CHAPTER XVI

 

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“Cowards die many times before their deaths; 

The valiant never taste of death but once. 

Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,

It seems to me most strange that men should fear;

Seeing that death, a necessary end,

Will come when it will come…”

The  words echoed through the  store´s walls receiving no response but the gentle purrs of the sleeping cat.

“But I wonder ” added the shopkeeper , pensive while looking through the window”what Julius Caesar would say if he happened to be on my shoes…”

The only answer she received was a plain, a boring silence. It was a slow day at the usually packed Nakano Broadway shopping mall and Mirei Mikagura was bored as hell. It´s been hours since a client entered into her store and was falling asleep  on the counter, just like the cat which should be alleviating her boredom!

“Ugh! So Julius Caesar´s greatness means nothing but an extra dose of Valium?” annoyed, she pinched the cat´s ears “Wake up, you lazy!”

The cat ´s ears moved,  but kept immersed on her business: sleeping most of the day .

“Today I feel  philosophical and I DEMAND some public” protested the purple hair and glass eyed girl “And since today there were no customers so…” she kept   taunting  the pet  until the feline finally opened an eye “AHA! So you are still alive!”

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“Meow…..”  annoyed, the cat yawned and catloafed.

“Much better” smirked Mirei “You are my partner and one of your duties is bearing with my rantings, isn´t it?”

She received a nasty look from her beautiful, elegant white Siamese cat.

“Meooooow….”

“So?” Mirei ´s eyes sparkled, expecting something to happen.

The cat limited to began cleaning its butt, she wasn´t the least interested on engaging in a social meeting.

” You actually hate me, do you?!”

The pet continued doing her business.

“OK. I have to concede that. When I told you to act like a typical creature from this world, you certainly nailed it!”

“Meowwww”

“Aren´t you even interested in a tarot lecture?”

The cat shook her head several times, irritating her owner even more!

” How come, after all these years, you still lack interest in this stuff? especially when my predictions hold at least a 90% of accuracy?”

The feline opted to do what cats do when getting enough unwanted attention, jump from the counter and go to sleep  to the back shop!  Mirei´s face turned red.

“You are as ungrateful as the other ! Go to sleep to the LAB if you wanna, but if the other baka gets territorial it´ll be your fault!” Mirei yelled at the back door “And I wanted to recite some Shakespeare, you uncultured creature!!”

The 25ish girl sighed again, feeling completely deflated. It´s not like she was a 24/7 tarotist, the cards were nothing but a little hobby that actually helped relieve her stress caused by her REAL, permanent, and sometimes HELLISH  job. She enjoyed owning a tarot store in that part of Shinjuku , or like some people would call the new Akihabara (which Mirei found it quite uninteresting compared to other parts of Tokyo) ;everyday she would be greeted by several passerby customers, which the majority were in the mall mainly to swim into the manga, anime or ready to gamble their yens in the pachinko (which she found it boring as well). But that afternoon, oddly, nobody was interested in visiting her shop..neither the regular folks (which ranged from the neighboring stores ´s workers that usually would pester her on having their fortunes read up to the first-timers who heard about her from a friend´s friend and were desperate for some counseling)

“Peace, sucks”

Such was her declaration and began to randomly mix up her set of cards. Now that the networks from the places she´d been assisting in the last times were OK, she thought that it was about time dedicating some normality into her far from being normal lifestyle. No matter if she was in the alpha, beta or gamma fields…at the moment, she wasn´t needed. When it was war times, no matter where she is, her store always reeked of people. When the tide was tranquil, pristine, the fishes rarely came to the shore. And for her ego, that was plain insulting!

“You damned, ungrateful brats ” she ended hitting the table, foul humored”You could visit sometime! Without my help you would had pretty much fallen into OBLIVION!”

It was almost a fact that whatever reality she goes, she was doomed to deal with brats. And brattiness didn´t necessarily involve kids, that trait was actually ageless.

“Aiba, Nokia, Kamishiro,Sanada…” she began to enumerate “Taiga, Rindou,Petorofu…”  she kept mixing her cards “So many similarities, yet so many complications…still, I ´m glad I am not like the Boss…which by the way, could actually STAY IN TOUCH A BIT MORE OFTEN!!”

From all the people she knew, she was  pissed the most towards the ones who actually introduced her to her current lifestyle. Hey! She would had appreciated hugely seeing their faces a bit more often instead of being relegated to an oracle post, most of the time while THEY were having the REAL FUN. Besides, when they hanged around, they were pretty much in tune with her moods which was something RARE to find wherever the stage she had to act on.

