XROS WARS AU 02 — CH54

We begin Chapter FIFTY FOUR with BACKSTORY!

Also, before we begin, I’d like to apologize for the long delay in this and the last post. I’ve been busy, and lazy, and there is no other excuse for it.

Here we goooo…

*Cue TITLE THEME*

“INTERMISSION 2C. Future Hero! Past Heroics!”

This title was a lame attempt at adhering to a naming scheme.

THE DIGITAL WORLD_ _ _| TWO MONTHS AFTER “CASCADE” INCIDENT_ _ _| XROS FLARE CASTLE_ _ _| FOREST COUNTRY_ _ _|

Examon and BlackWarGreymon soared through the skies, over-seeing the land for any dangers that might present themselves. The Digital World had reunited into a single sphere once more, but had been ‘zoned’ into distinct countries for sake of convenience when it came to referring to a particular section of the world. Many Digimon still referred to their homes by Zone names, as they could think of those areas as anything but what their Zone had originally been.

But, on a larger scale, Digimon had began mapping the Zones together into “Countries,” usually via a single theme that their Zone and it’s neighbors shared in common. Lake Zone, Shinobi Zone, Heaven Zone, and Jungle Zone had been clustered into “Forest Country,” due to each of them containing forests of some kind, and had been put next to each other when the world had re-structured.

Green Zone was on the very edge of this “Country,” due to being mostly plains and having only a small portion of it being forest. In fact, because it shared traits common to the “Country” just next to it- Prairie Country- Green Zone was considered to be a dual-country Zone. But, considering that the whole Digital World was being ruled by a single King and Queen, and was balanced by two Denizens, nobody really thought much of the disputes this shared Zone might have normally have caused.

This is explanation about what the Digital World has become under Shoutmon’s rule, since we didn’t see much of it in canon Hunters, or any of it, I decided to get that out of the way right before we began that arc.

And speaking of that King…

The two Oblivion Knights soared over the forest and into a lake filled clearing, at the center of which was a massive castle, freshly renovated and expanded from the damage dealt during the Bagura Invasion of Lake Zone, mounted with the banner of the Xros Heart United Army.

This Castle had become the new capital of the Digital World, and… floating just in front of it was MailBirdramon, on the Blue Flare Army, and on his back was none-other than King Shoutmon himself. His arms were crossed over his chest, and the stern look in his eyes indicated that he was impatiently waiting for them.

BlackWarGreymon and Examon shared uneasy glances with each other. What did the King have to say to them that was so important it couldn’t wait for them to deliver their report to him personally inside the throne room?

BlackWarGreymon and Examon- members of the Oblivion Knights- are summoned by their King, Shoutmon.

MailBirdramon’s sort of become his personal ride when he needs to float in the air dramatically on something. The Bird doesn’t mind. It’s a paying job, at least! And it lets him read lots of books when time permits.

“I’ve got two questions for you.” He demanded of them, with a rather reasonable tone, as they walked through the open fields, around the many lakes around them. “Tell me how your group was formed, and why you eventually destroyed the Code Crown, breaking up the Digital World. And I want the truth- everything Omegamon left out of his ‘report’ back when he applied your group for Knight Service.”

“Why ask us?” Examon asked. “There are others in the group that were around longer than we were.”

“Leviamon would know more about it than I do, Sir.” BlackWarGreymon began. “And your queen is closer friends with him than we are.”

“I’m keeping this low key.” Shoutmon said after a moment of consideration. “I’d appreciate it if you’d not tell anyone I’m asking about this.”

“You honestly want us to tell you everything?” Examon asked.

“Yes.” The King replied flatly.

“Um…Okay?” BlackWarGreymon blinked, then shrugged at Examon. “If you say so?”

Shoutmon is digging into the past here- the Knights have such a confusing backstory that I had to do this part of the Intermission on them to clarify what they actually were. Also, I was asked about them in a Review at around the time I was writing this chapter, and so here it is.

YEARS IN THE PAST_ _ _| BUT NOT MANY_ _ _|

“About thirty years ago, there was a gang running through the Digital World. They were nice folk, generally, keeping the peace in the towns under their protection from those who would seek to cause trouble.” Examon began. “But they were ruthless against those who went against their ways.”

A group of Ogermon were sent running by a rampaging Leomon and his associate, a Snimon.

So what can I possible say about them that makes such a multiple choice past so important?

The Knights have their roots as Mobsters!

