Chapter Sixteen: Vanessa's Sorrow
"…." Teisel was sweating slightly.
"…" Gilbert was glaring at him.
"…" Leviamon silently watched with an amused look.
"…" Barbamon said nothing as he watched the scene.
"…Umm." It was Vanessa who broke the silence, "…Is there something wrong, Gill?" She asked, noticing that her brother was glaring at Teisel. Teisel didn't do anything wrong…and she know that Gill couldn't care less about Demon Lords…so why is he glaring at Teisel, then?
"No, not really." Gill replied his sister, turning to her with a smile, "I understand his circumstances. I really do. I don't think I would mind much if he stayed here from now on."
"..Much?" Teisel whispered, still staring nervously at the younger boy.
Gill cocked his head, "So, really, don't worry about me. You know I don't care about him being a Demon Lord partner." He turned to Teisel, his smile suddenly turned a bit dark, "I worry about…another thing." He said ominously, all while smiling.
Vanessa gave her brother a look at his action, but shrugged it off. It's probably Gilbert being Gilbert. Her brother confused her sometimes, and she never dwelled long in it. "I-I see." She said, "Well, I think I should escort Teisel to the guest room—"
"Oh, no." Gill shook his head, "You're probably tired already. You should retire to your room. I'll escort him." He gave another dark smile, "Or, do you mind?" He innocently asked.
"No, No, No, I don't mind. Nope, not at all." Teisel nervously shuttered.
Barbamon shook his head at his partner's response. 'Really, backing down at the slightest pressure. Teisel need to grow a backbone…' He thought. 'Not that I'm complaining, today was a long day. The last thing we need is for Teisel to pick a fight with Vanessa's brother.'
"O…kay?" Vanessa stared at the two. Was there something she's missing here? "I'll leave it to you, then." She said to her brother.
A smile to her direction, "Just leave it to me, Sis." Turning slightly to Teisel, he said, "Shall I escort you to your room, then? I assure you, I'll pick a fitting room for someone like you." Another dark smile, "Far, far away from Sis' room…" Gill whispered.
Vanessa watched as Gill leaded a cowering Teisel and a thoughtful Barbamon away to a vacant room. "Was it just me, or did Gill seems to smile a lot today?" She wondered.
Leviamon gave her an amused look, "No, it's not just you. It seems that I have an accomplice on this matter…" He chuckled, "Teisel sure have a lot of things ahead him. Ah, I can already think of the trials he have to face…"
"Trials?" Vanessa repeated, confused.
The Demon Lord of Envy shook his head, "Oh, It's nothing. Not something you should know yet." He grinned.
What's with Gill and Leviamon today?
"Anyway, what will you do now? Follow Gill's suggestion and get some sleep?" Leviamon changed the conversation before Vanessa could ask him more about the matter. Vanessa blinked at the sudden change of conversation. She concluded that she could not ask them about that until they told her themselves. It's better to leave it, then.
To answer Leviamon's question, she shook her head, "Ah, no. I'm thinking to have a drip at the pool first. I feel that my body is too tense after that incident. And I need to cool my head, too." Cooling her head after her sudden burst of courage. The burst of courage she used to slap Teisel.
Thinking about it, she still hasn't apologized to him yet.
Nodding, Leviamon replied, "A dip in the pool, eh? Doesn't sound bad for me…but I'm far too tired for that. I think I'll just sleep in my room." He seems a bit disappointed.
"I see." Leviamon did fight Machinedramon, after all. She'll be surprised if he's not tired after that. "Good night, then. Sweet dreams." Vanessa said.
"Don't sleep to late, okay? Have fun at the pool." Leviamon said as he went away, leaving her alone. Vanessa watched him as he goes. She then went to the pool after changing to a swimsuit.
Floating at the water, her thought wander to the recent events. She met Clara, an interesting girl who seems very likeable and her partner, Beelzemon, who loves to tease people. She blushed a bit red when she remembers when Beelzemon teased her about Teisel. Despite that, the two did gave her courage to give the school another chance.
And then, there's Teisel and Barbamon. Teisel...she can't put a word to describe him, but she feel like she could relate to him. Barbamon…he's an enigma. She still can't believe it's possible to look into the future. Other than that, they're likeable.
