that her feet were bare. How odd.
"Come, Beelzemon. There is something that I wish to show you. And it is to be for your eyes alone," she said significantly, before she moved away, treading as lightly as a phantom but as gratefully as a nymph. Beelzemon shook his head. Truly, if the statue of the Goddess had ever got up and moved about it probably would have moved in the same way despite the fact it was made of stone. He turned to see Wisemon would probably be pre-occupied for some time, chuckled and then followed Galadriel away.
Galadriel began to move back down the stairs which Beelzemon had originally ascended, but the taller Digimon decided not to bother with that this time. Especially now that the Elves seemed to trust him. He could understand why they had trusted him so easily – this Lady seemed to radiate with a sense of trust. If she believed that Beelzemon was not evil, then it was unquestionably true. At least that was the impression that Beelzemon got from her.
So, he spread his raven wings and leapt off the platform, catching himself in the air and steadily flapping as he descended down to the foot of the enormous tree, keeping pace with Galadriel as she stepped smoothly down the spiral staircase of the trunk.
He reached the foot of the stairs and alighted easily at the same moment that Galadriel stepped across the mossy ground, not bothered by the fact that she was wearing no shoes.
"I must admit," said Beelzemon, looking up at Caras Galadhon. "This place is astonishing. I have travelled to many places of my own world and encountered many places, but nothing quite like this."
"I am pleased that it meets with your approval," Galadriel smiled. "This place is not often seen by outsiders even of our own world."
"Then I count myself all the luckier," Beelzemon chuckled. "What are these huge trees anyway? They rival some of the largest trees of the Digital World in size but none of our trees have any golden leaves. Not to my knowledge anyway."
"We call them Mallorn trees," Galadriel replied as she stepped away across the moss. "And this is the only place in Middle Earth where this particular tree grows. This place is known as the Golden Wood of Lothlórien and the forest itself is quite small in comparison to some of Middle Earth's great woods. But it is where we make our home."
"I can understand why you like it," Beelzemon said. "I know Deckerdramon would approve. He used to be a forest guardian himself after all."
Galadriel chuckled, but said nothing more on that subject. Beelzemon looked round as she followed the Elf Queen across the ground. There were many other Elves all around the place and they almost seemed to be a part of the forest itself since they looked so at home in it. They watched the two of them curiously as they proceeded away, bowing their heads in respect to Galadriel as they passed and staring at Beelzemon as if trying to work out what he was.
"So," Beelzemon spoke up again shortly afterwards. "Where are we going?"
Galadriel laughed lightly. "To a place where even few of the Elves who live here have ever set foot."
Beelzemon raised a brow at this enigmatic reply, but decided to say nothing and just wait and see. And he soon found out the answer when they reached a place on the outskirts of the wooden metropolis that was Caras Galadhon. They reached an area which seemed to be like a large ovular pit in the ground surrounded on all sides by a rocky walls, with a stone staircase that descended down that wall to the bottom.
Beelzemon paused at the top of the stair and looked down into the… well, 'pit' was probably the wrong word since it was clearly naturally formed, framed by the roots of another Mallorn tree. 'Hollow' would probably be a better word. Yes, hollow. He looked down into the hollow and saw what appeared to be a small waterfall trickling down into a small, raised pool at one edge, while right in the middle was a large stone pedestal upon which sat a simple, silver, flat-bottomed and shallow bowl that was probably about two feet across.
And yet Beelzemon could also tell that this place had some form of deep purpose. It felt similar to the space surrounding the statue of the Goddess from when he had been trying to become a member. This place was important in some way. But in what way?
Galadriel was already half-way down the steps and Beelzemon turned to follow her. By the time he reached the bottom, Galadriel had take a long-necked equally silver jug that glinted brightly in the ethereal light of the place and had dipped it into the pool by the side of the hollow's wall. Beelzemon stood by and watched her as the water flowed smoothly into the open neck and filled it up. Galadriel then lifted it up and turned to Beelzemon once more, holding it before her with one hand by its simple handle.
"What is this place?" Beelzemon asked, glanced at the shrub-surrounded pedestal that he was standing next to with the wide bowl sat atop it innocently.
"It is the Mirror of Galadriel," the Elf Queen replied. "In this basin, filled with water, it can show you visions of events anywhere in this world. Events from the past, the present and the future alike. I am going to offer you the chance to have a look into the mirror for yourself and see what there is to be seen."
To a human from the Human World, such a concept would have been boggling or even laughable, but Beelzemon was from the Digital World where a huge number of strange and wonderful things happened? A magic seeing bowl? Why not?
