Xros Wars AU 02 — CH 47

We Open Chapter 47 off of a series of flash-backs.

DRAGON LAND_ _ _| SIX MONTHS AGO_ _ _|

Kiriha Aouma awoke with a start, realizing all too suddenly that he was face down in the dirt. He pushed himself up into a crouch, and glanced around.

A forest. He was in a forest.

He was in a forest, without anyone else. No Gureimon. No Nene. No Xros Heart.

He brought up his Xros Loader and looked at its partner monitor screen; all of them were there, safe- except for three.

“Kiriha?” Typheus began. “What the hell was that?”

“The static?” he shrugged back at the voice in his head. “That’s the same thing I told you about- the thing that was following us around for a while?”

“That was a static storm?” The Denizen gawked. “A temporal Rift?”

Kiriha frowned as he scrolled through the menu options on the Xros Loader. “Yeah…” Blank. “Doesn’t usually knock us out cold though.” Blank. “There was something different about it…” Code Crown count. “…Crap.”

Zero.

This is where we see how bad Kiriha was to begin with- he and Typheus are the ONLY ones who lived the full 6 months of the time skip.

GOOD FRIDAY_ _ _| ON ROUTE TO BRIGHT LAND_ _ _| KIRIHA’S QUARTERS_ _ _|

Kiriha Aouma’s eyes snapped open as the dream ended, leaving him back in reality. He sighed, and forced himself up, pausing slightly once he swung his feet out over the edge of the bed, his hand having been caught by another just nearby.

He wasn’t alone. Not anymore.

But at the same time…

Had I not been not wanting to up the rating- this scene would be more explicit: Kiriha and Nene have slept together after the wake of the last fight. After all, there’s nothing quite like surviving a near un-survivable event to get things moving along!

^^ That’s actual psychology stuff I’d read about long after writing this scene.

“GRRR!” Typheus growled as they jumped through a window, diving out into the open streets below, and away from the annoyed Devidramon behind them.

“Get back here!” it yelled. “You BRAT!”

The wind pushed them faster and faster, and soon they escaped the city itself, out into the open plains and to freedom.

His recently acquired boots crunched grass and plants between his feet and the ground as they ran…

Eventually, though…The Devidramon came up behind them, also using the wind to aid their pursuit.

And then the winds changed.

“PLASMA DECKERDRAUNCHER!”

DeckerGureimon fell down from above, launching plasma missiles and energy bursts at the Devidramon…

Kiriha’s gone into survival mode- taking what he can from Dragon Land’s higher ups just so he can live.

Then DeckerGureimon falls from the sky.

Kiriha shrugged on his jacket as he exited his room, strolling out onto the open deck, and into the cloudy pre-morning air, not that anyone could tell it was morning, with everyone having been underground inside a dark tunnel for the better part of an evening.

Leaning against the railing nearby was Shoutmon, in his human form, staring at the walls pass by with little thought. Kiriha took the opportunity to try to sneak past the ‘mon and head elsewhere…

“Morning.”

Key word being “Tried.”

“Morning.” Kiriha said in return as he looked over at Shoutmon, then at the floor he’d stepped on. Did the wood creak or something?

“How’re you doing?” Shoutmon hadn’t even turned around once- continuing instead to stare out over the railing in relative silence. “Feeling any better after last night?”

“Huh?” Kiriha blinked, not completely remembering.

“You and Nene…?” Shoutmon actually turned his head over his shoulder a bit to send him a wry look. “You know…with how she used her powers to erase the last of that dark energy?” The Blue Flare general stared blankly for a moment. “You really don’t remember?” a scowl. “Well geeze, thanks for keeping us up all night for nothing then.”

“What? !”

Shoutmon’s teasing Kiriha a bit. He knows what they were really doing, and is instead joking about Nene having done something else instead.

Kiriha doesn’t quite get it- as he’s remembering something Completely Different.

“It’s absolutely simple.” Nene said as she munched on some small fruit that he had found in the grasslands of Dragon Land. “We got separated by the time storm again. Taiki and the others are just stuck at a point of time that they can’t do anything yet. We’ve just got to catch up to them.”

“So we take the long way around then?” Typheus scowled. “Why does that not sound appealing to me?”

“Or me.” Kiriha added in. “We do not have the time to wait around- The Bagura army’s already got control of the Digital World.”

“We can’t really do anything to fight them.” Nene said with a sigh after she swallowed. “Not that I can see yet. We’ve been stuck here for a week now-”

“A month.” Kiriha countered, slightly annoyed by the slip up.

“Fine. Echidna and I have been stuck here for a week.” Nene rolled her eyes a little. “But the thing is, I don’t even have Sparrowmon here- or any of the Monitamons.” she looked down at the half eaten fruit in her hand. “Echidna hasn’t even begun speaking out loud again yet, not like Typheus and Hephaestus have. And I don’t have complete control of her powers either- not like you two do. I’m at a disadvantage here.”

“Maybe…” Kiriha frowned. “But you and me, Nene, we’ve always been more united with our Denizens than Taiki was with Hephaestus. We both had Shademon put in us to jump start it, he didn’t.”

“Hephaestus just barely caught the rope tied to the rising elevator.” Echidna spoke up suddenly, although in a tone that made one think she didn’t realize she was even saying it out loud. “Like he always does.”

“Echidna!” Typheus gasped at the same time Kiriha let Nene’s name slip out. “Nene!”

“Hm?” The Denizen of Life and her host blinked simultaneously. “What?”

One of the few reasons that Echinda did NOT speak up usually prior to “[S] Nene: Ascend.” This is just shortly after Nene’s exited the storms (A week stated in flashback) and Echidna gets so much attention from her one line, she later quiets down.

ALSO KNOWN AS: I completely forgot about her change in behavior from the ascend scene and screwed up royally.

“But we didn’t-!” Kiriha sputtered. “I don’t remember…! Wait! We were both dressed, but wait, we were in bed and…!”

No- they weren’t dressed- this flubbering of Kiriha’s is his mind struggling to reconcile all the facts. Hence Shoutmon’s teasing.