“Waahhhh…I could go back and look for the thing and pester them myself…” she yawned “But I promised myself that I wouldn´t be THAT DESPERATE. When they call, THEN I AM SCOLDING THEM FOR BEING SUCH LOUSY SUPERIORS”

Suddenly a card fell from the bunch and Mirei , a tad surprised picked it up.

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“Mhh…when a random card gets away from the others, it´s certainly an omen” she semi closed her eyes, reflexive.”And I was thinking about those people so there must be something that I should be aware…?” when she turned around the card, her face showed a pretty concerned expression “Oh dear! That´s a lovely ONE. And it´s INVERTED”

Putting aside her initial irritation, Mirei ´s heart ached for them. That peculiar card meant  disruption and conflict. While those people pretty much like her,   used to deal with the abrupt and jarring movements caused by the unforeseen and traumatic events which are part of life…Mirei had the feeling that SOMETHING pretty nasty was about to knock their DOOR. Something that GRAVE that the EDEN and Vitium fiascos were a kiddie´s play.

“Screw their rules, I am joining their Sweet 16 party!” deciding that no customers would show up anyways, Mirei was ready to head to close the shop; but before she could do anything, the antique Chinese bell that was hanging next to the door, announced the arrival of new customers.

“Oh nice!” mumbled Mirei, not pleased at all. From all the hours of the cursed day, they would show up the very MINUTE she was closing?!  Forcing herself to smile (despite her murderous feeling of wanting to hit the intruders´s heads with a maze) she turned around and was greeted by a couple.

“Good afternoon, madame ” Mirei´s eyes opened wide, a Fabio had just entered into her store!  “Are you the  tarot reader from Nakano that so many people talk about…?”

She took her time to study that specimen. Extremely tall, long silver blonde hair (which was unfortunately tied in a ponytail), with an almost porcelain skin, the black Armani suit fitted his body like a glove. He looked like a foreign guy, that´s for sure. No nippon guy could be that grandiose unless he was a half. If only she could take a peek at his eyes, hidden by those Prada sunglasses…

“I…I… hope we weren´t too late” spoke his companion, swiftly “I was… so looking forward for a lecture…!”

Mirei ´s eyes then looked at the other person. A  plain , petite Mary Jane  (well, she more or less shared Meirei´s same stature but compared to HIM she was small) whose long black hair was devastatingly BORING (and that   fringe in the forehead didn´t help), and bless the hideous glasses that framed her fair meh face (were her eyes brownish or pink?)

“What if I say I was about to close?” remarked Mirei, not so swift.

“Oh! I´m so sorry! I´m sorry!”

Mikagura rolled her eyes.

Oh lovely! She´s the character that spoils most of the popular series! , such was the Sleuth´s Meister  appreciation, The shoujo, awkward-but-cute shy girl  from the countryside that tends to apologize for her mere  existence! Please! don´t tell me that Fabio is one of the fools who runs to her rescue every time she weeps…?

“Neah, it´s ok” it´s not that she was interested in Fabio but after a bloody, boring afternoon she could certainly enjoy a bishonen´s company for a while.

“See, Meiko-chan? I told you she was going to do it” his baritone voice sounded like a silver, pristine bell making Mirei´s heart beat with unusual excitement. She was one of the hardest persons to impress, actually, and never thought she would find someone as fascinating as her two ladies-in-waiting. Ok, now she was seriously beginning to consider her sexuality…

“Oh yes please!” Ok, the  girlfriend was officially annoying!

 

While Mirei was reading her set of cards, her eyes again looked at HIM. She could stare at that specimen for an eternity and not succumb to boredom! Was he a walking bag of pheromones or what?! After dealing with digimons most of her time…well, that pair of lazy bugs  could nap all what they wanted. She was gonna enjoy some eye-candy with Fabio-san.

“Ok, sweetie” she gave the girlfriend her deck “This is what you need to do…”

After a brief explanation, the girl called Meiko awkwardly shuffled her cards several times and at the eight shuffle, she almost let them fall to the floor.

“So…so..sorry!”she apologized profusely.

“It´s ok, relax dear” the handsome boyfriend kissed her on the cheek, making her blush even more! “It´s not like the cards are going to bite you!”

Nope, just the fortunteteller . How much will I be able to hold myself without slapping that twinkle-twinkle-little-star face ?

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The white cat , still sleepy, as soon as she trespassed the back door found herself inside a an avant-garde Laboratory that would make Tony Stark green of envy (but not as green as the Bruce Banner who in turn would turn into his other, twisted and mad-dog  other self in envy as well!). She looked around and not seeing anybody else, she happily jumped to the empty, comfy chair that was in front of the main computer.