That's right…she hasn't asked Clara if she could be her friend. And Teisel. Would it be possible to be his friend too?
Seeing that the day had gotten late, she got out from the pool. She dried herself and changed to pajamas. Time to sleep; Leviamon did say to not sleep too late. There's school tomorrow, too. Best to get a rest so she won't be late…
As she walked to her room, a voice caught her attention
It was her brother. He was holding the house phone and shouting angrily at the person on the other end of line.
What is he doing?
"You think it wasn't enough after what you pull off?!" Gill shouted angrily, "You already done enough! What else you wanted from us?!" He demanded.
A voice replied him.
His face darkens, "And to follow your selfish ideals?! Forget it!" He growled.
"Gill?" Vanessa finally found her voice, "Who is it? Why are you yelling so loud?" She asked.
The boy tuned to her, his face looks like he's been caught red handed in-progress of doing something terribly wrong, "Ah, S-Sis! T-This is...W-Why aren't you sleeping at your room?" He shuttered nervously, trying to steer her out from her question.
That just makes her more suspicious, "Gill? Why are you avoiding my question?" Vanessa prompted. Leviamon had avoided her question about his and Gill's action today, and she let him go away at that time. But this was a different matter altogether. She won't let her brother get away with this. Just why is he yelling at the phone?
"T-That's…" Gill backed away from her, accidently pressing a button in the phone.
Unfortunately, it was the loudspeaker button.
"Gill? Care to explain?" Vanessa said, a bit louder. Question filled her eyes.
Whoever is it at the other end of phone had heard her. A voice, a single voice from that person Gill was talking to, had erased Vanessa's entire question.
Her eyes widened, shock filled her eyes when she heard the voice. No, no! It can't be! It can't be that person! But the voice was unmistakable, and Vanessa, no matter how much she wants to, never forgot that person's voice.
"It was the strangest thing I experienced." Beelzemon spoke, "I never felt that way before."
Clara gave a frustrated reply, "It still doesn't explain much!" She yelled, "You said you saw 'something golden yellow-ish whatever, something blue that is shiny, and some spec of green in the shining blue-ish thing'?! That makes no absolute sense!"
"Whoa, chill out." He tried to calm her down, "Getting frustrated would do you no good. 'Sides, I did say that I also heard a strange voice, right? And not to mention the vision I saw."
She took a deep breath, "Okay, I'm calm. I'm calm." Her eyes narrowed, "...The vision you saw doesn't explain much. Only about someone named 'Orion' and 'An—someone' and about how you are stuck at the rest of your existence at somewhere and risked being deleted. But I suppose it is an improvement from the aimless wandering we did…are you sure you don't remember anything else?"
"Pretty sure, unfortunately." Beelzemon nodded, "But hey, I remembered my attacks. That's good, right?"
"Yeah…Your fight with Machinedramon was quite amazing, for someone who just remembered his attacks. It's like you've been doing it all your life." Clara said.
Beelzemon stared at her, "It does kinda feel that way." He said.
"Hey!" A voice called them, breaking their conversation. The two turned to the source of the voice, finding none other than Teisel, Vanessa, and their partner. It seems that Teisel is the one who called them.
Teisel grinned at them, "Walking to school? Why don't we head together?" He offered.
"Do you even need to ask? It's not like there's any choice to begin with, unless you want to skip school." Clara replied his offer with neither yes nor no.
He sweatdropped at her reply, "…You…are a very down-to –earth person, aren't you?" He said slowly.
Raising an eyebrow, she asked him what he meant by that.
"..Nothing." Teisel shook his head, "Come to think of it, I just realized that you two didn't come to school yesterday because of me and Machinedramon. Are your family okay with that?" He asked, concern is showing on his face.
"Nah, they're not." Clara answered, "When we get home covered with dirt, my big brother yelled at me so long, I thought my ears would fall off. He only stopped when I explained the situation, but then he began lecturing me about avoiding that kind of situation and about breaking my promise to not go to the Forest Area." She sighed, "Having an over-protective brother is sometimes annoying. I know that he was just worried about me, but still…"
"…" Vanessa stared at them, not answering Teisel's question.
Not realizing Vanessa hasn't answered yet, Clara keep talking, "Anyway, how was staying at Vanessa's house like?" Clara asked him, "Any problem?"