"Then it can show me the locations of my friends?" Beelzemon asked quickly.
"Perhaps," Galadriel replied. "I can command it to show what I wish, but I cannot know everything and to let it show events unbidden is usually more lucrative. It can teach us things that we cannot yet possibly understand, but it does not always make all the answers clear. In fact, it rarely does. However, nothing that the mirror shows is ever without meaning. Will you look into it?"
Beelzemon did not hesitate for a moment and nodded. "If we Digimon have been sent here by our own Code Crown to fulfil a task then any information that can help us achieve this goal and come out with our lives is invaluable. I will look."
"Very well," Galadriel nodded, stepping up to basin and slowly tilting the vase, to allow a thin stream of water to spill forth and arc into the bowl like a jet fountain. Beelzemon stayed put, watching carefully until the basin was half full of liquid, at which point Galadriel simply stepped back and placed the jug down, before indicating Beelzemon to take up his place.
Beelzemon set his face grimly and stepped up to the basin. He towered above it like a dark silhouetted, his wings bathing it in a shadow as he leaned over slightly and found his reflection staring back at him. A moment later and he felt Galadriel step up beside him as well as saw her own reflection appear at the edge of the water in the basin. Evidently she too would like to see whatever the mirror decided to show to Beelzemon.
For a few seconds nothing happened and all.
Then, the water in the basin seemed to ripple of its own accord and when it stilled again there was a completely new image staring out at them. It reminded Beelzemon a little of looking at the screens of the Monitamon when they were playing back a video that they had recorded, except larger and perhaps clearer, as if the event really was taking place in front of him rather than just being an image in a bowl of water.
He saw Shoutmon standing on a large boulder next to an elderly looking man with a white cloak and beard, talking to one another earnestly, though he could not make out what it was that either of them were saying for there was no sound to accompany the images. Shoutmon's face was very grim, and Beelzemon somehow could tell that he too had learned of the situation at hand with this Sauron guy.
The image shifted again and Beelzemon saw what it was he had been hoping the mirror would show him. Mervamon was framed in the water and she seemed to be in some kind of dry grassy plain. She was running, keeping pace with an adult human, an Elf and a shorter being with a long beard. Beelzemon was pleased to note that Cutemon was there too, riding her shoulder, and she appeared to be carrying another human over her other shoulder.
Why they were running Beelzemon could not tell but while their faces held a sense of urgency there was no fear or indication that they were running from anything. But that didn't stop Beelzemon from worrying.
Moments later the image changed again to show Ballistamon wandering through a bunch of rocks, then shifted to Dorulumon talking to a pair of human children with a horse, both of whom looked terrified of him. He saw Starmon wandering up a river with all of his Pickmon in tow as well as Knightmon and the PawnChessmon. He saw Sparrowmon zooming through the skies in the company of a large brown-feathered bird that flapped beside her. He saw Dracomon forcing his way through a snowdrift and shivering slightly before a giant spear came down and helped to shift more snow out of the way, courtesy of the large form of Cyberdramon.
"Is all of this the present?" Beelzemon asked, staring into the depths of the bowl as it shifted again to show him Greymon walking through a forested area with Bastemon on his back.
"That can only be guessed at," Galadriel replied. "But it is indeed possible."
Beelzemon did not take his eyes off the image as it cycled through his various companions, showing him that every single member of Xros Heart had indeed been transported into Middle Earth, as has the honorary members Spadamon and Lunamon, the first of which was in a foggy place and the other of which was in a swamp with Dondokomon and ChibiKamemon and looked frightened out of her mind for some reason. Beelzemon bit his lip at the thought of her being in trouble when he could do nothing to help her, but he still knew where none of these places actually were. The Mirror didn't seem to be willing to show him that.
But his stomach really clenched at what he saw a few moments later and he grabbed the sides of the pedestal. "Lillymon!" he gasped in horror, for he could see in the water a small, slight humanoid figure that had been thoroughly cocooned in what looked like spider silk, wrapping up its entire body from feet to face, so that only the eyes and the top of the head were visible, but the pink flower that stuck out the top told him clearly who it was.
Lillymon had been strung upside down in her cocoon from the branch of a tree and her eyes were filled with nothing but sheer terror as a huge spider seemed to be leering into her face in some strange spider-like way, waving its palps in front of her eyes menacingly.
"What about that?" Beelzemon cried. "Is that the present or is that the future? Lillymon might be in trouble right now!"