“Hum…much, much better than the stinky old one from the shop!”

And she would had happily loosened herself in the sweet land of slumber when she narrowly avoided a furious claw directed at her face.

“THAT´S MY SPOT, YOU DAMNED PUSSYCAT!!!” meowed furiously a black, female cat.

“Like it´s signed with your ugly name” smirked the former one “Or let´s better say it in Portuguese: Quem foi pra Portugal deixou seu lugar

10 seconds later, the cats were engaged in a fierce , heated territorial fight!

“Screw the Portuguese, THIS is my TERRITORY!”

“This is also MY TERRITORY!”

“Well, I am  much better suited to be Mirei-sama´s partner than you!” hissed the black cat attacking mercilessly the other party

“NO.WAY” the white one wasn´t backing either! “I AM HER MOST LOYAL CONFIDANTE!”

“You must still be dreaming” suddenly the other cat turned into Ladydevimon “Since I am the CLOSEST to Mirei-sama´s heart!” and the way the female demon spoke, flaunting on purpose her sensual body irked the other party so much that she turned into Angewomon.

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“WE GOT A DEAL!” the blonde angel clenched her fists “REMEMBER?!”

“What deal, my dear enemy?”

Ladydevimon feigned ignorance.

Her tone irked Angewomon so much that she was ready to slap her sworn rival.  But managed to contain the impulse.

“You pretty damn know well what I´m talking about!”yelled the angel

Ladydevimon shrugged her arms, indifferent.

“Ah…THAT”

“Yes, THAT” retorted the angel of Light “And while I commend your contribution in the resolution of the last conflicts..I STILL DON´T TRUST IN YOUR INTENTIONS”

“Well! Guess what?” the female version of Devimon a wide, sarcastic smile “I DON´T TRUST IN YOURS EITHER!”

Their eyes sparkled dangerously, ready to summon the perfect storm inside the LABORATORY. That was the problem when a digidestined was granted TWO digimons instead of one. And the gods of Destiny had no better idea than granting Mirei Kimagura two polar opposites of a digimon: Angewomon and Ladydevimon. Naturally configured to be sworn enemies, in a normal environment they would ended fighting to death. None was particularly happy to learn about their new society but the motive of their rivalry ended turning into a more complex one!

“Don´t you think I haven´t noticed your antics “the dark fallen angel walked towards her rival and pointed at her metallic, golden chest plate “Compared to the other losers from other realities, THAT ´s way TINIER. Aren´t you ashamed to be THAT EXPOSED?”

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Angewomon finally replied with her trademarked slap!

“HOW DARE YOU ?!”

The other party, of course, did the same!

“No dear. How YOU dare! THAT´S PLAYING DIRTY!”

“I am the angel of Light! I don´t cheat!”

“Of course you do! ” Ladydevimon kept accusing the other party “I freaking know you better than anyone. When we turn into MASTEMON I can hear all your DISGUSTING THOUGHTS!”

“And you are the angel of CHASTITY?! I could pretty watch the cursed mental AVs of yours…and there´s no way I will let dear Mirei alone, at your mercy!”

“My feelings INDEED!!!!”

And they kept exchanging insults and kicks.

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There was the thing: Mirei Mikagura was a very special digidestineds and the female digimons certainly knew it; and it wasn´t all that surprising that each party ended falling hard for the human. But in order to carry on the missions assigned and not messing up, both the Angel of Light and the fallen Angel of Darkness agreed to lead a peaceful coexistence as long as none of them tried to OPENLY SEDUCE Mirei.(Be noted, not all the Angewomons are fated to fall for an Angemon or Ladydevimons for Devimons or the other way. Infinite realities, infinite stories thus infinite  possibilities when it´s about the Cupid´s business )  If the human actually happened to fall for one of them and FREELY choose to make that digital-partner her official girlfriend..well, the loser party would have no choice but to respect it. Easier said than done! Mirei , despite her occasional personality issues (although Mirei  never wanted to be tested, both parties suspected she may have a borderline identity disorder. But without any tests, they couldn´t be 100% sure) they were mad about her anyways!

Until now, neither party ´s subtle attempts worked so far. Mirei always treated them equally and seemed pretty unfazed towards her girls, despite them being a pair of flying pheromones!

When they were about to begin exchanging special effects, suddenly one of the desk´s drawers began to shine.

“Wait a minute!” said the duo at the same time, still pulling each other´s hair “What´s that?!”