“This gang was ruled by a devious Digimon, by the name of Vitramon. He personally made sure that the world under his control was safe from outsiders.” Examon continued.

The Vitramon leader roared as he threw a storm of fire at an Astamon, who ducked for cover behind a nearby wall.

“Omegamon, Leviamon, and Gallantmon, the brother of our knight’s Guilmon, were digimon who worked in this gang at that point.” BlackWarGreymon began. “They were kids at the time, and were brought in under the pretense of helping to protect their towns…”

That’s why.

A Gabumon, Dracmon, and Guilmon plotted in secret behind closed doors, each of them agreeing to their plan with silent nods.

“But as they grew older, they realized that the Vitramon leading them was falling prey to the problems that came with leadership: Corruption.” She sighed. “They over took the gang from the inside out, disposed the dragon, and then disbanded it, taking in those who would follow them into their own new group, which eventually became the Knights group today.”

The trio stood triumphant over the disposed Vitramon, who looked rightfully afraid for his life by the three children who had somehow achieved strength well beyond their years and stature.

…Eyup. The Knights came about by overthrowing their Mobster leader, and took over control of it.

THE PRESENT_ _ _|

“Omegamon didn’t mention this part.” Shoutmon frowned. “I can see why he wouldn’t, though.”

“They protected the world in secret after a short time.” Examon said. “Public support of them saw the three of them as power hungry fools. Recruiting was a secretive thing.”

“We were pulled in straight out of college.” BlackWarGreymon said with a bit of reserve. “Examon and I deciphered an undecipherable code from some ruins, and we were recruited for our work.”

“Recruited huh?” Shoutmon said with a raised eyebrow. “Makes it sound like Omegamon basically just made the group go to mafia mode from gang mode.”

“It’s part of the reason why he never went forward with the reveal that we were the ones that destroyed the Code Crown.” Examon said. “It would involve revealing the groups past, and would make things look bad for all of us, especially those who joined after the fact.”

“Okay…That’s one question answered.” Shoutmon nodded. “Now what about the Code Crown?”

“Hagashi Kanagi…” Examon said with a sigh. “The only human to ever join our group.”

And you thought that Atbash Cypher thing I came up with was just a joke! ūüėõ

“He came from the Human world during the few years that the connection between them was open.” Examon continued. “An adventurer by trade, he sought to explore the ruins left behind by Milleniumnmon’s rampage across the world.”

The man, clad in adventurer’s gear, shoved his way past a locked door.

“As fate would have it, he chose to begin with the Code Crown’s hiding place, although no-one knew it at the time.” Examon said with some sorrow.

The golden, shimmering form of the Code Crown radiated above the man, Kanagi.

“The Digital World was flung into chaos soon after that,” BlackWarGreymon picked up from where he left off. “Our group was alerted to it, and we instantly begun hunting for the Code Crown- then in Kanagi’s possession.”

The Code Crown was stolen- repeatedly- from each new owner’s hands only days after the last theft.

“Kanagi had lost the Code Crown shortly before we got there, and when we confronted him, he begged us to let him help fix his mistake.” BlackWarGreymon continued. “Omegamon let him, and over the next few days, we all hunted down the Code Crown as it changed owners as many times

as could be thought possible, and then some.”

There was an explosion, and Gallantmon stepped through the ruined doorway, lance at the ready to attack anyone who might be on the other side. Suddenly, a scarab like Digimon- mutated by the Code Crown itself- leaped at him, claws at the ready.

“Gallantmon died retrieving the Code Crown.” Examon said quietly. “And it was through his death that we were motivated to using the Beat Mesa in Dust Zone to destroy the object.”

Thus- the story of the Code Crown Scratching is complete… Or Is It?

“Everything got a bit unstable during the scratching.” BlackWarGreymon said with a bit of an apology. “The Digital World shattered, some things got forgotten, others misplaced…” she frowned beneath her helmet. “It was only twelve years ago, but everyone else says it was twenty? Or thirty? Ten? And then there’s the fact that the whole human world forgot about the Digital World, I don’t know why-”

“It’s alright.” Shoutmon said, raising a hand to stop her. “I’ve heard the rest of¬†that¬†story.” And with that he turned to leave, without another word.

“King Shoutmon.” Examon spoke up.

“Yeah?” Shoutmon stopped for a moment.

“What are you investigating, exactly?”

“Did you ever notice anything different about that Kanagi guy?” Shoutmon asked.