“I’m kidding! I’m Kidding! No need to wake the whole boat up just yet!” Shoutmon grinned as he waved it off. “Yeesh, it looked like you could use a joke and you completely miss the point.” Kiriha just stared at the dragon boy in silence. “Okay, fine, I get it. Not a funny joke.” Shoutmon rolled his eyes, then motioned for the general to come over. “Hey, come here for a minute, okay? I wanna run something past you.”

What Shoutmon’s about to go into is HEAVY foreshadowing for his future death and resurrection. It’s not meant to bode well, but at the same time it’s meant to be a reassuring thing.

Kiriha took a few steps over, then joined Shoutmon in leaning against the railing, and staring out into space blankly. “Okay?”

“So you remember how the Code Crown could revive dead digimon, even partially, back when all of the pieces were gotten, right?” Shoutmon began, then reached a hand out to keep Kiriha from leaving as the General tried to pull away. “Wait, wait, just hear me out, ok?”

Kiriha doesn’t want to talk about death, but Shoutmon needs to say this both for himself AND for Kiriha.

It’s VERY important that Kiriha hears what Shoutmon’s about to say or else Cascade Side A is doomed.

Kiriha sighed. “Fine.”

“So I was thinking, back to when we were at Island Zone and Akari…well…Almost died.” he seemed uncomfortable, but continued on. “And I remembered that the code crown accelerated healing her, too. And that was before Hephaestus messed with its programming, too.” he pointed to the walls. “So these tunnels were made to carry negative energy, and a lot of it, all to corrupt the Code Crown. And for what?”

Shoutmon’s not getting his sentences constructed right- hence the extra too‘s.

“Dunno.” Kiriha shrugged.

“Well, what if the Code Crown is so inherently good, Hephaestus made it after all, to the point that it tries to heal people on its own with only the slightest prompt, that the Bagura empire can’t use it?” he paused a moment to let it sink in. “So once they got their hands on it, they couldn’t use it because their whole plans are so opposite the Code Crown’s nature.”

“What are you getting at here?” Kiriha frowned.

“What I’m getting at is that we’re going to make sure that anyone who dies because of this stupid war is coming back.” Shoutmon grinned. “So once we get the Code Crown, I’m going to personally drag anyone to everyone who’s died pointlessly back down to the land of the living. Kicking and screaming if I have to!”

Kiriha blinked…then a smile began to break out on his face in return.

Shoutmon’s not running on the *soundest* logic here, but… It’s what works to get Kiriha’s spirits up higher than they were before.

As Baguramon promptly puts it: “Hope is rising.”

BAGURA EMPIRE HQ_ _ _|

The Corrupted Code Crown cracked as more of it’s hidden golden light forced its way to the surface. Baguramon scowled. “Hope is rising.” he said quietly to the imager behind him, already broadcasting a communication’s signal to Bright Land’s matching table.

“Indeed it is, brother.” DarkKnightmon scowled. “Canyon Land seems to think highly of Xros Heart after that last stunt of theirs, whatever it may have been.”

“That Anubimon blacked out all of our cameras and communication lines somehow.” Appolomon chuckled. “Gravimon was right not to trust him.”

Again, Appolomon is pulling from StarWarsTheCloneWars’ Obi Wan- straight down to the voice. In my head-canon for English voices, Appolomon has the same voice actor using the same voice as Obi Wan’s.

“Has my dispatched commander arrived yet?” Baguramon asked as the golden cracks in the Code Crown pulsed for a few moments.

“The Whamon transport arrived on schedule, My lord.” Appolomon reported. “Your commander, however, insisted that she be left alone with the plans until they fit her ruling.”

DarkKnightmon coughed. “Brother, I do wish to know where you found this child. I’ve not heard of her during my entire time here in the army, and yet she has a higher ranking than I myself.”

And this Baguramon’s ploy is revealed. DarkKnightmon has NO CLUE who Trompeaurmon is!!

This is ultimately why his plans ultimately fail…or were supposed to, anyways.

Baguramon smiled faintly, however he kept that smile hidden by having his back turned to the imager. “I told you before, DarkKnightmon. Trompeaurmon was deep undercover since the lands were formed, as per her plan as the true Death General of Cyber Land.”

“But that’s exactly my point!” DarkKnightmon countered. “She should be under my command, not above it!”

“Tropeaurmon has been a part of my army longer than you have, brother.” Baguramon closed his eyes as that faint smile grew wider. “She has proven to be more trust worthy than you have over the last six months, and so she has a higher rank than you- carried over from her position before the Death Generals were needed.”

DarkKnightmon looked taken back by this, so Appolomon spoke up. “We understand, Baguramon-sama.”

“Good.” Baguramon said with finality, indicating the conversation was over. Appolomon cut the transmission before DarkKnightmon could respond. “Soon…” he chuckled. “Soon that pesky brother of mine will no longer be around to stab me in the back.” he chuckled. “And soon…the Digital World will be MINE!” and so it was written:

His was an evil laugh.

Baguramon is quite the schemer! He’s actively sabotaging his own brother!

Also: Firefly shout out.

“Mine is an evil laugh!!”

*CUE: crossing field -TV Ver.- (by LiSA)*

DIGIMON XROS WARS
THE SEVEN SWORDS
ACT 2


*cue Title Theme*

“Bright Land! The Hellish trap of fiends!”

Opening credits change:

  • Deckerdramon is shadowed out.
  • VKX7 is un-cloaked,
  • Just before the VKX7 set of sequences, with the line about the world, a shot of Riska’s eyes is seen.

Not major, but they’re there.

CYBER LAND_ _ _|

ShineGreymon soared over the formerly abandoned streets as he searched for the entrance to the next Land- on his shoulders were our three generals, Marcus, Zenjirou, and Mizuki, along with Lila, Kotemon, and Hangyomon. Inside their shiny Xros Loaders were the contents of the Oblivion Knight army- formerly the DigiMemories that had been collected in the past.

All around beneath them, Digimon and humans alike were working together to piece their broken lives back together- many were avoiding the damaged areas caused during the fighting, but beyond those few areas, life seemed to be returning to normal.

“Looks like everyone from our cell managed to get everyone else out of the prison cells alright.” Hangyomon grinned.

“Probably blossomed out from there like one big flower or something.” Mizuki smiled. “Domino effect, right?”

“Right.” Hangyomon nodded.

“I can’t believed I missed all of the fighting though.” Zenjirou frowned. “I get that staying behind was important and all, but still…!”

