A/N: I finished it. OMG wow... that was... that was just a ride. Long story behind why this took so long, aside from senior crap.
Thank you Xros Hero, Edhla, and Legendary Biologist for reading and reviewing. Here's hoping the next chapter doesn't take nearly as long. My god. Enjoy!
EDIT: Now betaed by MizuKitsune10. Is a godsend, honestly
Chapter 3: The Way Light Shines
The world was not truly alive until light shone down upon it. In the beginning, the world was in darkness. Then it was blinded by the existence of light itself, God's divine right tearing the night to pieces with stars and holy bodies. For even the cold night of the moon was true. The world began by running away from its fear.
"I must say…" he uttered softly. "You kids really shouldn't be following me."
The angel was tempted to fly and get rid of them, but his conscience wouldn't allow it. They were young and they were silly children. They had dreams too… and there really was no excuse for letting them die out here when a particularly bad storm was on the way. Well, there were none he could think of anyway.
"We know," uttered the chirping voice of the male creature. It was clearly the leader, the one who was so close to the angel's back he could feel every beat of the tiny wings on his back. The other two remained slightly in the back, almost shuffling after on the grass. "You're just… so…"
"Cool?" offered the shy voice of the largest yet meekest one of the trio. The leader glared playfully over.
"I was gonna say that," he mumbled. Out of their vision, the angel smiled. It was rather nostalgic, those cheerful voices with a band of little ones. He had abandoned that long ago. Ah, now don't get too pulled into the nostalgia now…
Then again, he found himself wondering what to do with these children. It would be nice to have someone to talk to.
It's… cold. Wherever he is lying, it is cold and he is surrounded by whispering. The words are just audible and each one makes him tremble from something unknown. It is not fear. Perhaps it is longing. If only he could open his eyes to see for himself.
Was this right?
Right or wrong, it was necessary.
I was asking about morality, not logic, mutant.
What is the difference to a hero?
Maybe to a singer but not to a warrior. If it was not right to kill, it would not be in our programming to do so.
This is worse than murder!
Only because you question the reality.
More like because he has a heart.
He's an idol now, like all of us. We have no need of those.
It does not change that they exist.
They are all we have.
The voices… they are growing quieter, all except for one. One is not whispering, but calling, making his voice heard from right next to his ear. How strange. No one is supposed to be here. No one…
He smiled, looking down at the children below. "One is passion, tearing apart the sky. One is grace, elegant in even rage..."
"Oh for the sake of the Tree, enough with the nursery rhyme," groaned the other, tiny wings flying him over to rest himself on the figure's head.
The smile elongated into a smirk. "But it's fun." There was a grumble of irritation before the other dropped briefly out of the air. He ignored this, looking down at the panting Takuya from atop the metal. His eyes narrowed gently. "One against so many, he mused. "This isn't going to be easy after all..." A little chuckle burned at his throat. "Ah well. Be careful now, fireball. Don't burn yourself out before you can blaze." He turned to head away. "Where's the next one?"
"Up your bum is where it is." The creature frowned. "Aren't we gonna heal them?"
The first paused and chuckled. "Don't tell me; you've earned some morality out of this mess so quickly."
"Don't screw around!" it shouted. "We need them alive, as much as it kills me to leave you dorklings capable of breathing!" He flew off towards them and the first sighed.
"Legendary Warriors... I guess they're troublesome no matter what form they're in..."
He turned to leap.
Standing up would be really nice right about now.
Unfortunately Takuya somehow could not summon up the strength to do so. He felt like there was a sleeping German Shepherd on top of his back. He dragged a slow, deep breath, grateful he had stopped panting. The Digivice in his hand stopped vibrating, returning to a peaceful silence. He glared at it again before his arms gave out, slumping on the ground like a slug. He groaned. "Note to self," he mumbled. "Don't do that for a while." Especially not if that weirdo voice comes back... maybe someone got me high... wait a minute, what?
"Takuya-kun!" Blearily, he turned his head toward a bouncing blob of lilac and yellow. Oh wait, that was Izumi-chan. His mistake. She reached his side just as he managed to sit up again, sitting gratefully enough to breathe deep volumes of air into his lungs. "Are you okay? I couldn't see any blood from there..." Her hands gently examined his arms and when they brushed along his chest, he winced and shied back. She pouted at him. "Here, let me see."