It wasn´t a magic drawer. Something inside was awfully shining !

Declaring another silent truce, the feathered rivals nodded and opened the drawer.

“Holy! That´s Mirei´s old bracelet!” exclaimed Angewomon and slowly took it into her hands. As soon as she made contact with it, the computers switched on by themselves and both the bracelet and the screens projected Tempus Angemon and Nova Takariyama flocking through time and space. They were followed by an unknown, metallic winged angel carrying a young man in his arms.

“WHERE´S MIREI-SAN?” demanded to know Tempus Angemon

“OH MY!” both Angewomon and Ladydevimon ´s mouth opened wide, impressed.

“Come on!” declared Nova, impatient “WE HAVE NO TIME FOR PLEASANTRIES. We need to talk to Mirei Mikagura ASAP!”

“HEY!” replied Ladydevimon quite irritated “Who the hell do you think you are to BOSS US AROUND?!”

“I am the FRIKKIN´BOSS!” yelled Tempus Angemon´s partner, annoyed

“And Mikagura is a SUPREME” Tempus Angemon sober tone sent a chill to both female´s wings ” A being named Lucemon learned about NEXUS, girls. You, as Mastemon, know what am I talking about ” the male angel gritted his teeth, impatient “Look, someone TIPPED him about the holy place and already DESTROYED realities 06 and 08, and created a paradox in 03”

“IMPOSSIBLE!!!” yelled the pair, incredulous.

“And he is about about to screw up with at all the realities unless we STOP HIM. We need MIREI! ” the blonde digidestined ´s no nonsense tone shook both Angewomon and Ladydevimon´s cores “NOW!!!”

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Digiworld Reality 05.

Angemon entered the cave only to be greeted by a very concerned Baromon.

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“We have little time” said the guardian “Until THEY reach this place” and urged him to follow through the cave. It seemed darker than what the angel remembered.

“They?” asked the angel “Who are you referring to?”

“How much did Lady Ophanimon tell you, angel?” asked Baromon instead.

The angel looked at the digivices and tried to remember what else she said to him before ordering to leave Steel Town.

“Besides Minamoto and Kimura´s digivices”  began to say Angemon “And guarding their digiespirits…”

Ask Baromon about the 11th …

“That´s insane” muttered Angemon “Baromon, there were always 10 Legendary Warrior, weren´t they?”

Baromon abruptly stopped.

“Holiness!” his yells echoed through the emptiness “So in the end, the Holy 3 never forgot!”

The shaman digimon hurried even more, leading the angel to the same wall he once lead the digidestineds.

“It…changed?”  asked Angemon, incredulous. He´d been there once, a long time ago. The millennial engravings were there but among the Legendary Warriors there was a figure that he didn´t recall before.

“Neither the past nor the Future are set in stone” declared Baromon, smiling under his mask “Dear angel, when you get a grasp of Infinity, then you pass to learn that Time is nothing but a wonderful illusion” and despite being aware of the impeding danger, he chose to prolong a bit more his speech. It was important ” Everything is happening right now, no matter where you are…no matter which universe you belong. Forget about dates, forget about hours and forget everything you think you know. And thou shall not take anything for granted as us, characters, are being challenged to go against the rules of Destiny. Once and again, we are subjected to the very definition of conflict of times…”

Baromon´s words caused the figure to shine.

“A Millennium ago, Lucemon lost his way and threatened to destroy everything. His goal was to recreate Heaven from scratch, if that meant to annihilate every single soul …10 Legendary Warriors, representing both Order and Chaos, had to put aside their differences and worked together to bring down the deranged angel…” Angemon was  going to interrupt him, by saying that everybody already knew that “Not so fast, lad. What nobody remembers save for the Holy 3 and this humble Baromon…is the 11th Warrior”

“What kind of digimon was him?”

Baromon shook his head.

“Oh no, the 11th was a human being”

“WHAT?! YOU ARE KIDDING, RIGHT?!”

For all that Angemon knew no humans stepped in this world until Ophanimon summoned those kids a few years ago! Until that day, all kind of interactions with the parallel world known as Human world were prohibited due to an ancient law. Otherwise, it would unleash an endless wave of Chaos…But if Baromon was telling the truth, was Lucemon´s presence the very reason of breaking that holy rule?