“Well let’s pick up the pace then!” Kotemon stomped his foot down on ShineGreymon’s shoulder, much to the dragon’s annoyance.

“I’m going as fast as I can while making sure we don’t miss our exit.” he replied. “We don’t want to be even later than we are, now do we?”

Zenjirou and Co. play catch up.

CANYON LAND_ _ _| THE REMAINS OF GRAVIMON’S PALACE_ _ _|

Gravimon scowled as he floated through the passageways of his formerly grand palace- now reduced to rubble after the mad Anubimon had it demolished.

“The fool…” Gravimon pushed against the exterior remains of a wall carved from the rock face the castle itself had been carved from. There was a hiss, and a click, and a portion of the wall swung backwards… “He didn’t realize I had a-”

Gravimon stopped the moment the lights inside the hidden room clicked on.

“Em…pty?”

The entire room- a secret library of books and materials that Gravimon had collected over the years- was empty.

Gravimon’s jaw slackened, and nearly fell off of his face. (I mean that literally, by the way. His data had yet to stabilize completely from his disintegration.)

Gravimon’s hidden library is empty.

But this wasn’t Anubimon’s doing.

THE GOOD FRIDAY_ _ _| RANDOM KITCHEN_ _ _|

Wisemon huffed as he placed another book down on the table covered in books just like it- Useless to his current line of investigation. “No luck yet?”

“No.” DarkVolumon, his companion in this research endeavor, replied silently. “None.”

A sharp snore made both of them turn their heads slightly towards their third researcher, Olegmon- who had known of Gravimon’s hidden library and had it raided during Anubimon’s rampage across Canyon land.

“I severely doubt that any of these documents hold the key to our success.” Wisemon sighed as he pulled off the reading glasses he had obtained at some point to clean them off. “The documentations on Hell’s Fields seem to be completely sparse, especially in detailing how to defeat one.”

“According to this historical book on the Earth before the Earth that came before the one Before the one that came before the-” DarkVolumon stopped as Olegmon let loose another loud snore. “Ugh, anyways, Hell’s Fields were used as containment units for storing massive items within tiny cards one some worlds.”

“Interesting…” Wisemon sighed. “But it does us no good.”

This is a shout out to Homestuck’s Captchaloging tech.

Tairru strolled in a moment later, carrying a few borrowed books with her. “Ugh, and Wizardmon complained I was missing out on College.” she muttered under her breath as she put the books down on the table. “Snoring and studying. Seems to be the same to me.”

“Good morning.” Wisemon greeted.

“Is it?” the human turned cat yawned. “Nyah…I was up all night reading these books on “self creating” paradox items.”

“All night?” DarkVolumon asked. “I can see how Wisemon could manage with all the Digi-noir he ate, but you…?”

Another snore.

“I couldn’t stop thinking about Deckerdramon.” she frowned. “I didn’t know him all that well, but nobody deserves to die like that.”

“Unfortunately, death is a very real risk for all of us, even outside of the special circumstances the Code Crown provides us with.” Wisemon mused. “Even if we survive the rest of the war without casualties, we are all doomed to die eventually.”

“How melancholic.” DarkVolumon replied. “But true. Data can be lost just like any other thing.”

“Unless the Denizens do something.” Tairru said after a moment. “Once we get the Code Crown back, could we get enchanted so that none of us die?”

“That’s a long and treacherous road, immortality.” Wisemon replied. “Many have gone insane because of it- watching those around them grow older while they remain young forever.”

Wisemon’s bit here is indeed one of the pit-falls of immortality, and I’m still not sure how to tackle such a concept other than to go the Doctor Who route and make it a “You die and some new man saunters away” kind of thing.

By the way. ^THAT LINE^ Very important.

You just don’t know why yet.

“But can’t we do something?” Tairru protested. “I don’t want to die!”

At that moment, Mermaimon’s voice broke over the ship’s intercom system, causing everyone in the room to jump and snapping Olegmon out of his slumber. “Oi! Bright Land dead ahead… I think you’re all going to want to see this.”

“…I’ll see what Hephaestus can do.” Was all Wisemon could say.

This was a subtle shout out to Homestuck- where Terezi was shouting out whenever they approached a dream bubble.

On the port deck of the Good Friday, Xros Heart and the ship’s crew gathered to survey the view before them- which is to say, not much.

A dense, purple fog lay before them all, keeping the contents of the Land from sight.

“This isn’t Bright Land.” Olegmon scowled. “The sky color’s all wrong.”

“Believe it or not…” Tinkermon, the ship’s mechanic, said as she handed a telescope over to Wisemon, just to her right. “We stopped exactly where we should have…Engine coordinates say we’re right above Bright Land.”

“I concur.” Wisemon nodded as he put the telescope down. “This looks to be the inside of the Hell’s Field- we have arrived at where Bright Land should reside in space, but it currently does not.”

“That’s a mouthful.” Shoutmon grumbled as he and Kiriha walked over to the front of the boat. “So we’re at Bright Land, but not?”

“Yes, that’s exactly what I just said.” Wisemon frowned, not that his face was visible.

Hell’s Fields are just big ol’ mind screws.

BAGURA CENTRAL BASE_ _ _|

Appolomon stared at the holographic boat before him. “So they commandeered Olegmon’s ship, have they?”

“It appears so.” DarkKnightmon scowled. “I still fail to see why this plan requires my presence-”

“Because it gives them a reason to fight and not just skip along to the Pandorica.”

DarkKnightmon jumped slightly while Appolomon simply saluted. His scowl just deepened as he turned around to face his ‘superior’ commander. “So you finally show your face after locking it away for a whole day.” And that was when he realized there was something familiar about this girl.

Trompeaurmon had fully ditched the “Ruka” disguise during her time behind closed doors. Her formerly free flowing, blue-purple hair had been braided up and was now streaked with red bursts that made it seem like she’d been trying to get hair dye out, or put it in. And her eyes, whatever indistinguishable color they had been before, were now a piercing green- eerily familiar. The multi-layered shirt and jacket look she had on too, combined with that strange green cap she was wearing…

He recognized her- he couldn’t place where exactly- but he knew her. She smirked and she KNEW he couldn’t place her.