"Look, as much as I like a pretty girl trying to nurse me," the goggle-head began hotly before groaning in pain. He rolled up his shirt and appreciatively grimaced at the bruising decorating his chest. There was also a long, vertical scratch down his torso, which made him wince. "I don't think you can do anything. Thanks anyway." The girl fixed him with a look. It must have been universal with women because his mother had given him one similar. Takuya, in his exhaustion, decided to declare it the "men-are-idiots" expression.
Izumi lifted an eyebrow and pierced him with one green eye before shaking her head. "You are the insufferable type aren't you?" she scoffed. Her arms crossed over her chest as she rose back up to her feet. Takuya snorted, slowly pushing himself onto his knees. "Stop that! You're bleeding... oh jeez. There you go." The scratch, though thin, was still oozing a slow red. "Well, don't just stand there! Put pressure on it!"
"You do it if you're so darn smart!" he retorted, placing his hands over the scratch. Then he yelped. "What the hell?"
Izumi resisted the urge to hit him. This was the guy who had beaten that weird giant dog? Just another kid... she thought bitterly. How annoying. "Stay still!"
"Go help Tomoki, would ya?" Takuya barked. "Leave a guy to his pride! His leg was on fire!" She flinched and he hesitated, realizing what words had just come out of his mouth. "He's..." Takuya hesitated. "He's gonna be okay... right?" Of course he would be, he had to be. If not, how would they be able to explain it when he came back?
"...Quite." Izumi whipped around, blond waves nearly slapping her in the face. The brunette winced and followed her eyes, looking to see a tall, calm-looking young man. His dark hair rolled out over his scarlet turtleneck. The casual smirk almost split the other's face in two, his grin so jester-like and warm. "Yes, he will be quite all right," continued the nameless boy. "My friend is taking care of him right now. You will be fine too, so just wait a moment."
Takuya trained hot eyes of doubt on the standing teen. "And I should believe you because why?"
The other shrugged. "You don't have to believe me. I'm going to do this whether you want me to or not." He laughed. "I'm a bit too fickle to listen to the words of people like you two."
"What is that supposed to mean?" the two of them shouted. The other only laughed and turned away, black locks rippling in the air. A white creature, almost human but for the tiny wings on his back and horn on his head, hovered over to them. It looked down at Takuya, golden eyes full of disdain. "This is the other one Cupimon. Come on, we need to keep moving."
The creature glared at him with enough force to crack earth. "Stop being such a nag. You fleshbags aren't gonna burst if you cool your heels a minute." Cupimon turned back to Takuya and Izumi who reflexively cringed. "Oi, cool your heels too, girly. You'd think you'd never seen a fairy before."
"U-Until today, we hadn't even seen Digimon before," she managed to fire back, glowering at the glowing ring above his horn.
The cupid frowned. "Well, what the hell's the matter with you then?" He rolled his eyes. "Don't answer that. Angel Ring!" The golden light floated over Takuya's injury and vanished, forming a long line of what looked like a bar code. Takuya made to scramble back and received a glare. "Calm down ya idjit or it will hurt you." Grumbling, the brunette obeyed and watched the energy slowly fade, closing up the hole in his skin. "You're welcome, you little bastard." He floated away. "You're welcome." Izumi looked to see the boy was smiling again. He sighed gently, waving a loose hand in farewell.
"Wait," she called, helping Takuya sit up again. "Who are you?"
"Live long enough," he answered. "And I'll tell you."
Takuya stood. "Hey wait a- oh never mind." Looking down, he felt a bit of relief. Not a twinge of pain in any way. Hopefully the same thing happened to-
Ah, there was the lovable, little twerp. Takuya let out a grunt as the smaller boy leaped practically into his chest. His sea-green eyes glowed as he looked at Takuya. "You okay kid?" His arm certainly wasn't on fire anymore, which was a good thing at least.
Tomoki managed the brightest little grin as he leaped back down, hands securing his hat firmly back on his head. "Yep! I'm just great! But… Takuya-onii-chan…" He paused before grinning excitedly. "That was SO COOL! You beat him! You really beat him!"
"Well, of course he did," grumbled a voice from behind them. "He's a Legendary Warrior. It's only natural, you know." The words were a bit smug, and coming from a small white creature with a bigger head than its ears, that said quite a lot.
Takuya scratched his head, straining his head to see the weird white thing, or... Digimon, probably. "I'm a what?" The creature sighed, a how-many-idiots-did-he-deal-with-a-day kind of sigh.