“He did seem fidgety after encountering the Code Crown.” BlackWarGreymon said. “But he seemed…peaceful when the thing started to break.”

“Like he’d realized it was the end of him?” Shoutmon asked.

“Yeah.” She nodded.

“Why do you think he didn’t get turned into a Digi-Memory?” Shoutmon asked once more. “You all were. Shouldn’t he have?”

The two Knights were taken back by that, but before they could reply, their King sauntered off into the forest, leaving them to their thoughts.

Food for thought.

*/GLaDOS*

GREEN ZONE_ _ _| THE VILLAGE OF SMILES_ _ _| OLD HINOMOTO RESIDENCE_ _ _| SEVERAL HOURS LATER_ _ _|

Babamon strolled into the bedroom that the trio of kids had once shared before their adventures across the world began, and found the very one who had returned for some strange reason. “Don’t you have a kingdom to run?” She asked quietly.

“Shouldn’t a King do what’s needed to ensure his kingdom is safe?” Shoutmon replied without looking up from the hefty photo album he held in his lap.

“I don’t see how a Photo book is going to help with that.” The old woman chuckled.

“I know Jijimon lied to us all about Akari’s parents.” Shoutmon said without a trace of anger as he turned a page. “How they weren’t leaders of an expedition to the Digital World.”

“Do you now?” Babamon frowned. “How weren’t they?”

“Taiki’s had me looking into something.” Shoutmon finally looked up. “He found that there was something¬†wrongwith Earth, at it’s very foundation.”

“Really?” Babamon inquired. “And what’s that?”

“It’s a Paradox.” He replied as he held the book up, tapping a finger at a particular picture. “This Xros Loader.”

The very root of the problem- more backstory inconsistencies~ Shoutmon is confronting all of the plot screwups I made, and thus correcting them as he goes.

“Hm?” Babamon walked up to look at the picture. It was of a very young Akari and Shoutmon, both hands held high, gripping tightly around the Red Xros Loader. “How so?”

“The Original Xros Loader was made by Hephaestus.” Shoutmon said. “It was gold, and he only made one. The digital world started to spawn it’s own Loaders after that, though, somehow.”

“Not a paradox, then.” the village chief’s wife said with a chuckle.

“But you see, the Xros Loaders remember their day of birth, this red one? It isn’t until next year.” Shoutmon explained as he pulled the book back and began searching the pictures again. “The only way that’s possible is if this Xros Loader was made after the others were, yet somehow before it.”

Babamon seemed uncomfortable. “What are you getting at, boy?”

“Tell me, Babamon.”He looked up, eyes narrowed. “Would you really have the guts to lie to someone who’s died and come back to life?”

“I was bossing you around before you were walking on your own too feet!” She poked a finger into his chest. “I can keep a secret if it means keeping you safe from things.”

Shoutmon’s not getting away with being a King. The old woman can still boss him around, it seems.

“You took out the pictures of Akari’s parents, Babamon.” Shoutmon scowled as his hands came to rest on another blank spot on the book’s pages. “After we left, you came and removed them. Why? Did her parents ask you to remove them to keep Akari from remembering what they looked like?”

Babamon didn’t reply.

“She can’t remember what her own parents look like, Babamon.” Shoutmon said with a slight snarl. “After what happened in Dust Zone, she lost all of her memories of their faces, what they looked like. She barely remembers them, beyond some wild, random fleeting things like the lyrics to a song or the punchline to some forgotten joke.” he narrowed his eyes even more. “Nobody deserves that, especially when the few pictures she had of them mysteriously went missing.”

Oh- remember how Akari forgot her parents? She still doesn’t remember.

“I can’t comment on that-” She turned to leave, arms crossed.

“I’m giving you an order as your¬†King.”¬†Shoutmon said, voice deepening quite a bit- so much so it made the elder jump just a bit.

This…Oh boy this is fun.

It’s the beginning of Shoutmon’s Three Word Oaths, or rather…. Skryim’s Dragon Shout system. :33

¬†“I Know Akari’s parents were time travelers. I know they didn’t come from the Earth before the Code Crown shattered.” He put the book to the side and stood up. “Tactimon was more honest about all of this than you’re being, Babamon. I want you to tell me how they came to live in this village, and anything they might have told you about where they came from. But most of all, I want those pictures¬†back.¬†Not for me. But for Akari. She deserves to remember what her own parents look like.”