"You must keep watching," Galadriel said simply. "The Mirror shows not the chronology of events. And when it shows the future, it may show many possible futures after another, though what is shows is never certain."
Beelzemon almost retorted but realised that would be a stupid idea, for he had no information to go on beyond that this might happen in the future at some point if it was not happening already. He knew there was nothing he could do about it and he felt quite helpless, but he decided that Galadriel was right. If that was happening to Lillymon right now then he could not help her and he needed to see further to find out what might lie ahead for the group.
So he fixed his eyes back on the bowl as the picture changed again and began to cycle through a bunch of strange images that made absolutely no sense to Beelzemon whatsoever.
He saw Dorulumon once more, but this time he was facing off against what appeared to be a very large animal, a wolf like himself but with brown and shaggy fur and was even slightly larger, the two of them circling one another and evidently growling, with lips pulled back and vicious teeth bared, before they simultaneously flung themselves at one another.
Before they made impact the image changed once more to a shot of Ballistamon with his hefty red hands placed against what seemed to be a giant wooden gate and pressing himself against it, surrounded by humans as the gate bucked against them, something on the other side trying to force its way through.
Then, to Beelzemon's horror, he could see Bastemon. Her back was to him and she looked dreadful, sitting slumped on the ground with all her jewellery missing and her head bowed while a pair of figures that Beelzemon could not make out stood over her.
Then the Mirror was showing Beelzemon himself, hovering in front of something which looked like a towering pillar of ash or dust roiling with flames. Beelzemon could see the roar on his face as he surged towards the obscure thing with cannon raised and letting off a giant blast with it.
Then suddenly it was Dracomon, and the small dragon Digimon appeared to be fleeing for his life, ducking through a tiny space as huge clawed foot stamped down where he had just been and rolling around a corner as an armoured tail crashed down and smashed the wall he was now behind to fragments.
Then Sparrowmon could be seen in the shot, battered and looking quite damaged but with nothing life threatening, but she appeared to be on the ground and there were tears streaming down her face as she howled silently to the sky.
Suddenly Mervamon took her place and the powerful Amazon woman was clearly in the middle of a full-scale battle, her sword cutting straight through several enemies while her Medullia grabbed a lot more. She appeared to be fighting alongside a figure in greenish leather, who was jabbing another disgusting looking creature in the gut with a sword of its own, the two of them working together to hack at enemies from all sides.
Shoutmon took the next slot and Beelzemon could see his face screwed into a mask of fury as he clenched his fist and shook with rage, before pointing at something that Beelzemon could not see and screaming words that he could not make out.
Then there was Lunamon, who was talking to some bow-legged humanoid being clad only in a loincloth and was determinedly not looking at her. Lunamon seemed to be trying to engage him in some sort of friendly conversation but the creature rounded on her and bared what few teeth it had left, scaring her and making her back away.
None of these images were really making much sense to Beelzemon – they just seemed to be something like a series of clips from a film without really explaining the plot or the meaning behind them. There were a couple of other bits to be seen after that, like Spadamon sneaking through what looked like a dark hallway, the numerous Gaossmon charging down a hill at the same pace of a large group of horses and Greymon swinging his tail up to smash through a rock that had been flying through the air straight at him. But there was still nothing that looked like anything that he could slot alongside something else and have it make some form of sense.
"I really don't understand the point of this," he said with a slight frown. "Don't get me wrong, this might be useful in the long run but it does not help me now. It doesn't tell me where any of my friends are."
"Patience, Beelzemon," Galadriel said. She was no longer watching the sequence of images, but had her eyes closed, but Beelzemon got the impression that she was seeing a lot more than he was at the moment regardless. "Allow the Mirror to reach any true meaning it might choose to give."
Beelzemon hesitated, but then nodded grimly, but so far the only thing he could make out was that the whole team would face numerous trials and battles in their quest to overcome this Sauron guy. He watched a few more of the images flick by, some of which made him worry, others of which heartened him slightly.
But then, slowly, the images took on more of a theme. It started when an image was shown of Shoutmon once again standing beside the white-robed and bearded person before he hopped off a rock and crossed over to another man – a man with dark hair who Beelzemon recognised as being one of Mervamon's travelling companions from before, and reached up to grasp his hand and shake it firmly.
The next image also featured Shoutmon, and seemed to involve him riding on a horse just behind the self-same guy and surrounded by a few others, including Mervamon and Cutemon. Then it shifted to Shoutmon trying to keep the man afloat as he drifted unconsciously down a river, moving on from that to the two of them fighting next to one another on top of a wall that was being swarmed by more of those strange creatures, with the man swinging his sword over Shoutmon's head as Shoutmon slammed more in the face with his microphone and leaned back to pitch a Rock Soul attack at somebody in the distance.
