"A whole kingdom...?" Gunnar asked in shock.
Lucia looked away for a moment, a painful look crossing her face.
Justin nodded. "Unfortunately so. And in an instant no less. It is a formidable force that we face, one that sadly only keeps getting stronger. I can only hope that they don't succeed in turning another one of us."
At first, Duo had been worried for Brachiel's safety. But it seemed that he was still alive. He was beaten, but he should be able to recover. Figuring that there was nothing he could do to help, and with enough people out searching the misson, he turned his attention to the only other person he had a pressing need to see.
Duo found Lucia over in the corner, leaning against the wall. She looked the same as he remembered her, and yet, she looked different than before. It was obvious that recent events had taken their toll on her, and a part of him wished that he could just pick her up and carry her back home. Just forget about all of this misfortune and go back to how things were not too long ago, when the Mikaboshi was but a bad scar and the most pressing matter they had was the day's dojo lesson.
Unfortunately, things simply were not and could not be that simple. And though he himself could feel the strength that he was attaining, he was starting to worry that Lucia might be suffering from the opposite effect, and that by the time these events came to a close, they would both be different from how they were before. Too different perhaps to go back to those peaceful days in the mountains.
Duo made it all the way to her side without her notice, and it was a few moments still before she finally noticed his presence. "Duo, I..."
The Gaiomon shook his head. "I'm sorry. I should have gone with you, maybe if I had been there..."
Lucia put a finger to his lips. "No, you were right all along. It was nothing but a trap. By the time we arrived, there was nothing we could do. And I fear that if we had not gone, then the destruction may not have occurred, and Thor might... Thor might still be with us." She looked down. "Besides, you were needed were you were. I was the one who chased after the bait. I was wrong, and now, I may be the last of my people because of it."
She slammed the wall with her fist, slightly cracking the plaster. "And I can't even take the form of a QueenChessmon anymore." When she looked back up at Duo, there were tears gathering at the edges of her eyes. She been fighting the emotions back since she looked out upon the destruction of her homeland, and now that there was no current objective to focus on, they had started to pour out, despite her best efforts to stay strong.
Duo embraced her for a moment, before knelling down to her level, since she was a bit shorter than he was. "Its not your fault. You simply did what you thought was right, that's all. The blame here lies with that demon, and the sooner we can track him down the so-"
"No, I don't think we can take him head on."
Duo was a bit taken aback. "We defeated the Mikaboshi, surel-"
"That was different, it was a sole enemy, and we had laws and rules that we could use to our advantage. And we had Thor, and Svarog. You weren't there, you didn't see the ease with which they took down Thor, took down all of us. If we must face him head on, I don't believe that we can win." The Minervamon wiped the tears from her eyes, before they managed to fall down her cheeks. When she looked back at Duo, he saw that same look of determination on her face that he remembered so well. It was the same look she had worn the day they had met, the day that they had left the Chess Kingdom together.
Lucia smiled. "That's why we need to think outside the box. If we can't win head-on, we need to do something crazy, like back with the Mikaboshi. If we don't win... if we don't win, then who will punish Mephistopheles for the evils he's committed?"
Though Duo smiled for her sake, there was something in her voice that he didn't like. A conviction in that last sentence, and he hoped it was merely the result of his worries.
Justin approached the kneeling Guiner and the unconscious Barachiel. "How is he, you think he'll be back on his feet anytime soon?"
He quickly scratched his head. "Sorry, I guess you won't really be able to answer that one huh. Don't worry, I don't think he's one to go down that easy. I'm sure he'll pull through."
He let his gaze travel to the hall that Caradoc had traveled down moments ago.
"Hey, if you don't mind me asking, is something bothering Caradoc?"
The SuperStarmon stared at Guiner for a moment, his eyes hidden by his pointed shades.
"Is it bothering you? If I can help, just let me know. Maybe I should go talk to Caradoc about it..."
I have returned!
Signature under reconstruction...