Trompeaurmon is now more Karoh than Ruka. Also- Nobody knows yet that Olegmon actually sided with Xros Heart. Appolomon suspects it, but he doesn’t know for sure.

“Cat got your tongue, knighty?” That smirk. That dangerous kind of wild look that screamed at him to not mess with her.

Too bad his reasoning was left back in Honey Land.

“Your insolence is not amusing at all!” DarkKnightmon growled, fists clenched. “I have no idea who you are or why you’re a higher rank than I am…But I will not stand for it!”

“Whatever.” Those eyes rolled as she shoved past him- SHOVED. Past. HIM- and over to the displayed hologram. “So Xros Heart is finally here?”

Trompeaurmon’s got spunk- I’ll give her that. DarkKnightmon’s completely stunned by this.

“Yes…um…” Appolomon left it at that, no honor-fic, though he desperately tried to figure one out to use. “Should we have sent the message yet?”

“Depends on how long they’ve been here.” The girl replied, eyebrows angling sharply as she stared at the boat.

“Less than two minutes now.” Appolomon reported.

“Wait for the third minute, then send.” Trompeaurmon ordered. “And have someone get that Pegasusmon up here.”

“Yes, sir…?” When she gave no protest, he began to press buttons on the console to begin the necessary transmissions.

DarkKnightmon’s eyes narrowed. Why was she familiar? It was almost as if a part of a long forgotten memory…Something lost to the pages of time…

Had he known her parents? Did he kill her parents at some point?

This is GLaDOS’s reasoning about “Caroline.”

“Did I know her? Did I *Kill* her?”

DarkKnightmon just doesn’t get it. :33

“Oi.” She glared at him after a few moments of awkward staring. “Go get your little pets and bring them to the Green Castle’s throne room, then report back here…And bring some chairs. I have a feeling you’re going to be needing them.”

DarkKnightmon’s fists clenched. Never in his life before had someone-

Wait.

Of COURSE.

That Sparrowmon. Never before had someone made him feel so annoyed before that girl entered his life. This “Trompeaurmon” MUST have been another one of those accursed weapon hybrids that had escaped. That explained it. Of course. Now it was all coming back to him.

He had to have seen her at some point during that time when he was actively visiting the labs.

That had to be it.

There was no other possible explanation.

Was there?

He even makes the wrong conclusion.

Yeesh. He’s a bit paranoid- isn’t he?

All over the Hell’s Field that encompassed Bright Land, massive projector lamps turned on, shooting up light and sound straight up into the cloud layer- turning all of the clouds into one massive projector screen.

“ATTENTION XROS HEART!” Appolomon’s voice boomed through the massive speakers mounted next to the projectors.“THE BAGURA ARMY CHALLENGES YOU TO A CHESS MATCH- WINNER TAKE ALL.”

Yes- A Chess Match,

THIS is Trompeaurmon’s big plan.

“What.” Akari just stared blankly at the projected image of Appolomon’s face before them.

“HOWEVER! THIS IS NO ORDINARY CHESS MATCH- THE ENTIRETY OF BRIGHT LAND WILL BE YOUR BOARD.”

“The.” Shoutmon’s jaw unhinged slightly.

“PLEASE MAKE YOUR WAY TO THE RED CASTLE LOCATED AT THE COORDINATES FOUR ONE THREE, SPACE, NEGATIVE ONE ZERO TWO FIVE, SPACE, NEGATIVE SIX ONE TWO.”

“Shit.” Taiki blinked.

“FROM THERE, YOU WILL CHOOSE ONE OF YOUR GENERALS TO BECOME YOUR CHESS MASTER, TO PLAY AGAINST OUR OWN CHOSEN CHESS MASTER- DARKKNIGHTMON.”

“Did he just say…?” Sally’s fists clenched as she growled slightly.

“THE MATCH WILL BEGIN IN ONE HOUR, AT T-MINUS EIGHT A.M. LOCAL KI STANDARD TIME.” Appolomon finished. “YOUR PRESENCE IS REQUIRED- NOT ATTENDING IS CONSIDERED FOREFIT. SHOULD YOU NOT ARRIVE AND HAVE YOUR PIECES SELECTED ON TIME, YOUR SHIP WILL BE TARGETED AND DESTROYED. THANK YOU, AND HAVE A NICE DAY.”

And so the image of his face vanished, being replaced in its stead by the coordinates he had said before, flashing annoyingly along with very annoying arrows pointing at them from all directions.

“I suddenly understand nothing.” Tairru lamented.

A Chess Match.

A 3D real Time REAL LIFE Chess match.

With the armies as the pieces.

A SHORT TIME LATER_ _ _|

The Good Friday sailed through the air, finally descending through the fog cover’s lowest layer and into the field proper…

It was massive from their current view. There was a central island- the “Battlefield”- that laid as the base of it all; meanwhile, three other major islands floated nearby- Two of which were identical aside from color. Both had towering castles as their central focus- one Red, the other green. The third island was much smaller and contained an even smaller building- potentially the place where the two ‘masters’ would duel it out in person while the armies below fought.


“Taiki.” Yuu said decisively. “It’s got to be him.”

“Eh?” The goggle boy blinked. “But why me?”

“He’s right.” Nene nodded. “If things go wrong and DarkKnightmon decides to break the deal, Taiki and Hephaestus can take him on in a fair fight.”

“He’s done it before.” Echidna added.

“Yeah, and the damage was awesome.” Shoutmon grinned. “I mean, seriously! A whole wall got punched in!”

“I’ve never played chess.” Akari added. “And I don’t know of anyone here who has- except maybe Taiki. He’s got my vote.”

After a few moments of everyone staring at him, Taiki caved in. “Alright. Fine.” he sighed. “I’ll be the chess master then.”

“Be sure to come up with something impressively sneaky!” Revolomon chipped in.

“N’gah!” Ballistamon nodded in agreement.

Xros Heart Plans- declaring Taiki as the chess master almost immediately.

The Good Friday came to a ‘landing’ near the top of the Red Castle’s primary tower, which had the front wall opened up to view the battlefield- leaving a massive chamber visible inside. A Big, circular chamber, with Xros Heart’s and Blue Flare’s flag banners hung from multiple places. There were two thrones, with two respective crowns resting on them, sitting just behind of a table with a multitude of badges and a rather large map on it.