"A Legendary Warrior, a reincarnation of a powerful Digimon! You have its power within you! You have a Spirit!"
Takuya gave him a look. "You're crazy, you know that, right?"
Kouji glared at the train as he left it, carefully carrying Cupimon in his arms. He didn't care about the fact that he had made it through that crazy ass train ride. Cupimon was having a bloody seizure.
Or at least he had been.
"Kou-jee~" whined the little cupid. "I'm okay, now. I just hurt a little."
Kouji shook his head, blue ponytail swishing by his back. "It's not like you do that on a daily basis, Cupimon," he said, his quiet voice as calm as he could keep it. He kept the rest of his words unspoken, settling for patting the cupid's horn. The little Digimon felt silent, blue eyes filling with guilt.
"Just... try not to do it again, okay?"
"... I'll try." Kouji let him go, hands slowly dropping to let his friend flutter tiny wings. "This is the place," the Cupimon added. "This is the old place."
Kouji shook his head. He never really understood the little guy when he spoke like that. "Is that so?" He kept his voice as neutral as he could, frown unchanging. "Is that a good thing?"
"Course it is Kouji! The truth is ours now!"
He chuckled. "If you say so."
Kouji would never believe it to be that easy.
"So... if we go back on this train, we can go home."
"I would assume so. Also, be polite, that is a Trailmon."
"...I'm hearing about politeness from an elf who hits people with books."
Takuya dodged the half-hearted swat near his leg and glanced at Tomoki. "Well, come on kid," he encouraged. "Ya wanna go home, doncha?"
The boy hesitated, tugging at his orange hat with a nervous grin. "I... I dunno, Takuya-onii-chan. If I go back... then I won't be able to be a hero."
Takuya could only sputter for a moment before Junpei, in his own mildly irritated way, retorted. "Kid, you can be a hero in plenty of other ways than getting all burned up like that. Come on, we'll go back together and I'll show you some cool tricks, all right?" Izumi nodded slowly. She wasn't going back, there was nothing really for her there... but Tomoki-kun needed to, after all that.
The boy looked at them, at their distant expressions, and shook his head. His face screwed up like he was about to cry and then he glowered at each of them, sea-green gaze burning with mistrust. "I won't!" And, as if to prove it, he bolted away from the train station. Takuya ran after him, shaking his head irritably.
"And here I thought the squirt wasn't like Shinya... you're still my responsibility, damn it! Tomoki!"
"Are you like this with everything you don't like?" Tomoki stopped at that and looked at Takuya. His eyes filled with hurt and tears. Takuya almost considered taking it back, but a part of him held his ground. Was it the fire in his chest? Whatever it was, it was stern, disappointed with Tomoki. Tomoki was being fickle, whiny, malleable. That wasn't Tomoki. That wasn't what he was supposed to be.
Takuya froze in his tracks, trying to process his own thoughts. What the hell was that odd thought? The guy was a kid, not some soldier for war! Yet... yet he had killed someone. The fire had raged in a cool, protective manner. It held him like a child. That was fire, his fire. And Tomoki... Tomoki had a "Digivice". So... could Tomoki do something like that?
While Takuya figured this out, the little boy had fled off the metal of the station into the fringes of forest, rustling bushes. He scowled. "Damn it, Tomoki! Get back here!"
"No!" Even though his voice grew fainter, his words grew stronger. "I can do this by myself!"
Takuya scowled. "I'm not letting you die because of a temper tantrum!"
Oh, he was going to smack that kid. Enough people in Takuya's life had told him to shut up and none of them got away with it. Not Shinya, not Mom, and certainly not one more scared little kid.
He would drag the little bugger back by his toenails if he had to. He had promised.
It probably wasn't a good idea to swing a heavy piece of metal around like this.
However, Kouji always considered self-defense a very good idea. So that won out over general common sense. So he swung the crowbar with one arm, making sure to avoid Cupimon's concerned orbiting over his head. "What are you looking for?"
"My trouble senses are tingling," announced the little guy, twirling around and around. "Digimon trouble." The little Digimon paused. "Well, I guess, since we are where we are, it would be Digital trouble." He giggled.
"Cupimon, are you sure that there wasn't brain damage earlier?"
The cupid frowned at him. "I'm pretty positive. I've had worse." He tilted his head. "At least, I think I must have. Cause I do remember stuff hurting before for some reason..."
Kouji sighed. "The things I do to keep you happy..."