The old woman glanced over her shoulder a bit… “Ohh…” She sighed and turned around. “Look at you, the kid claiming to be one day become King now one!” she smiled at him.

“Don’t patronize me!” the scowl on his face deepened.

“Follow me.” she turned for the door.

Shoutmon’s doing all of this so Akari can remember. Isn’t that sweet of him?

Babamon lead him down the familiar streets towards the central building that she and Jijimon lived in, as elders of the village. As they walked, people all over stopped and pointed at their friend turned King; most waved, some whispered in awe, a few cheered- but they all smiled in thanks.

For the moment, he just nodded in return to each greeting. He’d talk to them all later.

They entered the building and climbed those familiar steps that, not too long ago, Taiki himself had climbed after arriving in the Digital World.

They reached that same landing floor that he had stopped at so many times before, only now brightened with the light of a mid-day sun, as opposed to the night sky of the last time he had been here. She lead him past the desks and tables towards another staircase, hidden behind some recently grown hanging vines… and up they went again.

The XWAU02 version of SAO’s revisiting of the First Floor Starting Town and discovering a massive dungeon underneath the city.

The top most floor was a small metal plate, surrounded by glass walls and hanging plants- at the far edge of the small floor was a treasure chest- similar to the ones in Bright Land- marked with the-

“What the hell.” Shoutmon stared at the Victory King: Time Seven insignia, made up of the same seven symbols that came from their evolved forms, etched onto the lid of the chest.

“Akari’s father drew that symbol for this chest.” Babamon said quietly as she moved to unlock the chest. “I had no clue what it meant until both worlds Digi-Xrossed together and they flashed into the sky. Funny, isn’t it?”

“It’s a bit more than that.” Shoutmon said quietly. “What did he say about it?”

Why that’s quite funny, indeed!

“Nothing, actually.” She laughed as she pushed the lid open. “He just laughed and said it was some ‘meaningless scribble meant to look cool.’ Oh, that man… I didn’t buy it for a minute, but that’s what we went with.” She lifted out a small box, marked with the number Sixty-Nine in gold leaf, and handed it to him. “This is where I kept the photos, just as he asked me to before he left on that suicide mission.”

“What’s this symbol for?” Shoutmon ran a finger over the golden inlay as he shifted the lid off partially. Immediately on the top lay a photograph of a man with redish-brown hair, his arm around a woman with very dark green hair (to the point of almost being black) and a baby with red hair held in her arms.

He slid the lid back on. Definitely the right set of photos.

“Never did say. He just put random symbols on a bunch of different things.” Babamon chuckled as she lifted out a thick green book that looked like it had golden print on its cover at one point, though now faded away. “Like this: Akari’s mother’s journal. Used to have some sort of winding path on it. I was told to keep hold of it when they left.” Shoutmon reached for it. “AND¬†to give it to Akari when the time was right.” she pulled it away. “And to give it Akari¬†only. It was written as a sort of a long letter, as far as I’m aware- I’ve never read it.”

BTW- the symbol on that book is the Leo symbol.

“Alright, I can get behind that.” He frowned. “But this doesn’t answer my questions.”

“Well…” As the old woman put the green book back, she pulled out a rather thick purple volume, with the same golden Sixty-Nine on the cover. “This book will.”

“Akari’s dad kept a journal?” Shoutmon raised an eyebrow.

“No.” She shook her head. “But a friend of his did- the same boy who brought you into our village. It’s been glued together on the sides though, I never could-”

He swiped the hefty book from her outstretched hand immediately, and much to her surprise, the book’s cover fell open in the process. “Glued huh?”

“Must have cracked?” She shrugged. “It’s never opened for me or Jijimon.”

“Hmm…” he looked to the first page.

“To the Future King of the Digital World,” It read. “Hello, Shoutmon.”

As you might be able to guess- Tactimon wrote this book.

ONE MONTH LATER_ _ _|

Shoutmon put the purple clad volume down onto the table along side the box of photos that he’d put there earlier during his retelling. “Most of everything that we ever wanted to know about the Digital world’s past is in here.” The golden Sixty-Nine on both box and book reflected the light from the over-head lamp seemingly in sync with each other. “Tactimon gave us a message in a bottle personally explaining everything about the Digital World over the last¬†Century, including the politics that lead to the Denizens becoming the pillars of the world.”

Everyone around the table stared at the tome in awe.

“So that’s what Typheus was ranting about the other day.” Nene whispered. “About how nobody should have known about his birthday?”