As Xros Heart disembarked from the ship, they spread out through the room, and then further into the castle. The Flag motif was repeated several times through out the many, many floors to the castle, as well as on top of the apparently randomly generated treasure chests set throughout those levels.

On one floor, there was an armory, full of armor and weapons, on another was a kitchen, and on others still there were training spaces and living quarters.

“You know…” Shoutmon mused aloud as he and Akari walked past a master bedroom. “If we ever win the war…I think I might make a castle just like this for our own headquarters.”

She nodded in agreement. “Yeah. It’s pretty nice in here.”

I’ll admit it- I drew a bit of inspiration of the castle design from Skyrim.

“It’s just like home!” ChibiBastemon purred as she curled up on a plush chair she had found, and subsequently had Knightmon drag it up to the throne room, in one of the libraries in the castle. “I like it!”

“It’s true…” Knightmon nodded. “There are many similarities to our castle back in Lake Zone.”

“So I think it’s safe to say…” Terezie mused as she picked up a badge labeled “PAWN” off of the table. “All of us PawnChessmon are going to be the pawns, being Pawn Chessmon?” Despite the apparent annoyance at type casting, there was a chuckle underlying her words.

Tereize is picking up on the inevitable type casting.

And, in fact, she’s jokingly promoting it.

“If that’s Bagura’s game then they’re in for a smack down!” ProblemChessmon punched his right hand into his left fist. “We’ll show ’em we’re not pawns to be messed with!”

“If that’s so, then I’ll be a Knight.” Knightmon nodded. “If Bagura is expecting that, then we’ll set them up to believe we fell into their own pre-determined roles.”

“Sounds like a plan.” FluteChessmon nodded.

“Okay…I get that’s what we’re doing, and I’ll go with it.” Another PawnChessmon- by the name of Reena- said with a frown to her words. “But I’d rather be a bishop or something! Just to break conventions.”

“Eh…” Kroket, another of the PawnChessmonz, looked surprised by that. “I would have thought you’d go for Queen or something.”

“Nah!” Reena waved it off as she put her arm around another of the PawnChessmon. “Not unless ol’ crabcatch here’d be my King!”

“Forget that.” Said Pawnchessmon, whose name was Cabarat and not anything to do with crabs, huffed and crossed his arms. “You know how I hate leader-ly rolls.”

“I Knoooow…” she laughed. “Screw leadership!”

“So what’s the plan?” The PawnChessmon by the name of “Strider” asked ironically- he knew for a fact that none of them had a plan yet- all of that was up to Taiki. “Strip down to our undies and flash the other team into submission?”

Terezie growled and threw the badge in her hand at him. “Oh shut up, Strider!”

Strider simply caught it with one hand. “C’mon, Rez, you know you want to.”

“Maybe you shouldn’t joke when it comes to your own perverted fantasies!” Terezie snapped at him. “You’ll last longer!”

“Uhhmmm…” One of the last remaining unintroduced PawnChessmon, by the name of Ruefiio, spoke up timidly. “Can we not argue with each other?”

We’re now FULLY introduced to the remaining Pawn Chessmons- all 8 now have names.

“NO.” Came a resound reply from the other five PawnChessmon- to which Reena clarified: “I’ve got fifty cases of Digi-Noir riding on them hate-smoochin’ each other senseless.” Cabarat continued: “Thirty on the same.” Kroket embarrassed-ly confessed: “I bet Forty on Pale-mates.” And ProblemChessmon concluded: “I’ve got Sixty-Four on flushed but can’t spit it out.”

Terezie and Strider just stared at the other five blankly, the fifth of whom had wisely remained silent during the whole thing.

After a few more moments of extended silence, Reena asked: “What? do we got shrimp on our helmets or somethin’?”

The lawyer to be face-palmed.

They need no introduction other than this- and the one I gave back in Lake Zone’s liveblog.

7:55 A.M._ _ _|

And so, planning made, a Lone Pegasusmon floated down towards the Red Castle, her green eyes taking in all those before her. Olegmon’s boat was gone- presumably having been piloted back into the atmosphere in hopes of not being shot down- and yet despite that, everyone stood with a sense of duty, and, in the particular case of those not wearing the game badges and crowns, even confidence.

She scanned those chosen for the battle- On the thrones were two of the Generals, a boy with blond hair and a girl with brown hair tied up in an unusual style- The King and Queen, although neither of them wore their given crowns. To their sides were the Knights, an actual Knightmon and a Shoutmon with a yellow scarf. Next to them were the Rooks, a girl with red hair, and another boy with blond hair- probably the King’s brother. The Bishops were in the corners, a Revolomon and another brown haired human girl with an odd hair style- probably the Queen’s sister. And the pawns- How cute- were Actual PawnChessmon.

“Which one of you is the chess master?” The Pegasusmon asked of those not wearing badges, trying to sound official like.

A boy with brown hair stepped forward. “I am.” He stated. Hm, perhaps he was related to the Queen and the one Bishop? She could certainly see a resemblance.

“Climb on.” she ordered.

“I’d rather not.” He said and…grew Wings?

“So yer the Host to the Denizen Hephaestus.” she replied, slightly in awe to the point her accent broke through. “I’ve heard a lota things about you two.”

“Right then.” Taiki Kudo smiled at her. “After you?”

This sequence is to give a bit of mis-leading ideas to the reader. In an animated form, you’d see everyone at a distance, but not what roles they had or who exactly they were, only enough to make a guess based on the colors of their clothing and their hair styles.

Visually: You’re supposed to make the connection that Yuu and Nene are the King/Queen pair, with Kiriha was working the field. Kaiyumi and Revolomon are supposed to be bishops.

The short five minute trip was already half way over by the time he asked her the critical question that wasn’t even a question.

“This doesn’t come off as one of DarkKnightmon’s plans.” He stated first. “It’s too clean. Too precise.”

“That’s ’cause General Trompeaurmon planned this, from the moment Cyber Land’s Splashmon died.” The Pegasusmon replied.

“Trompeaurmon?”

“The true General a’ Cyber Land.” The Pegasusmon cast a worried glance to him. “I don’t know much about her besides the fact that she has DarkKnightmon on a *very* fine edge. Bossin’ ‘im around like ‘e’s some kind of lacky.”