The boy suddenly turned nervous, "Uh well…It feels kinda odd to stay with a girl. But since the house is big enough, it doesn't feel like I'm staying with a girl at all. It's nice, thought. Been a while since I last stayed under a proper roof that doesn't risk a leak...Even if her brother is really scary…" He whispered the last part.
"N-Nothing!" Teisel shuttered, "W-We best get going already, the school is waiting! Let's go, yeah!" He ran ahead them.
Clara stared at him, and then turned to Barbamon, "Is there something wrong with him?" She asked him. She bets Barbamon know why Teisel is acting weird.
"He's just seeing an overprotective brother on action." Barbamon replied shortly.
"Ah." Clara gave a nod full of understanding.
Leviamon and Beelzemon both snickered, also understanding why Teisel act the way he did. Contrary to his belief, they all had heard his whispering about Vanessa's brother.
However, one person did not follow their conversation.
Vanessa was still staring at Clara, 'Is she….?' She silently thought, 'Is she the same like me….? Or is it the opposite?'
Their teacher, Miss Elizabeth, was ecstatic when they all came to school.
"I feared for the worse when you two did not come to school." She had said to them, "I heard about what happened from the principal. Next time, please don't be so reckless, and try not to skip school. My heart can't take more than it already had. And Teisel, I'm glad that your situation was resolved; however I want you to depend on adults more, okay? There are some things that only adults could do." She scolded.
"Yes, Miss Elizabeth. I'm sorry for worrying you." Teisel apologized to her.
The class went as normal as it could. It was lunch break when another conversation happened.
"So, what now?" Teisel asked them, "I heard you are gathering the Demon Lords back, right? Since you succeeded in getting me back, you must be planning to move on the next target." He inquired. They're all gathered in the middle of classroom, having taken out their lunches and conversing while eating.
"'Target' is quite a way to put it." Clara muttered, "But you do have a point…Do you know anything about Eric's circumstances?" She decided to cut the chase and ask.
"What circumstances?" Teisel asked back with a confused look.
Clara stared at him in disbelief, while Barbamon shook his head at his partner's ignorance, "Teisel stopped coming to school before the incident happened and he was too busy working on his part-time jobs to pay attention at the things going around him. He doesn't know anything." Barbamon explained in his stead.
He looked at them, "Seriously, what circumstances?"
Even ignorance has it limits…! Clara can't believe someone could be this ignorant. But then again, this is someone who's been living in a make-shift hut made of woods and leaves in the Forest Area…
"I guess that leaves Irene." She concluded.
"I-Irene?!" A nervous look enters Teisel's face when she spoke of the name, "M-Must it be her?"
The thought must've shown in Clara's face, because Barbamon had helpfully filled them in again, "The girl had blown him off when he first met her. As I quote, 'Get your filthy presence out of my sight, you poor excuse of human being.' and something along with that line." He dryly explained, "Lilithmon said a similar thing to me."
"So it's not just me…" Beelzemon muttered, remembering his first meeting with the particular Demon Lord of Lust.
"She said the same thing to me too." Leviamon added in.
Clara stared at them, remembering what Irene said about boys, "So Irene and Lilithmon have problems with males." Clara summarized, "…But she's still a Demon Lord. And our goal is to gather them all before the time limit. You can't skip one."
Still nervous, Teisel said, "Could it be someone else first? Like…Vald?"
"Has been dealed with." She said simply.
At this, they all stared at her in shock. "What? When?! I don't remember you mentioning him…Wait, he's not here, right? How can you say he's been dealed with? He's not coming to school." Leviamon pointed out.
"I made a bet with him." Clara explained, "…I don't intent to give out too much because of the rule forbid me from doing so. But basically, he'll come back to school if I managed to gather all Demon Lords." She lied. Beelzemon stared at her. The bet entails about Vald becoming her servant if she brought back all Demon Lords to school, not coming back to school. And there's no rule forbidding her from telling anyone. Clara gave him a look that said, 'Don't tell anything to them.'
So Beelzemon decided to keep his silence.
"Oh, wow." Teisel gave her an amazed look, "That's something, making a bet with Vald."