“I am not. I´ve been there, witnessed the whole war. And I personally welcomed that child into our realm” the figure kept shinning, it was surrounded by a beautiful golden light “The legendary 10 needed an 11th or better called…the First Digidestined . Lad, just like in current events, in the past the warriors also needed an Intermediary..which could only be represented by a human!” the silhouette was quite tiny and Angemon struggled to view it as a whole. It looked like a chibi “I was given the task to select the candidate, although unlike Ophanimon I needn´t drag dozens of children into this world. I allowed my instincts search for the child whose heart possessed the most powerful wish and within that wish, a perfect balance between Light and Darkness. That child ´s capacity of embracing BOTH SIDES proved to be CRUCIAL to defeat Lucemon…”

Suddenly Baromon  felt a chill on his shoulders.

“Dammit!” he turned around, visibly worried “Lad, you need to hurry. I can feel that asshole´s presence and I promised Ophanimon to get you , safely, to the other side”

He rose his arms and his chants summoned a golden gate inside the cave. Angemon, astonished, recognized it as the Magna Angemon´s Gate of Destiny!

“Lord Seraphimon used to be Magna Angemon for a long time before reclaiming his castle…but Magna Angemon´s powers aren´t limited to one, single angel. Since your own heart is willing to break down its own limits, once you go through the golden ring…Magna Angemon´s essence will be yours. Because you are going to NEED IT”

Baromon´s body shivered more and more.

“Are you ok?” asked Angemon, worried about Baromon´s state “I shall take you with me and seek for…!”

“NO. I must stay here” the shamanic digimon was touched by the angel´s concern and it was that little sign of gentleness that actually kept his hope shinning “The digidestineds are being hunted. One by one. This gate will lead you to the one that´s still out of THEIR reach…now, HURRY!”

Angemon looked through the Gate and recognized the face of Kouchi Kimura, the chosen of Darkness. Then he remembered Ophanimon´s desperate plea of taking care of the kids. The digivices began to shine , urging him to jump. They were calling for Kimura!

“I´ll come back” declared Angemon and without hesitating anymore, he jumped into the portal.

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“No. You won´t”  affirmed Baromon once the golden door was gone “At least, not in this life…”

The shamanic digimon sighed, sad. He only let the angel know a vital information from the past…but not about the future. What the Tunnel of History showed him not too long before was shocking, heartbreaking and worse than the first time!

“I wonder if there will be actually a future…for anybody”

But he wasn´t destined to enjoy his misery in peace. He felt an unexpected, cold wind hitting his cape; he needn´t have to turn around when a familiar presence irrupted into the cave, just like old times…

“Long time no see, fellas” he said “Just as predicted, the dead once walk again in the living realm…”

“Nice to meet you again, loser” greeted Crusadermon standing right behind Baromon´s back.

“If you want to live” added Dynasmon “Stay still and don´t try doing anything heroic”

Baromon shrugged his arms.

“I wouldn´t dream on doing such thing, I still remember pretty well how I met death thanks to you” was his serene response. The funny thing about dying and then being revived is the change of perspective; there are certain things Baromon wasn´t afraid anymore and those bullies? They weren´t as threatening as before. Not at all!

“Good”

“Are you going to scan this place, again and steal the codes?” Baromon knelt “Be my guests, I actually don´t mind anymore”

“Huh?” the pair of Royal Knights were shocked “Are you serious?!”

“Why should I bother defending this place from any of you?” the shaman actually giggled “You are too powerful for this old wizard and I am not yet prepared to face a second death” and he dramatically moved, offering his surroundings “Go ahead and take it all! After learning about the future…I just don´t care!”

“NO. WAY” Crusadermon , the pink Royal Knight could barely believe what she was listening “So you admit our Greatness?”

“There must  be a trick” insisted his partner “Nobody surrenders that easily, especially this one!” Dynasmon pointed a finger at Baromon, ready to summon an attack “Come on! Speak up!”

“For what? ” Baromon took his chance to tease the other guys “I am weak, most of my magic ´s been gone and I´m talking to the ones who , besides having me killed once, are diligently serving , again, the Master who once sent you to Oblivion… isn´t that a true blessing?”

Baromon´s words were deadlier than a poisoned sword and much for the other two´s annoyance, he hit the nail!

“You are stepping on thin ice, mister” warned Crusadermon “Watch out your words”

“Again, for what?” smiled the other guy under his mask “I can´t believe you two imbeciles are happily serving HIM! Oh, holy nutshells! Don´t tell me you REVIVED HIM AGAIN?!”

His words finally got the worst of the Royal Knights and Dynasmon ended KOing his prey; Baromon never saw the Knight´s fist or would recall the darkness falling upon him…

“YOU MISERABLE! YOU ARE DEAD!!” yelled Dynasmon, absolutely furious “GET IT?!!”