“DarkKnightmon?” he took in that worried glance and reflected it with a curious one. “He’s not the kind of guy to take orders from someone below him.”

“She’s got clearance above ‘im, makin’ ‘er ‘is boss.”

“His boss?” Ah, and there was Hephaestus himself.

Taiki gains some CRITICAL INFORMATION from Appa’jack here.

“Took ‘im by surprise too.” she gave a chuckle. “You shoulda seen the look on ‘is face when she showed ‘im dat badge ‘f hers.”

“A badge?” Taiki blinked.

“Eyup.” she nodded. “Pulled it right outa ‘er back pocket an’ shoved it in ‘is face.” she coughed, then tried to mimic the other girl’s voice. “‘Level One Point Four Two Zero Eight Clearance,’ she said. ‘Take that, knighty!'”

“And what’s DarkKnightmon’s clearance-” he asked curiosity brimming behind his eyes. “just for giggle’s sake?”

“Level two, supposedly only sec’nd ta the emperor ‘imself.” she then added. “She’s a Knight, by the way. Along side General Appolomon. I heard DarkKnightmon’s given ’em strict Chess Master orders to not leave the King an’ Queen’s side at th’ Castle. Not even if the strategy ‘es playin’ depends on ’em movin’. ‘Course Trompeaurmon’s only lettin’ ‘im order ‘er around as ‘master’ ’cause her plan depends on you fightin’ DarkKnightmon in th’ Chess battle one on one- to th’ death, I think.”

More critical info- the location of Trompeaurmon’s badge.

This would have played a role in Cascade Side A had I not changed the flow of the story.

“What the hell?” Hephaestus asked, taken back by that comment.

“‘Cause the Emperor’s backstabbin’ ‘is brother ‘fore he backstabs ‘im.”

“Did you just sayBROTHER?” Another surprised outburst from the Denizen.

“Why are you telling us this?” Taiki countered, ignoring the surprising revelations being laid out here.

“‘Cause…” she paused a moment. “Appolomon told me he wanted me ta join you an’ Olegmon when ya came through. An’ considerin’ that since ‘es been actin’ strange ever since Trompeaurmon rolled inta town, I’ve been considerin’ jumpin’ ship anyways.”

“I see.” Taiki nodded.

“Can I just reiterate.” Hephaestus interjected. “BROTHER ! ! ?”

And finally- the last piece of info needed to help ruin the Dork’s plans.

GREEN CASTLE_ _ _|

Trompeaurmon watched with glee as the two dots flying across from the red Castle landed at the central island. “And so the trap is set…” She turned to face the others… a Ninja Tsuwamon being King, and DarkKnightmon’s ‘pet Cetus’ as queen. “You two just stay seated and it’ll all go swimmingly.”

The blond haired girl in the Queen’s throne scowled. “Just because you are DarkKnightmon’s superior does not make you ours.” Cetus said before switching to Kotone. “We won’t hesitate to leave this castle if our lives are threatened.”

“This is your plan.” The Tsuwamon replied. “Not ours. We should be the ones to decide whether or not our lives should be the ones at stake.”

“You won’t have to worry about that.” Trompeaurmon smirked. “They won’t be able to get out of the starting gate with what I have up my sleeve.”

Tsuwamon and Kotone end up being the King and Queen on side Green.

COMMAND CENTER ISLAND_ _ _|

The hallways echoed as horse shoes and sneakers trotted down the empty hallways of the formerly occupied Bagura outpost. After a an excruciating minute of echoing silence, they reached the door leading into the main communication’s chamber.

“An’ this is where Ah get off.” The Pegasusmon said with a trace of finality. “I’ll be seein’ you back at th’ castle, Ah hope?”

“We’ll see how things go here, first.” Taiki replied before pushing the doors open, and taking a step into the dark room beyond. As he walked into the room, the doors began to close behind him… leaving the room completely in the black once they closed with a thud.

I suppose I should mention it now- this whole chess match was meant to foreshadow the whole of the Seven Swords act.

Every move played in Bright land would be mirrored in the over-all plot to some degree.

There was a click, and a hum…

And then the Lights in the room turned on with the classic flicker of Fluorescent lamps, revealing the single imager table in the center of the room with two comfy looking chairs on either side…in one of which sat DarkKnightmon.

“So…” he lamented. “You’re the one who came.” he leaned back a little and smirked at the boy. “I was expecting Nene or Kiriha…but you will do just as well.”

“You’ve changed.” Taiki noted, as the whole facial expressions and body structure of his opponent had indeed changed over the last six months since their last encounter.

“A near-death at the hands of a drill wielding DigiXros will do that to a person.” the smirk flattened out.

DarkKnightmon’s got a visibly changing face now, I should remind you.

Taiki’s actually joking- considering they met last in Honey Land. AKA: I COMPLETELY SPACED ON HONEY LAND’S ENCOUNTER.

“I’m not even going to ask how you survived it, by the way.” And so the Boy general took a few steps towards the imager table. “Just out of common courtesy, you know?” he smiled in friendly way. “So this is our board?”

“A symbolic representation of everything that will be going on in today’s…match up.” DarkKnightmon chuckled. “Please, take a seat.”

It’s a holographic representation of the whole Land.

With no reply in mind, Taiki pulled the chair out, sat down, and pulled it back towards the table. “What rules are we playing by?” he asked once he got comfortable.

“Standard, I would assume, for Live Action play.” DarkKnightmon smirked slightly.

“So that’s English Standard?” Taiki asked. “Or Skaian Standard?”

“Uh…” DarkKnightmon blinked. “English?” He honestly had no clue what the boy was talking about. This was all brand new to him. Applying chess rules to living beings. Were there actually rules to these things?

Taiki’s screwing with the Dork- but this is IMPORTANT TO THE PLOT screwing!! Taiki is setting up for a CALIBORN style chess match! (The Red/Green color scheme wasn’t JUST for laughs. It, too, is another shout out- though this time more subtle) And with DarkKnightmon agreeing to an ENGLISH style chess match rather than A Skaian one, he’s basically agreed to let Taiki pull off the moves he’s already planned ahead for.

“Great!” Taiki grinned. “I never was all that great at the Skaian Standard. Too many pieces on the board, always re-spawning. And, come on… Regisurping? Really? Mad I tell you…” a shake of his head. “Absolutely mad!” there was a wild grin on his face as if he’d experienced the actual thing.