"But I haven't had any cake today!" Kouji silently swatted Cupimon down with his free hand, ignoring his whining with a practice born by almost seven years of experience. He started walking again, treading through the brush.
If this was the place that Cupimon said would get them their answers, it was doing a darn good job of hiding them from view. He knew it wouldn't be easy but this was pretty ridiculous. It was more like a video game...
Complete with incompetent NPCs.
"Kouji, you should go help that person, you have a crowbar."
And Cupimon was like that irritating fairy you couldn't get rid of. Kouji sighed and did as he was bid. He would probably get an item out of this. "At least you aren't telling me to press A..."
"There's no A to press, Kouji!"
There was a reason to keep Cupimon around, wasn't there? He had to remember.
Another scream echoed and he sighed, picking up his pace. Cool it, cool it, he would be getting there... He reached the clearing and looked to see a little boy cowering under the scrutiny of a masked man with a blue bear on his back. Well, it appeared to be a man. This place did have creatures like Cupimon after all. Then again, it had blue skin and claws at its feet. So much for something human.
The small child saw him and stared, looking terribly frightened. Kouji's eye twitched. He screamed loud enough for half the area to hear. Someone had to come running. He took a step forward and the man turned. Red eyes appraised him and Kouji shifted, moving Cupimon to float behind him. He knew those eyes. They were a swordsman's eyes.
He smirked. Under the mask, he swore the man smirked back. "Minamoto Kouji," he greeted, raising his make shift weapon and moving it to rest in a fighting position.
His opponent turned to face him, revealing guarded hands with wooden blades. "Yaksamon," he replied with a swish of red hair and a casual voice. "Are you defending this little whelp?"
"I'm facing an interesting opponent." And with that, he lunged, stepping to the side from a thrust towards his chest and blocking the other with his crowbar. "Run, kid, before you tick him off even more!" The boy's eyes flickered, glowing with irritation and understanding in the same look. Little brother syndrome, he decided as he swung down again with both hands, slamming metal into the wooden guards. "Move."
This time the boy did run, moving over to where Cupimon was shyly hovering. The little creature was glaring with one eyes, something that Kouji found remarkably comforting from the little idiot as he tilted his head to the right to avoid a slash. At least they were wood. He might not die. Then again, with the way he was swinging those things...
Kouji ducked below a swipe; stabbing the crowbar into Yaksamon's chest. Yaksamon jumped to avoid it but Kouji followed, slicing with the rusted end at one leg. It gave and blood squirted to the ground. Kouji glanced at his weapon for only a moment before he found himself knocked into the air by a single, sharp stab. Desperate, he grabbed hold of the offending weapon and tugged. Yaksamon laughed, even as the crowbar hit the ground behind him. He swung Kouji around and threw him to the ground. He grimaced, but did not let go. His blue eyes tried to burn hole into the mask as Tomoki started to creep forward. Cupimon fluttered where he had been put, nervously watching the boy move.
"I have to admire your spirit for that move, human," the swordsman said quietly, kneeling towards the boy's head. "Not many people take the position to try it.
The boy coughed. "I'm a creative cheater," he replied, still clinging tightly.
"It's a shame I kill all of my opponents," Yaksamon said with a contemplating edge to his oddly polite voice. "You could make a good rematch... if you weren't human." He raised his spare blade, and it began to glow. Tomoki continued to creep forward, wrapping both hands around the crowbar. Kouji saw this and his eyes widened. Yaksamon turned... only for the crowbar to smash into his mask. He let out a strangled noise of pain as Tomoki darted away, still clutching the makeshift weapon in sweaty palms.
Kouji yanked the wooden blade from one loose hand and swung it towards the neck. It let out a snarl and Kouji rolled out of the way of a piercing stab. He made a shooing gesture toward the kid, who nodded, bolting off so fast he could have been a rabbit. Then Cupimon let out a shout. "Kouji!" Kouji rolled away from a strike that cracked the ground.
Yaksamon smiled, or he must have through the white, dinged mask. "Not bad..." he hissed. "Not bad, trickster. We're got a fighter here... let's see how long you last!" He lunged forward and Kouji held the blade in both hands to block.
Then he was flying again, bouncing roughly out of the clearing and into the trees. He quickly got on one knee as the sound of rustling leaves warned him of a downward slice. He blocked but hit the ground flat on his back again. Kouji pushed forward, just enough to kick both feet up and smack into the mask. With that, the human bolted again, grinning with anxiety. His heart thumped loudly in his chest, blood screaming in his ears. He couldn't escape, not from a swordsman like this. The kid could, and that was enough.