"It does have it downside." Clara said, "Like what's on line if I lose…No matter, I don't intent to lose, no matter what. " Besides, Vald neglected in giving her a time limit. On the other hand, there's the notice from higher-ups about disbanding the class to think about…
"I guess I should take it as it is…" Teisel muttered, thinking about the red-haired male-hater, "I suppose I should put away my fear and live with it." He signed in resignation.
The girl was suddenly reminded of something, "Say, you know something about Zakuro?" She asked.
"…Who?" Again, Teisel asked.
"Zakuro Nishimura?" Barbamon spoke up, showing that he knew more than his partner, "He's quite infamous around these parts, what about him?"
"He said something about how long will I last…Is he a factor in…Well, Demon Lord not coming to class?"
"I don't think so, at least to my knowledge." Barbamon wondered, "He's probably speaking about how Demon Lords stopped coming to school one by one. There are rumors about him, but I don't think he was involved directly with Demon Lords not coming to school. Everyone had their own reason of not coming. Teisel was because of the debts."
"I bet Irene stopped coming to school because of males." Teisel muttered, "I think I heard something about Vald…something about…what is it again?" He tried to remember.
Her mind flew back to what Vald said during the time the bet is made, "'Those partnered with Demon Lord have no future, so there's no point in coming to school?'"
Vanessa went rigid.
Teisel, Barbamon, and Leviamon stared at her, "W-What did you just say?!" Leviamon said in disbelief.
"H-Hey! That's what Vald said to me!" Clara defended herself.
"He said that?" Barbamon muttered.
"…" Teisel was surprisingly silent, "You know, I was reminded of something you said that." He said.
They turned to him.
"About what?" Clara asked. Seeing the tense situation her words (Or Vald's words) bring, she appreciates a distraction. Since Teisel had helpfully done just that, she decided to play along, for now. If it relates back to the sentence…she hoped it was not the case.
A distant look passed him, "When you said future…I was reminded of how I met Barbamon."
"Ain't that a surprise…" Beelzemon muttered. Seeing that Barbamon was capable of seeing the future, or at least glimpses of vision from his crystal ball, it didn't come as much as a surprise to hear it coming from him. Or to hear how they first met related to Barbamon's ability. The Demon Lord didn't even bother to hide it…
"…He was on Champion-level when I first met him, thought."
Barbamon nodded, "It does bring me back…"
"Oh no, oh no, oh no! I'm late for my part-time job!" Teisel ran in panic, "Sheesh, of all time to over-sleep..." He muttered.
It was when he was still juggling between lots of part-time jobs to repay the orphanage debts. He did not go to school because he had no Digimon partner, and did not have the money to go to public school. He was ignorant of school…until now.
He ran so fast that he didn't notice his surroundings. He accidently bumped into someone. Realizing that, Teisel quickly stood up, "Sorry! Are you al…right…?" He stared at the 'person' in front of him.
Not a human, but a Digimon.
A wizard-like Digimon wearing yellow and red clothes, carrying a sun-like staff was down on the ground from the impact. Teisel felt like he'd seen a Digimon like him somewhere, but the color of the cloak and hat was different. The one he saw had ragged blue cloak and pointed hat, while the one in front of him was donned in red. The Digimon name is…W-something….
Teisel can't help but to stare at the Digimon. It's the first time he met one, much less interact with one. He did not know any students from Digimon Academy, and he was too busy to pay attention to them. Busy in his part-time job, that is.
"…" The Digimon push himself up, staring at Teisel, "You." He pointed at Teisel.
"…Me?" Teisel pointed at himself.
"Yes, you." He said, suddenly taking out a crystal ball from his cloak and showing it to Teisel, "You are the one I've been waiting for, or so my Crystal Ball said." The Digimon said.
Following his proclamation was a silence.
The boy stared at the Digimon like he suddenly grown a head, "…What?"
An annoyed look enter the Digimon's face, "My Crystal Ball told me you are my destined one in this life."
A sigh. "I am your Digimon partner."
Teisel fall silent….until.
A sweatdrop appeared in Teisel's face, "You mean, when you suddenly appear in front of me and tell me that I'm your partner because your Crystal ball said so?" He said, "I was so shocked that I didn't know how to react…"
'That…does sounds like something Barbamon will say.' Clara thought.
"Hold on, you are capable of seeing the future even as a Champion?" Leviamon question was directed at Barbamon.