“Sure.” DarkKnightmon nodded, pretending to understand. “Shall we begin now?”

“Sure…Uh…” Taiki paused. “But does the King go on the right or the left?”

“What?”

“I always forget.” Taiki explained. “Is it the right or the left?”

“I don’t believe it matters.” DarkKnightmon shrugged. “Let’s just go with whatever the table generates.”

“Ah, Okay. That makes sense.”

Taiki isn’t fighting DarkKnightmon physically- he’s doing it Mentally!

Taiki’s fighting two chess games at once- a mental one, and a physical one.

Taiki is sewing the seeds of King/Queen placement into DarkKnightmon’s mind here!

The table rendered the game pieces, half red, half green, each representing the ID tracker embedded in each of the badges and crowns for the game pieces. They weren’t very unique beyond that distinction, however. Many of the Higher pieces looked identical at first glance, only varying in subtle surface designs that you had to squint at to notice.

There was a randomly generated coin toss…

It was a simple opening, Green went first.

“Pawn Five, head one square ahead.” DarkKnightmon ordered through the com. system.

“Terezie, mirror that move.” Taiki ordered in return.

Each loud speaker from the earlier transmission relayed those orders to the entire Battlefield. Everyone heard the given moves being called out.

This is more of the Deception that this game is built upon- the game board does not distinguish between the pieces very easily!

Due to the absurd size of the real life board, even when abusing flight powers, only fifteen minutes had passed before any of the pieces from either side encountered the other.

The encounter?

Green Rook vs. Red Knight.


“SHISHI SENPU KYAKU!”

GrapLeomon dove towards his target with the gears on his legs spinning rapidly…

“BESERK SWORDS!”

Knightmon’s metal blades came up to block the foot barring down upon him.

There was a crack, and a crash, and then GrapLeomon went flying backwards as Knightmon swung his swords outwards with a cry of “KNIGHTO!”

Remember how Knightmon is one of the ones on the opening sequence “Death Card”?

Moments later, not too far ahead of them, the second encounter began: Green Vs. Red: Pawns.


“SWORD DANCER!” The Gladimon roared as they dove forward, jabbing their fencing swords at the PawnChessmon, who readily blocked the sword strikes with their shields.

“IS that all you’ve GOT!” ProblemChessmon roared at the Gladimon across from him. “Come on! That’s WEAK compared to some Scorpiomon I’ve had to fight!” He shoved the Gladimon backwards, and then brought his spear up. “PAWN PENETRATE!”

shick


And a green pawn dissolved away into holographic data.

“Hmm…The first casualty.” DarkKnightmon mused. “Interesting that.”

“Well…” Taiki frowned, looking at the board as the pieces in battle began dancing around each-other of their own accord. “I do believe we’ve just stumbled upon the first disadvantage of a live chess game… The pieces are moving all on their own.” Taiki sighed as three of his pieces began soaring across the field of their own accord at speeds well beyond what they normally should have. “Just look at that. That’s got to be some kind of broken scanner or something.”

It’s a Transportalizer.

“Hm, Those ones probably found a Transportalizer.” DarkKnightmon replied. “I tried to filter them out, but the creator of the board insisted they remain in place.”

“About that…” Taiki began. “Who made this Hell’s Field anyways?”

“Ah…That would be…” DarkKnightmon seemed uncomfortable. “Someone from the Empire. Name escapes me.”

“Wouldn’t happen to be someone called Trompeaurmon, would it?” he dropped the name so casually that DarkKnightmon wondered for a moment if she wasn’t a spy working for Xros Heart.

Exactly what Taiki was hoping for.

“‘Cause, See, once we found out there was a field here, Sally immediately jumped on this subject of this girl who used to be in the lab she escape from who had this fetish for bigger on the inside than on the outside things.” Taiki rambled, which instantly began to ease his fearful thoughts. “Chess too. Loves the whole game, apparently. So I was wondering if it was just a coincidence that here we are, playing chess, inside a giant ‘bigger on the inside’ field.”

Taiki’s unintentionally playing on DarkKnightmon’s own fears.

He’s just making stuff up at random, really.

“Well…Yes.” DarkKnightmon nodded after a moment. “It was a girl named Trompeaurmon. Lord Baguramon sent her over for no good reason. Apparently she’s the ‘real’ general of Cyber Land. Why nobody informed me of this I don’t know.”

“Hmm, guess that explains why Splashmon was so easy to beat then!” Taiki shrugged. “Oh well, it’s not like we’re gunning for 100% completion or anything.” There was a beep from the board as another Green Pawn died. “But back to the issue at hand, I suppose we could let the game play its course now, and only give nudges where necessary?”

DarkKnightmon does NOT realize that Taiki’s playing him.

“That sounds reasonable.” DarkKnightmon nodded. “Especially considering that- Oh, look. It appears that my Knight is about to confront two of your pieces…” he frowned. “Which are those again?”

Taiki shrugged. “Beats me. I’m not going to strain my eyes to check.”

“Hm. I guess that’s another problem with this quickly set up system.” DarkKnightmon mused aloud. “I’ll have to bring it up with whoever programmed this game when I get back…”

More friendly conversations between enemies.

Except it’s NOT.

Taiki’s giving off an air of aloofness, DarkKnightmon’s just uncomfortable.

“FIVE VICTORIZE!”

Xros Five let loose a V shaped wave of fire towards the opponent in question- A God Man Olympian named Marsmon.

“CORONA SANCTIONS!”

He threw a whole burst of fire towards the attack to counter it.

“You’re a feisty one, aren’t you!” He snarled. “But isn’t DigiXrossing against the rules?”

“Not really!” Xros Five replied, with Akari’s voice. “Considering that we were given the chance to wear armor, I just decided to go with a set that’s more natural to our abilities!”

“Got that right!” Revolomon roared as hurriedly scrolled through Xros Loader options from nearby. “Armor’s armor- just gotta go with what works right!”

They’re not cheating, technically! A Digi-Xros is just another form of armor wearing!

Another Green Pawn was vaporized.

“My Gladimon don’t seem to be very effective, do they?” DarkKnightmon lamented.