Then Beelzemon could see the two of them standing side by side, the Digimon of a large outcropping so their heads were of similar height and thrusting sword and microphone into the air, while other people whose faces he could not see also thrust their weapons skywards and started cheering without sound.
"Something tells me that that man is quite key to this somehow," Beelzemon said, staring at the person beside Shoutmon. "Who is he? Do you know?"
"I do," Galadriel nodded. "He was one of the last to pass through our woods from the outside. That is Aragorn, son of Arathorn, and the rightful King to the throne of the country of Gondor south of here. He has been a Ranger of the wild all his life, but in this time of war, he will be needed to step up and lead his people to freedom if Men are to succeed against the forces of Sauron."
"A future King?" Beelzemon asked in interest. "Why did he not reclaim his throne before?"
"He has never wanted the power that the throne wields," Galadriel replied. "He believes that he is not ready and that he can remain in the shadows."
"A King who has doubts about being a King," Beelzemon replied. "I am beginning to see a pattern here."
"Indeed," Galadriel nodded.
"Well then I must find him. I must find out where Shoutmon is and go to him immediately to aid him in his fight. I am only one of two who knows about Shoutmon's doubts about being the King of our Digital World. I need to go to him."
"Hold your rush," Galadriel said with eyes closed. "The Mirror has not finished in its display."
Beelzemon blinked and looked back down into the water, to see that Galadriel was quite right. Now Beelzemon could see himself in the mirror again, flying low over the trees of what looked like a forest. A forest with green leaves instead of golden ones, and he seemed to be in somewhat of a hurry. And then the image rippled away to be replaced with him standing outside a doorway. A doorway that led into what seemed to be somebody's bedroom. Around the edge of the doorway he could see a woman with long dark hair and pointed ears – an Elf – talking to somebody out of sight and Beelzemon appeared to be listening in on the conversation, with surprise clearly evident on his face.
But before Beelzemon could discover anything further the image was replaced yet again with him dodging and weaving with his cannon held high, firing controlled level bursts – he could tell they were controlled level because of their brightness, or their lack of it – at somebody else.
Beelzemon frowned and peered closer to the water, but for some reason the Mirror was choosing not to show him who the figure he appeared to be duelling against was, though whoever it was it was quite fast and capable of dodging Beelzemon's blasts, though looked a bit hard-pressed to do so. And the image of Beelzemon himself appeared to have a grin on his face, as if he was either enjoying the fight. Or at least as if he was pleased about something.
And then, almost immediately after, he could see what looked like some sort of violent battle. A combination of snow and fire seemed to be coating a very large area that was littered with smoking rocks and bits of debris as numerous humanoids dashed about with weapons drawn, two opposing sides slaying one another with ruthless abandon. Beelzemon saw himself jam his shotgun straight into the chest of a squat hideous and snarling creature and emptying a green energy bullet into its chest before a section of wall of a tall, dark building behind him was blown outwards, revealing a faint, barely distinguishable silhouette through the smoke.
But, again, before Beelzemon could make out who it was the image shifted to Beelzemon's face alone, as he turned and gave a thumbs up to whoever it was that had just emerged from the wall.
And then, finally, the image left, and Beelzemon was left staring at his own reflection once more.
"Those were a lot of images," Beelzemon reflected. "But none of them are making much sense to me, I'm afraid."
"The future is never truly defined," Galadriel replied as she stepped away to the mirror, replacing the jug next to the pool where she has picked it up. "Sometimes it can be hazy and difficult for even the Mirror to discern, but this time I believe that the mean is clear. Partially at the very least."
"What do you mean?" Beelzemon asked. "You could tell what those images were referring to? I got that there would be some trials in this adventure for all of us and I am pretty sure that I understand the relationship between Shoutmon and this other King that he entered the picture. I certainly understand why the Code Crown would send Shoutmon here if this is a test. But those final images of me I did not understand at all."
I cannot say completely, Galadriel said, her voice suddenly echoing in Beelzemon's head again rather than coming out of her mouth. For you shall need to discover your way on your own. But I can sense much purpose for you, Beelzemon. I can sense that not only will Middle Earth need you or that your friends will need you. I can sense that you will have another purpose here besides aiding us in our fight against the forces of darkness.
"Another purpose?" Beelzemon asked, not bothering to try this internal conversation that Galadriel seemed to be capable of. "What do you mean?"