He was so mad that he was ready to dissolve the fallen miserable´s codes but Crusadermon stopped her partner in time.

“No! The master wants him alive” reminded Crusadermon “Our task was getting him, nothing else”

Dynasmon grumbled.

“I KNOW!”  and picked Baromon from the ground “But he tested my patience!”

“And mine” admitted the female knight  “And I can certainly affirm that he´s done something else prior to our arrival..pity you almost killed him before I could interrogate that asshole”

“Ugh, my apologies”

Crusadermon shook her head, indifferent.

“Neah, it´s ok. Besides, that guy ´s got a point”

“About what?”

The pink Knight stared the bottom of the cave for a long while before answering.

“We were restored, just like the rest…” spoke in a low, almost inaudible tone “But Lucemon was supposed to be gone for good and could only be in this world if summoned; but if we didn´t resurrect the Master this time…then WHO did it?”

The blue Royal Knight scratched his head, confused.

“Beats me!”

With that question floating in the air, the knights picked Baromon , stole the cave´s codes and went back to the headquarters…

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Reality 09.

“So your name is Gabriel? That´s so cool! Ar you a returnee…?”

Tsurgi slammed his head against the wall once again , Ami was  glued to the part-timer´s arm and unwilling to let him work!

“Yes, that´s my name” he smiled “And no, I am not a returnee”

The manager was ready to cry. What was he thinking when he accepted hiring that handsome asshole? He wasn´t working at all, despite his attempts of doing anything the crazy crowd of girls was still his shadow and chit-chatting all the time. From all the guys he hired he was a perpetual tardy guy, lazy, clueless and if it wasn´t for his looks nobody would give a damn about Mikihara!

“Why did I have to listen to Mother and hire this good-for-nothing? ” he lamented on a corner

“Well, you own this place… just fire him!” pointed Tsurugi, also annoyed . Again, what happened to Ami? The intrepid, fearless Ami  who usually had a clear perspective of things was drooling over a gorgeous yest stupid high-school guy…!

Please, let it be that she´s been actually abducted by aliens and someone is impersonating her !

“But if I fire him, she´ll kill me!!”was the depressed reply from the manager “And hell, I´d rather being chased by a  pack of wild dogs before letting her down!”

Tsurugi wondered how a grown man could be such a chicken.

“But the guy isn´t working! An hour passed and he´s doing anything but  flirting around!”

“Then, where are you from?!” again, the chorus of maidens in love.

“It´s a secret” replied Gabriel

“You don´t look like a Japanese guy” insisted Ami “Are you from Europe?”

“Nope”

“From America?” said another girl

“Nope”

“You say aren´t a returnee and yet you have a japanese surname…”began to say Ami “That leaves two options: you are either adopted or you are married”

A girl suddenly burst on tears

“PLEASE, DON´T TELL ME THAT YOU ARE MARRIED!”

“NO WAY!!!” yelled the others “NO WAY!!!”

Before he could say anything , a chorus of cries and curses filled the atmosphere.

Tsurugi couldn´t believe that Ami herself was sniffing! That wasn´t the same girl who survived a set of adventures in the Digital World.

“OH! UNBELIEVABLE!!” he shook the manager by the shirt “This is a damned circus, please man up and fire that idiot!”

“Please, do it! We cannot stand it anymore!” was the general consensus.

Tsurugis´s complaints were supported by the rest of the customers. The majority, geeks who wanted nothing but to enjoy playing their games in peace and the girly multitude was disturbing their so needed concentration; others were simply too jealous of his looks and after being unceremoniously rebuffed by the fangirls , they were simply wishing to see the miserable gone for good! Even the guys who were into the yaoi line were beginning to feel annoyed, they couldn´t even greet the guy without being seriously threatened by the girls!

“He´s better fitted as a host , anyways!” said somebody.

Tsurugi never realized that besides Digimons, the entire arcade would find something to bond over. So brotherhood spirit among strangers  ACTUALLY EXISTED!

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10 minutes later, a disheartened Tsurugi was on his way back home.

“GIRLS, WHO NEEDS THEM?” he touched his left cheek and the pain returned “OUCH, SHE NEEDN´T TO HIT ME THAT HARD!”

Due to everybody´s insistence, the manager gathered enough courage to tell the annoying part-timer that he was free to leave and never come back. Mikihara, surprisingly, didn´t protest or beg for another opportunity. The guy jut limited to smile and whistling a tune, he left the arcade. The boy-crazy crowd left as well.