"There's nothing like a fight for what is right."
Kouji smiled, even though it wasn't his thought. Indeed, there was.
Yaksamon was suddenly in front of him, lifting him by his shirt collar and carrying him like little more than a doll. "Trickery for trickery," he said mockingly, boring his eyes into Kouji's. "Puppetry Technique!" Kouji froze, his weapon slipping from his hands. "Walk," whispered the Digimon.
So he did. He struggled and swerved as best he could, but his legs ambled forward regardless. Even when he tripped, he rose again. It... it was... humiliation at its worst.
He was certainly glad Cupimon wasn't here to see it or to try and heal it as he had healed all of his bruises as a child. Kouji knew that would be more embarrassing than anything else.
Was he actually going to die here? Before he had his answers? Before he could show everyone that he was right?
"Justice undone is not truly justice, only a pipe dream. Make it justice. Make it right."
His feet stumbled on concrete and Kouji growled, shifting to try and just move his arm to the right, to the device in his pocket. It had been silent and still until now. It was beginning to burn, burn with energy and power and... light.
Somehow, as he was led towards a hole, he found his muscles relaxing, his expression becoming a smile. "Spirit." he whispered.
The world grew blinding.
In that light, he saw clearly, the vision of a wolf. Of man. The device-the Digivice- in his pocket glowed and floated to one of his hands and he held it out, held it toward the brilliant glow that he wanted to selfishly take into himself.
"Become justice," the wolf-man said sternly, red eyes shining into his. "Become power. Become me."
Kouji felt the lead in his body melt away and numbly, he nodded. "Spirit... Evolution."
The wolf began to howl.
"Tomoki, slow down!"
"He could die, Takuya-onii-chan! All he had was a stick!"
Funny how the kid could be so quick to run back to them the second trouble hit. Takuya couldn't quite blame him for this one though. Whoever the guy had met was probably nuts, facing off a swordsman Digimon like that. With nothing but a crowbar too! And he thought shoving the pipe into the helldog's mouth was cool.
In the clearing sat that weirdo creature that other guy had had with him, the fairy thing. This one, however, didn't seem to know them. It floated up to look at them with big blue eyes.
"Who are you? Are you gonna help Kouji? He's fighting Digital bad things right now because of him?" A stubby finger pointed at Tomoki, who flushed. "You helped though", added the creature like it hadn't said a rude thing its whole life. "Are you gonna help too?"
Takuya glanced at Tomoki, who only blinked owlishly. "Uh... I'll give it a whirl, I guess."
"Then stop flutterin' and start walking!"
"Licht Sieger!" He swung down with blades of light, to be blocked by blades of wood.
The insanity hurt.
Not as much as having limbs about the length of his human legs with cannons on the arms but that wasn't important. What was was that he wasn't human now, and suddenly, this was a hell of a lot easier.
Slice, stab. Dodge. Get hit in the chest. Pretty standard last ditch effort sword fight. Or something. He was too excited to truly care, despite the fact that he wasn't shouting like a maniacal chicken. Yaksamon wasn't speaking either.
Good. Wolfmon was not one to talk a lot. He was one to kill.
And kill he would. Because they had been clashing back and forth for about ten minutes and it bloody hurt. His armor was chinked in a couple places. So much for bokken being weak.
There was a snort in his head, and Wolfmon-Kouji- ignored it. It wasn't important.
Yaksamon raised both wooden blades and they glowed green. Wolfmon moved. Best timing, the little bastard.
"Zwei Sieger!" His swords connected and he spun them together, blocking a vertical slash. Then he swung forward.
Yaksamon sighed and a green shockwave slammed into Wolfmon's chest. Wolfmon stumbled and almost fell back. "Did you really think I wouldn't be prepared for that?"
"I did think you wouldn't expect this." And he pointed an arm cannon. "Licht Kugel!" The laser burst, smashing into the swordsman's face. That place was just not getting a good deal today. Wolfmon sliced downward with his sword, striking over the sounds of screams and something... something else.
Did death have a voice.
Then Yaksamon's body faded to darkness, until there was nothing more than a swirl of code around his form.
Wolfmon didn't think twice. Yaksamon killed his opponents. As a fellow warrior, it was only right to offer him the same courtesy. "DigiCode, scan." His Digivice hummed to life and obeyed.
Then the room spiraled around him and Kouji fell forward, everything going black.