"Of course." He confirmed, "I did originate from Witchelny."
Barbamon raised an eyebrow at Beelzemon's direction, "I thought you already know? It's a village full of wizard Digimon. Majority of the Digimon in Witchelny are capable of seeing visions of future. The stronger they are, the stronger the vision. I was born and raised there before I became a Demon Lord."
'Become a Demon Lord…?' Something about that sentence strike Clara, 'Does it means they're not born as Demon Lords?' That just brings more question, '…I better not dwell in it long, at least for now. Seeing that Barbamon remembered his past, it's safe to conclude he did not suffer from memory-loss like Beelzemon. Hmm…'
"Say." Clara began, gaining their attention, "Barbamon, do you remember anything about the war?"
"The war?" Barbamon repeated, "No, I don't think I do. To my knowledge, no one remember about the war. Demon Lords, Royal Knights, Holy Angels…and not even a single one of them remember anything." He paused, "I did wonder why our memory about that particular timeline did not exist…"
'So it's no good.' Clara thought, 'How disappointing.'
"Speaking of first meeting," Teisel shoot a curious look at Clara, "How did you meet Beelzemon?"
Both turned to him. Clara's mind was whirring. A look enter her face when she remembered just how did she meet Beelzemon 'for the first time', strange gate aside. She hesitated, but was reminded that Teisel had told them about how he met Barbamon. It's only natural to return it, right? Sighing, Clara gave a short summarized version of their first meeting; "He appeared in my bedroom, I mistook him for a bandit. Then, we get kidnapped to the Digimon Academy by this Demon Lord Hater guy who just got demoted and were brought to face the principal. And then Beelzemon was nearly killed by Gallantmon. That's the gist of it."
There was silence following her story. Teisel stared at her with a blank look, "…Seriously?"
Nodding her head, she whispered bitterly, "I wish I'm not."
"Quite a tale." Leviamon said in an amused tone.
"What about you, Leviamon? How did you two meet each other?" Teisel asked them, "You two get along so well…so, you must've hit it off together on your first meeting!" He exclaimed.
Leviamon (surprisingly) shook his head, "I wish it was like that, but in truth it was quite the opposite." He chuckled, "There was some time where I deny her existence and convince myself that I don't have a partner." He said.
"Whaaatt?!" Teisel gave him a look full of shock.
"…Really?" Now Clara was curious. She supposed she never thought about it before…"Just how is your first meeting like?"
Before Leviamon could tell them, the bell that signaled the end of lunch break rang. They frowned in disappointment.
"Too bad, I think I'll tell you later if I got time." Leviamon said.
Nodding, Clara glanced at Vanessa. The girl hasn't spoken anything since the conversation started. Clara was a bit concerned about her. She saw her lunchbox, and blinked, "Vanessa? You didn't eat anything?" Clara inquired, "Your lunch is still intact."
"Ah…" Vanessa looked down, "I-I just don't feel like eating." She whispered.
"Are you on diet?" But the girl was slim enough…in fact, she looked to skinny to her, "Skipping lunch isn't good, you know. You should at least eat something…Well; anyway, it would be awful if you got sick because you didn't eat much." Clara shrugged, "Just keep it on mind, alright? Now, what was the next lesson again…?" With that, Clara ignored Vanessa and prepared for the lesson.
As the lesson begun, Vanessa looked down, "'Those partnered with Demon Lord have no future…'" She whispered to herself.
Why, why did she have to hear it again here?
"It's over! Man, I want to sleep…." Clara muttered as she walked on the pathways. They have decided to not visit any Demon Lord today. Yesterday incident was hard, after all. Not to mention most of them ended up staying up late. Besides, she desperately needed a break from all the chaos.
Beelzemon was walking beside her with a raised eyebrow, "You sure are pleased."
She huffed, "I'm pleased because I can get some rest! We still have to convince Irene and Eric to come back to school, thought…"
As they walked in leisure, they did not notice some people approaching them until they were on their line of sight. Clara stopped dead, staring at the person in shock. 'W-What is he doing here!' Clara furiously thought in panic.
"If it isn't the new girl…" Zakuro's piercing eyes make her shudder. Why did she have to run to him, of all people? "Still coming to school, I see. I still wonder how long will you last." He was still staring at her.