“I think my PawnChessmon have the advantage in terms of training.” Taiki mused. “They were professional guards when I found them. What about yours?”

“They were some half-witted security-want-to-be-guards for Bright Land’s sewer system.” DarkKnightmon replied. “I doubt they got out much.”

Thus why the Green Pawns have gone down so easily.

“Hm, Probably not…” Taiki mused for a moment. “Say, where are Kotone and that Tsuwamon you were traveling with? They escaped from our custody back in Honey Land, I was wondering if you ever caught up with them again.”

“Hm?” DarkKnightmon blinked, too caught up in watching the match unfold before him to really question the question. “They’re my King and Queen, respectively by gender.”

‘That’s confirmed, at least.’ Hephaestus thought to the boy general.

‘Now for phase two.’ Taiki nodded in reply, though he offset it by saying aloud: “Yeah, I can see why You’d do that. But how do you know which one is which?”

“What?” DarkKnightmon looked up.

“The crowns.” Taiki clarified. “I mean, they’re different enough physically, but I can’t really tell by this hologram which is which. And then there’s the whole king/queen left/right confusion…”

“Oh yes, that.” DarkKnightmon frowned as he looked at the board. “I’m actually not sure which one *is* my King, now that you mention it.” He scowled. “These pieces really are too much alike.”

“Simple way to check?” Taiki smiled at his opponent.

This is the most IMPORTANT thing of all! Taiki is playing up the King/Queen placement confusion for all it’s worth!!

Over the speakers, two commands came out at once.

“Green Queen: One Step Right.”

“Red Queen, One step Right as well, please?”

Kotone raised an eyebrow at Tsuwamon, but did as she was told.

“Thank you.” Taiki said in reply to his Queen piece, though it could be assumed that he was talking to everyone.

Trompeaurmon scowled. “What the hell are they going on about now?”

She didn’t have much time to lament on this…as a few precious seconds later…

“GIGA DESTROYER!”

The entire front side of the castle exploded as Appolomon was ejected from the lower floors much TOO violently, causing the entire building to shake and tremble as MetalGureimon soared out through the newly made exit and prepare to rain down another burst of death and fire upon the hapless Death General.

GIGA DESTROYER! — As with the canon Anime, we’re meant to think that KIRIHA is leading the charge against the Green Tower.

“Hm?” DarkKnightmon did a double take. “Well, would you look at that. That transportalizer we both ignored somehow wound up back to my own castle.”

“Well, I couldn’t have planed that any better if I’d tried.” Taiki chuckled. “Good thing you left more than your King and Queen there!”

“Indeed it is!” DarkKnightmon also chuckled. “But look, you seem to have left yours open!”

“They’re not exactly defenseless, however.” Taiki smirked. “You’d be surprised what you can pull off by wearing just the right armor.”

Armor- again, here’s the thing about ARMOR.

Meanwhile, in the red castle… Another GrapLeomon sneaked quietly up the stairs leading to the throne room…

He pulled himself just outside of the view of the throne room, and peeked inside…

The boy was standing just to the side of his throne, the girl remained seated in hers. They were both discussing something.

“Well to be fair.” The girl said. “I don’t think that time is all that cracked up to what we thought it was… Especially considering we’re going to have to stop something from happening in a year from now, just to make sure time and space remains stable.”

“A year? Might as well be two at the rate this battle’s going.” The boy lamented as he fiddled with the buttons on his yellow shirt- matching his hair. Lame, the Leomon thought. “Seriously, how long has it been going on for now? An hour? And all we’ve taken are Pawns! It’s a stalemate beyond that.”

“Pawns can be useful, though.” The girl noted. “Fun fact: If a pawn makes it to the other side of the board, it can become a queen.”

“I doubt any of our pawns are going to get the chance though.”

‘Think leomon, think.’ GrapLeomon scowled as he racked his memories. ‘What did Trompeaurmon say about their clothing again? The boy with the yellow shirt only used a hammer scythe as a weapon… Right!’ he smirked. ‘I can kill him easily. No attack powers as long as he doesn’t have that scythe. At all. Hah. Perfect.’

The gears on his arm began to rev up…

GrapLeomon is indeed making the assumption that it is YUU as the King piece- making the standard stereotype of gender roles the ‘norm’ in his head when it SHOULD be obvious what’s going on here.

The Boy is standing- the Girl is sitting.

A mud covered boot stomped on the top stair of the stair well leading up towards the Throne room of the Green Castle. Gloved hands clenched slightly as their jacked clad shoulders rolled a little to release their tension… Trompeaurmon had her back turned, watching MetalGureimon wail away upon Appolomon with missiles and energy blasts…

This is Kiriha’s boot, and gloves, and jacket.

We’re meant to think- again- this is KIRIHA!

And the last of the Green Pawns died away.


“Whewf.” ProblemChessmon fell back to lean against FluteChessmon for support. “That was a toughie.”

“Tell me about it…” Flute sighed in relief. “We won this one…!”

“Guys…” Reena growled. “Look up.”

Strider growled as well. “Looks like we’re not done yet. What is that, some overgrown Zudomon?”

“It’s a Marsmon.” Terezie said with some tint of fear coating her voice. “How the hell are we supposed to take on a Marsmon? We’re just PAWNS!”

Indeed, above them was the last remaining piece of the Green board- Another Marsmon. And he looked all too pleased at seeing the hapless pawns beneath him.

“Like lambs to the slaughter.” he smirked.

The PawnChessmon are in TROUBLE NOW!

Taiki simply matched DarkKnightmon’s growing smirk with one of his own.

TO BE CONTINUED.

NEXT TIME!

“Just who the hell do you think you are?”

“My name is Trompeaurmon! And *I* am Baguramon’s DAUGHTER!”

“Kudo Taiki…Just what are you playing at here?”

“OMEGASHOUTMON!”

“ZEKEGUREIMON!”

“DOUBLE XROS!”

“DIE HUMAN! DIE!”

“Next time: Digimon Xros Wars Seven Swords! Bright Desire! DarkKnightmon’s Checkmate move!”

“I won’t turn my back on you!”

The Next Episode Title is deceptive, like everything else in this episode.

It’s meant to make us think that DarkKnightmon’s going to Checkmate the Red Side of the board.

But what does this really mean??

 

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