Bummer!” Ami whined at that time “I SO wanted to know more about him! Manager, you are a horrible person!

“Sorry, sweetheart. This store doesn´t bring me a huge income and I have bills to pay every month…so sadly, I can´t afford to pay a slacker´s salary”

“But he was already bringing a huge deal of customers!” Ami cried, it was her first taste of love and seeing him leave so soon was bitter as hell! She couldn´t even ask for his telephone number or at least an e-mail.

“But none of them were actually investing a single yen. He could had at least insisted on pointing that so those witches were doing doing something else than blocking the machines” pointed Tsurugi , smirking “Besides, guys like him are nothing but a waste…”

And that was the moment that Ami slapped his face.

“You are awful!!!” and she left the arcade as well, crying.

“And that´s what I get when trying to talk some sense to a girl” he reflected “Damn! This whole stuff sucks! Wish we were still in the Digiworld..!”

Returning to the human world proved to be  bittersweet, they were glad that Neo could finally open his eyes and understand that destroying the universe was pointless but at the same time neither Tsurugi nor his friends were given enough time to enjoy the newly founded peace. Once Neo exited the stage, they had less than a minute to say farewell to Norun and the rest of the digimons…so yep, that finale proved to be a tad disappointing.

“I wish we stayed longer in that world, there´s so much we could had done!” he sighed “And we would had deepened our friendship as well!”

The other disappointing fact was that after their return, the gang barely met each other. Save for Ami, Tsurugi barely saw the other 2. Ok, he visited Yu at the hospital until the beginning of the new semester; Sho, well, they only met occasionally  but the blonde guy seemed to be very busy with his studies and he wasn´t the soul of the party during the meetings anyways. From the group, he was certainly the most depressed. Ami was sure that he wanted to be with Norun and dreaded actually coming back to the real world.

“I wonder this” he kept absently walking, not really thinking on either his home nor the tons of homework waiting for him “If Norun had the power to come to our world and spent, literally, years walking among humans…why didn´t she try to keep the portal opened a bit more…? Or she could had figured a way of keeping the communications open and visit us from time to time…?” his head began to fume. She was a freaking Goddess! She could do anything!

Besides, Tsurugi was beginning to wonder if …the more passed the days, the blurrier the memories of the digiworld were becoming. He was afraid he was beginning to forget, that one day he would wake up and realize his digital adventures were nothing but a dream. Despite Ami and the others sharing the same memories…Tsurugi , sometimes, felt that their shared experiences weren´t enough.

The adventure ended too soon. And I don´t like it.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

“I want the BIG one. Chocolate, strawberry, mint banana split and make sure there´s a good amount of chocolate crisps raining on it…”

Still weeping her soul out, Ami Kitajina stopped by an ice-cream van that was parked in the nearby park in order to cheer herself with what she called her best medicine. Whenever she was in a foul mood she could always count with the blessed desserts to forget her misery.

“Anything else, miss?” asked the vendor, unfazed by the order. How many times in the day he met a heartbroken girl, ready to go against the holy principles of a diet and try to comfort her crying heart with a sugarfest?

“Don´t forget the cherry on the top” demanded Ami “Because I…I..can´t live without the cherry…!” and there she goes again, crying like Magdalena!

“Cherries, noted” smirked the vendor “Can´t say I am not in love with this job”

Cupid, in his book, was his BFF in either good or bad times, the good times implied the hundreds of happy couples buying his ice-creams but the bad ones were even better due to the thousands of breakups and it was a constant that the weeping females would arrive to his business, ready to eat out their problems.

“Enjoy!” and Ami was given the biggest banana split from that part of the city. The girl almost stumbled as soon as she took it, it was huge! Forget about taking that mountain of sugar back home! She made herself comfortable on one of the  tables and proceeded to gulp her dessert.

“I SO COULD BE EATING THIS WITH HIM…!” the sight of passing couples made her she sigh once and again. “I bet HE would love this!” when thinking in the handsome fella that was never going to work in the arcade anymore, Ami´s heart sank more and more in despair  “Why life is so unfair! And Tsurugi only laughed!!!” and kept gulping “Boys! Humph! who needs them?”

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

“YAY, THAT ARMOR!!”

“You look like the REAL thing! ”

“Magna Angemon is my favorite digimon, I WANNA AN AUTOGRAPH!”

“SO DO I!”

“AND IIIIIIIIIIII!!!!”

“Can I hug the Pixiemon?!”

“And can I be on the SHOW, please? please? please?”