Beside him, Piedmon gave a grin.
Tensing, she snarled, "What do you want?" She demanded.
To her confusion, Zakuro shook his head, "What do I want? No, I don't want anything from you. I must say, I'm quite surprised that you did not come to school yesterday. Seeing that your eyes remind me of 'that person' before…No, I suppose it doesn't matter. Anyhow, I got curious…is it wrong for I to think so?" He inquired.
She frowned, 'That person?' The word echoed in her head.
"How did you know we didn't come to school yesterday?" Beelzemon asked.
He grinned, "I have my…sources, so to speak." He raised an eyebrow, "In fact, your action yesterday—about fighting Mega Stray Digimon along with Royal Knight Dynasmon—had already spread in the school. It was the talk of the day." An amused look enters his face, "Or did you not know about that?"
'I didn't know…' How did it spread so fast? It was only yesterday it happened…Could it be Ivan? But he didn't seem to be the type to spread rumors…
The Demon Lord narrowed his eyes, "So why are you here, then?"
Zakuro rolled his eyes, "Didn't I just say my reason? I was curious. Besides, I think I should give you a forewarning…" He said ominously.
Suddenly, Barbamon's words, before they part their ways, echoed. It was when Leviamon asked him if he saw something in his crystal ball recently. If she remembered correctly, he said something along with the line of;
"Actually, to tell you the truth, I've been having strange visions. The last one I got was before Teisel begun to act weird. I still haven't seen anything yet, but I fear that it may be connected to Machinedramon. The possibly of a stray Mega Digimon appearing is near to none. Of course, maybe I'm just over thinking things, but something tells me it's not the last of it…"
Could Zakuro's forewarning related to Barbamon's words?
"W-What is it?"
"Hmmm…" Zakuro seems to be thinking something over, "I wonder if I should really tell you…? But then again, if I didn't tell you, you'll probably run to them soon. They never stay calm for long."
"They?" Beelzemon echoed.
The boy nodded, "The DLH club."
Both Clara and Beelzemon stared at him, "…What?" A club? What's to fear from a club? What does DLH even stands for, anyway? They keep staring at him in confusion, hoping he'll explain it.
It wasn't long before Zakuro noticed their stare, and elaborated;
"It stands for the Demon Lords Hater club."
A short silence fall between them, until, "…WHAT?!" Both Clara and Beelzemon shouted.
'Demon Lord Hater?!' Clara thought in disbelief, 'There's actually a club called Demon Lords Hater…Is it even allowed?! No wait, that's not the point here! How can such club exist…?!' Clara was determined to change people's perfective of the Demon Lords. To hear that there's a club openly opposed her goal…it just made her realize that the root maybe far deeper than it seems.
As if answering her unspoken question, Zakuro has started to speak again, "Of course, such thing is considered illegal." He waved it off like it was nothing, "So they mostly move in the dark. They asked me to join at one point, but I refused."
Despite the thought about the club heaving her mind, Zakuro's words seem to be a bit odd to Clara, "Why?" she asked.
"Hm?" Zakuro turned to her.
"Why did you tell us this? You wouldn't gain anything from telling us." Clara pointed out. Not to mention the boy did not give a great first impression when they first meet him…
Zakuro fall silent. He gave her an indescribable look as he stared at her, "You…remind me of 'that person'." A distant look passed him, "And maybe, somewhere at my heart…I hoped…" He stopped, suddenly shaking his head. "No, it doesn't matter. Just watch your back. The DLH wasn't too keen to strike directly if prompted to."
Blinking at his sudden change, Clara said, "Eh, but…"
Before she could finish her sentence, Zakuro and his partner had gone away. Clara stood dumfounded at what just happened. Just what's with him?
She turned to Beelzemon, who has a thoughtful look in his face. He rubbed his head, "He…there's something about him that seems different than before." He reflected, "And…it maybe just my imagination, but I think I saw Piedmon giving him a sad look when Zakuro fall silent…"
"…" Clara did not reply. DLH…Demon Lord Hater, along with Zakuro sudden change of heart…just what is going on? Just what is Zakuro's reason to help them? Who is 'that person'? Zakuro said he had 'hoped' of something…but what is it? Thinking about it just made her head hurt.