Neither of them told us about this.”¬†Echidna lamented.¬†“Did you ask them not to?”

“I had to be sure the info in this book was right first, once I confirmed most of it, I called this little meeting together so I could get the last of it confirmed.” Shoutmon said as he opened it and leafed through a few pages. “Hearing the story about that Clockmon, and the stuff about the frog-machine that made this world confirmed that it’s accurate to a T.”

And thus the truth behind the Intermission was revealed! Shoutmon was checking facts!

“And my parents?” Akari ventured. “Does he give any hints as to who they’re going to be?”

“Tactimon’s kept personal info about himself and your parents intentionally obscure.” Shoutmon rolled his eyes. “The bastard still manages to be an utter tool, even in writing.”

“But surely there’s something?” she leaned forward.

“All we know about them are these photos.” Shoutmon tapped the box lid. “The book’s a different story entirely. All he wrote after he got to the last twenty years were dates and times- each and every one marked with some vague notes about events in very bright red ink, all ending with…” Shoutmon shifted the book so that it rested on the last page. “A big fat X.”

Indeed, the last time listed on the end of the book was circled and then crossed out with a big, annoying, and redcross, followed immediately by the words.

“Good Luck.”

“Well.” Taiki said after a moment.

“That’s ominous.” Sally finished with a gulp.

Yes- this doesn’t look good for our heroes at all, does it?

END OF INTERMISSION 2.

START: ACT 3.

NEXT TIME!

“DIGIMON XROS WARS!”

“The Young Hunters that Leap Through Time!”

“It’s hard to believe it’s almost been a year already!”

“We can’t just stop now! We’re Xros Heart!”

“This will upset the balance of the game, boy.”

“It’s¬†NOT¬†a game!”

“Alright everyone, let’s get this train back on track!”

“HIGH FIVE!”

“You know, I don’t think you’re¬†just…”

“TIME SHIFT!”

“Marcus! What are you doing here?”

“Hey, it’s my job, remember?”

“You’re walking a¬†very¬†fine line, Kudo, Taiki-kun.”

“Don’t turn your back…?”

“TAIKI!”

“OI,¬†PINKY! My name is¬†NOT¬†Goggle-brain!”

“Yeah? What is it then?”

“It’s AKASHI! Akashi, Tagiru!”

“I think it’s about time that we…ended¬†this charade.”

“Next time: Digimon Xros Wars!”

“We Are: DIGIMON HUNTERS!”

“I’ll catch you this time for sure!”

A rather…LONG next time segment.

ONE WEEK AFTER “CASCADE” INCIDENT_ _ _| TOKYO HARBOR_ _ _| THE¬†GOOD FRIDAY_ _ _|

Appolomon yawned as he steped out onto the deck, and took in his surroundings. Bagura troops, all of whom were restrained in some way, were being loaded onto the boat, and taken down into the decks below. “Huh?” He blinked. Hadn’t he just been in Bright Land fighting against…?

“Appolomon! You’re up!” Olegmon grinned as he stomped over to his fellow General. “Looks like someone’s winning the bet after all!”

“What bet?” Appolomon blinked, rapidly becoming confused.

“The one we were running to see how long it took you to wake up!” Spadamon grinned from nearby. “I had my bet on a month long coma.”

“What?” The Solar Death General did a double take. “What do you mean a coma!?”

“Well.” Olegmon grinned at the ‘mon. “When you didn’t wake up when Taiki dragged both worlds into a brand new dimension, we just kind of…wanted to see how long it took you to actually wake up.”

“You’ve been out for a week, Mister!” Lunamon cackled with delight. “I win!”

“A…A Week…?” Appolomon stared at the world around him. “Wh…How…?”

“Shoutmon punches harder than he thinks he does.” Spadamon chuckled. “And he rightly should, being the crowned King of the Digital World.”

“KING!?” Appolomon’s eyes widened to the size of frying pans.

Olegmon put an arm around the stunned Death General’s arm and laughed. “You, my friend, have a lot to catch up on.”

Heh. This segment is just another bookend to the pile.

Lunamon wins the bet. I think her dreams helped out in that respect.

And so the Intermission ends. It’s a short one, but it counts for a lot.

And so we enter the Hunters Arc- AKA: Act 3.

To quote an old TV show few probably remember:

“It all started with an orange basketball.”

But….Where it ends…?

Oh where it ends is so very, very special.

…It doesn’t.

/AHAHAHAHMINEISANEVILLAUGH!

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