I speak of your role within your own group, Galadriel replied. Throughout everything since you joined Xros Heart, you have attempted to be the guardian and guide whenever you can, have you not? I believe that that is a role that you will need to take up once again, in order to help not only our world, but your own. And to help your King too.
"Well in that case, perhaps you could tell me where Shoutmon is," suggested Beelzemon. "If you know then I must find him immediately…"
"No," Galadriel said aloud once more, turning back to Beelzemon. "Your path lies not with Shoutmon. Not on this particular journey. Your road will lead down quite a different route. The problem your King has is something that he must overcome on his own. I am referring to another who will need your guidance, Beelzemon. And through guiding this person, you will be helping your King too in the long run."
"I don't understand," Beelzemon protested.
"It will become clear to you in time," Galadriel said cryptically. "That I know for certain. There is information that you have yet to learn which I do not yet know myself, but which would not be my place to tell anyway even if I did. You must discover the truth for yourself."
"Discover the truth?" Beelzemon thought with a frown, his mind flashing back to the image of him standing outside the doorway and his eyes wide as he listened in to something going on out of his sight. Was that was Galadriel meant?
"I do not govern the fate of the world," Galadriel said. "I cannot choose its course. Frustration in the face of the unknown is understandable Beelzemon but you must not lose hope. You will find your way and I shall help you when the time is right. But for now, I suggest that you rest. You have had little chance for it since you arrived here and I fear that soon you will be kept extremely busy."
Beelzemon sighed, but nodded slightly. Galadriel had a point. He had no idea where he was supposed to go in order to find any of his friends and to start a fruitless search now would be worse than useless. Especially without any rest. "Is there anywhere that I can take my rest in particular?"
"The valley of Caras Galadhon is sheltered from all outside threats," Galadriel said. "You may rest at ease in any place that you so choose. But remember this, Beelzemon. You are a warrior of the Goddess. You have trained hard to become good at what you do. And now you must pass on what you have learned to another, to bring that other out of the mire of sadness and loneliness that swaps it."
That caught Beelzemon's attention and made him frown. What did that mean? Was she talking about a person from this universe, or a person from his own? She had to be talking about someone from here surely. There was nobody from Xros Heart who felt lonely. There couldn't be. Xros Heart was meant to forge a symbol of unity between every one of its members. Nobody was not on friendly terms with anybody else amongst its ranks. And every one of them had a very close relationship with many others in the group. What cause would any of them have to be sad and lonely?
Beelzemon shook himself. She must be talking about someone from this universe. But then again, how would that help King Shoutmon, even indirectly? He didn't doubt Galadriel's word. In fact he firmly believed her. Anybody who felt like the Goddess that he served must know what they were talking about. She could feel the flow of the world and what path it should take. But that didn't mean any of this made any sense to Beelzemon right now.
"Thank you," Beelzemon said and turned to leaving, spreading his wings to fly out of the hollow instead of climb. As he lifted himself up though, he took a glance back down and faltered for a second, blinking in bemusement. For a split second, he had thought he had seen another image in the Mirror beneath him before it had vanished.
An image of a woman in shining armour standing next to another person wearing bright pink, both with fists thrust into the air and fingers of those fists interlaced as many people around them cheered before the image was suddenly gone.
It had been too fast for Beelzemon to catch a glimpse of either figure closely.
But he was pretty sure that he recognised the second one – the one in pink. If he was right… was that the person who Galadriel had been talking about? And what did any of this mean?
Well, I suppose you can consider part of this chapter a slight teaser trailer as to a few events that will be taking place in the future, albeit with the fact that I tried to keep the mystery involved in them so that they don't given away the situation completely. I hope that you liked that. As before there was obviously no action but still I think that this chapter proved its point. Beelzemon will be quite an important character to the main plotline of what happens in the north, and I think I dropped enough hints for some people to guess what Galadriel might be talking about. Beelzemon obviously doesn't understand the full situation but maybe one or two of you will. Hehe. Curiously enough I didn't even notice the similarity between Galadriel and the Goddess of the Sand Zone until I put Beelzemon in front of Galadriel and then I though, "Oh wow. That fits quite well." Geehee.
Well, I intend to post the next chapter of QOTG tomorrow and then I'll do my best to get this story's next chapter up for Thursday.
Unaware of the fact that Revolmon has been captured by the Ithilien Rangers, Greymon and Bastemon begin to search for him. But the Rangers that fill the area are hardly about to let a large dragon-like creature stroll up to their base of operations.
Coming up:- Chapter 20 : Monster Misunderstanding