Magna Angemon and Pixiemon were less than thrilled to be the center of unwanted, human attention. The Gate of Destiny , which not only served to get rid of hindrances, ended teleporting the pair to a park. Filled with kids. Dozens of kids! And the children, initially startled when a golden door suddenly appeared in the middle of a sandbox immediately surrounded Magna Angemon; thinking it was a publicity stunt for a Digimon tv show, the kids were desperate to get an autograph from the actor who NAILED IT by dressing as one of their favorite digimons.

“Show-pi? what´s that-pi?” asked Pixiemon, curious.

“WAHHH!!! ” yelled the kids, amazed “Pixiemon talked!”

And of course, the mothers and babysitters approached as well.

“Mister, didn´t know there was going to be a live action Digimon series” said one, already eye-candying the holy angel “When will it air?”

“I used to laugh at my kid´s obsession about getting Magna Angemon in his games..now I FINALLY UNDERSTAND “an the housewife subtly passed the angel a card with her name and telephone. She cared little about that thing called marriage, that guy was a GOD!

“Where can I buy that Pixiemon plushie? My daughter would love to have one..”

Such avalanche of admiration ended being too much for the digimons and Magna Angemon was ready to flip his wings and fly…if only he could brush off the kids from his wings!

“WHOA! They are REAL feathers!” exclaimed a little boy “AWESOME!”

“And they are WARM!”

“Please, let me take a shot of you carrying Masaru!” without waiting for Magna Angemon´s reply, the vivacious mother placed her chubby kindergarten boy on the angel´s shoulders “Say CHEESE!” and Bang! Magna Angemon and Pixiemon almost went blind due to the camera´s powerful flash.

“NOT FAIR!” screamed the other mothers “If HE gets a picture, SO MY KIDS!”

“Magna Angemon-sama , I think you miscalculated the coordinates-pi?” Pixiemon was sweating, totally uncomfortable with the situation.

“…I already  dread myself…” even as his stint as Murmukusmon, he never had to deal with such an embarrassing scene.

“We must look for Norun-sama´s sibling, right-pi?”

“Absolutely…as soon as I figure out how to get away from here!”

“NOW IT´S MY CHILD´S TURN!” demanded an energetic mother placing her  little angel on on the real angel´s back. Magna Angemon sighed, realizing he had no courage to brush off the wishful families, he had no choice but to along with the posing sessions…

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

He realized that he wanted go back. Badly. His whole body was yearning for it!

Please God, he stopped by a bridge and summoned a silent prayer, find a way to send us back to the Digiworld. I beg you! Let me go through  another adventure…before I turn into an adult! 

“IF YOU GRANT ME THIS WISH, I´LL STOP WHINING AND STUDY SO MUCH THAT I´LL BE ACCEPTED IN AN ELITE SCHOOL!!” he shouted in the end.

“My, my” said a voice “Such a straightforward , selfish wish!”

Tsurugi, puzzled, turned around. His expression turned sour when he realized who else was at the bridge.

“NO WAY! YOU?!”

The last person he wanted to see that day was the hateful Gabriel Mikihara! By the way, what the hell was he doing there?! The idiot was sitting on the edge..and fishing?! And more surprising, he was all by himself. He couldn´t see a girl in the immediate surroundings so Gabriel-asshole-sama   could actually leave those crazy fangirls behind!

“Hiya, Tatsuno-san!” greeted the elder guy “Wanna join ?”

“No way!”

Gabriel seemed not to care about his response because Tsurugi found himself catching another fishing rod.

“Didn´t I say no?!”

The silver haired guy replied with a laugh.

“But fishing is more fun when there´re 2 people!”

“I HATE FISHING!”

“So?” the other guy kept smiling, as if he had no worries in the world!  The google-boy grumbled once more but instead of dropping his cane, he surprised himself by joining the irritating guy.

“How many did you catch until now?” asked the boy in the end.

“Until now…none” was Gabriel´s cheerful response.

Tsurugi´s eyes rolled.

“What type of bait did you bring?” if he was going to fish, he needed something to lure the precious fishes.

“None?” the other guy seemed completely oblivious to the actual art of fishing.

Tsurugi dedicated an incredulous gaze at his fishing partner.

“None?! Not even a worm?!”

“Nope”

Tsurugi facepalmed. Could that guy be more of an idiot?!

“Welcome to Arakawa Under the Bridge´s world” declared Tsurugi, ironic “How do you expect catching a fish without any bait?”

Gabriel limited to smile.

“The same way you expect to see digimons….”

Those words surprised Tsurugi so much that he almost fell from the bridge.

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