'I want to go home and sleep…' She groaned.
Deciding to do just that, she said to Beelzemon, "Let's think about it in other day. I'm far to stressed to deal with anything, now…One thing at a time, one thing at a time."
Clara didn't really pay attention to her surroundings, too focused on her conversation with her partner. It wasn't until she hit and knocked over someone that she realized it. She stood up, horrified. "Are you alright?! You're not hurt, aren't…you…Vanessa?" It was the blue haired girl, still on ground after the bump. She didn't seem to be hurt, but she made no move to get up.
Vanessa gave her a blank stare.
"Uh…" A concerned look entered Clara's face, "Are you alright…?"
"…" Vanessa pushed herself up, "…Yes."
Breathing a sigh of relief, Clara said, "Thank goodness you're alright. I'm sorry for bumping to you…Say, why are you alone here? I thought you were heading home with Teisel, Barbamon, and Leviamon?"
"…I said I have something to do first at school." Vanessa replied.
"Something to do?"
The blue-haired girl gave her a strange look, "There's something I want to ask you…It's about your parents." She said slowly.
Clara stared back at her, silently telling her to continue.
"How did your parents react on your situation? About partnering with a Demon Lord? What was their reaction upon finding out that you're partnered with a Demon Lord…?" Vanessa quivered a bit as she asked.
Blinking, Clara cocked her head to the side, not expecting that kind of question. Briefly, she wonders why Vanessa was asking that, but she concluded the girl had her own reasons. So she answered her, "To tell you the truth, I didn't know yet until yesterday. But when I got back home from the orphanage and after getting lectured by my brother, they called me. They pretty much accept it with stride, even joking about how they have two 'special' children. I mean, things like their son being a Royal Knight partner and their daughter being a Demon Lord partner and such." She nodded to herself, "That's my Father and Mother to you; taking everything lightly…" She trailed off.
Silence fall between them. Clara gave a curious look at Vanessa, wondering why she hadn't said anything, "Vanessa?" She voiced.
"…I…see…" A low voice was heard, "…You…are different….from me…." Vanessa whispered, too low for Clara or Beelzemon to hear. Frowning, Clara stared at the girl. Something about her seemed to ring an alarm in her head. Even if she barely knew the girl, she felt that Vanessa acted too strange…
"What did just you say?" She asked.
But all Vanessa did was shaking her head, "Nothing….nothing at all….See you tomorrow, Clara, Beelzemon." With that said, the girl walked away, not giving Clara a chance to ask her why was she acting strange.
With a sigh, Clara reflected the encounter, "Vanessa…what is wrong with you?" She said mostly to herself.
You are unwelcome.
"That's not…It's not…"
You are unneeded.
"No… I'm not….I'm not unneeded….I'm not…"
You are an embarrassment.
We don't need someone like you.
We have no daughter.
In a room void of light—her own room, a place where she can fully express her emotion freely without anyone knowing—Vanessa silently cried. Why? Why won't they accept her? Why are they rejecting her existence? Why…Just why?!
Vanessa kept crying. Clara….Her parents accept her, despite her brother being a Royal knight partner….They still accept her, even if she was partnered with a Demon Lord. They still accept her…unlike herself….
Why couldn't her parents accept her?
Why must she be born with parents that rejected her?
Why couldn't her parents like Clara's parents, who accept her despite everything?
Night falls as she kept crying—her feelings buried deep inside her heart—without anyone knowing, not even her own partner. Not even Leviamon.
From her windows, a shadow falls, the silhouette reflected from the curtains. But Vanessa did not notice. Did not notice as the shadow covered her. Did not notice the darkness gripped her heart as she cried herself to sleep.
Did not notice as the shadow smirked…
Shorter chapter than before, but faster. Responding a reviewer's inquiry; I would love to get a Proof-reader, but I have no time to look for one. School's a bitch.
Note: Witchelny does exist in cannon, but I changed it to fit my story.
Clara: Vanessa's acting weird…
Beelzemon: Will you tell us then?
Leviamon: Vanessa's missing!
Leviamon and Vanessa's past are revealed. Vanessa is kidnapped?! Appearance of a Royal Knight and a Holy Angel? The second shadow makes its move! Next Chapter: At the Fullest. Stay tuned!