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A little over a year ago, this level of corruption would have been a more damning prospect. But, thanks to the efforts of an incredibly stubborn medical professional, there was at least a reliable treatment for it... imperfect as it was.
Wicked had to borrow the equipment, and the still-unconscious fox had to be hooked right up to that uncomfortable machine, with two needles stuck into her arm. In effect, it was a glorified dialysis machine, one that would pull directly from Silence's data, rend out the corrupted part, and then return the data to the patient's body. It was a simple aspect, made incredibly difficult by that second step.
Entire towels were soaked through, bled red with a high amount of D-Reaper data. Silence herself would be experiencing bits of blazing hot or moments of ice cold, unable to really regulate her own data... and after a few grueling hours of this? Well, she'd be left as a dusty gray fox, left to soak in an unfamiliar, bubbling, blue salt bath in the back room of an apothecary's hut.
... Thank goodness Wicked was doing this for free, too. On a regular day, she could have charged an arm and a leg for all of this. The Witch would check up on Silence after about thirty minutes of soaking, and would just coolly ask:
"So, is it that the look of an annoyed fox wanting to break free out of the D-Reaper's rage, or one whose just sick of being 'sick'?"
The treatment was harsh on her body, if it had been a little over a year ago she might of had to be chained up and restrained in a manner while they figured out what to do with her. Thanks to that medical professional the unconscious fox only had to deal with minor discomfort while she was passed out.
A good chunk of the treatment was already done when she came to, bleary eyed and wiping at her face as she could feel those needles in her body. One going in and one going out. It was the corrupted data that was getting sifted out that made this painful. The blazing hot and ice cold was something she was used to in different forms… not just in one. Being unable to regulate her data made her a little loopy. If not full of curses.
The dusty greyness of her fur was probably a hint how she was still ‘corrupt’. Even if wicked wasn’t doing it for free well… The arm and the leg would be warranted with how dangerous it would be! Thirty minutes of soaking and cursing down the line the witch would find silence rubbing at her temples. Glaring up at the doctor with one eye that was still that striking red… and the other being that fierce icy blue.
”🕈︎♓︎⧫︎♍︎♒︎✏︎I’m doing… ❄︎♏︎❒︎❒︎♓︎♌︎●︎♏︎ All right I suppose. I don’t like being sick. So chalk it up to annoyed and fuckin… Whatever the shit ❄︎♒︎♓︎⬧︎ ■︎□︎■︎⬧︎♏︎■︎⬧︎♏︎ ♓︎⬧︎✍︎"
The renamon groaned a bit and sat back into the blue liquid, treating it much like how a youngster would and sinking to just below her eyes. Blowing soft bubbles into the ‘water’. She didn’t look pleased. There was still a lot wrong with her data and she doubted that it’d take a simple thirty minutes with how much she lost to the D-reaper.
The Witchmon would roll her eyes, not too concerned about the state of her patient. As Silence would slip on down into that blue mixture, the Witchmon would step closer, and motion for the fox to offer her the left arm. Once Wicked had it in hand, the sorceress would take a syringe, and inject a clear liquid into the Renamon's arm.
"Anyway, I've seen worse - a lot worse. You're coming along quite well, considering." With the injection complete, she'd face her palm upward, and incinerate the tool with a small puff of fire. "But that doesn't mean this shit's going to get easier. We're going to let that shot take its course and... yeah, you're looking at... I'd say, at least another two hours in that mixture."
The witch would chuckle, slipping off to the edge of the room. "Should I turn on the radio, or leave you to chat with your new 'evil' half? Honestly, its kind of endearing how she tries to talk to me..."
She'd glare into the monster's red eye.
"... Oh come now. Should you really be confident about having to retake ground? Silly program..."
”Yeah… I’m just glad I can move my arms at the moment.”
”☜︎■︎🙰□︎⍓︎ ♓︎⧫︎ ⬥︎♒︎♓︎●︎♏︎ ⍓︎□︎◆︎ ♍︎♋︎■︎✏︎”
Silence shook her head a little bit and held out her arm; she looked rather annoyed at the idea of having to do so… But then again it was hard to tell her proper expression as the ‘evil’ eye was half of the face while the other was… ‘normal’. She’d feel a growl well up and she’d give the back of her head a smack.
”Two hours of bathing and injections? I’ll take that over having tweedle dee piloting my body.”
Silence blinked a bit at wicked’s ‘joke and huffed. Looking a mix of amused and irritated at the same time. Though she couldn’t help sporting a grin. She wondered honestly just how much of this mixture she had to be submerged in for it to take effect. But seeing the witch move away from her was… strange to say the least.
”If you want to stay that’s up to you, but I’d just turn on the radio. I might try napping in this tub. Feeling kinda… eh.”
"Noted - I'll just turn on the radio for you. Chatty little bugger, ain't she?"
The Witchmon would give a chuckle at that, and as promised, would flick on the radio. It was little more than a loop of whatever the popular music of the time was - radio stations weren't really a thing in the Dark Area, it was more just used for emergency communication - and so Silence would just be left on her own for the next three hours.
The sorceress came by every so often to give the Renamon a shot, and once to filter out and reset the bath when it turned more purple than blue. At the end of it all - once more leaving a purplish mixture behind - Silence would be able to run the shower, and get that mix off of her body. At the end of it all, she'd be back as a 'normal', white Renamon... save for her left hand. Whether it was by the D-Reaper's stubbornness or just a genetic hiccup, she'd find that her left claw was now stark black, cutting off just above her wrist. It was easy enough to hide under her glove, and for now, at least, didn't feel all that strange.
She might be sore and worse for wear, but she'd be nice and ready to go - and the Witchmon noted that someone would be here to pick her up.
Well, two someones - the Knights were at the end of their patrol! Wicked would hear a knock at her front door, and as she'd open it, Silence would see two groups: one, Syre, stretching out her back as she skirted around the Witchmon, and the other, Iko, accepting the offered handshake of the Witchmon.
"Well, she's all yours. Entertaining, but I think I've had enough of these kinds of antics for now..."
"Hmph." The wolf's eyes looked to the fox. "You don't say?"
"Cool it, wolfy." Syre shook her head. "At the very least, we should probably get her out of the Dark Area?"
"Yeah, let's take her to base... D-Reaper stuff, right?" Wicked would give a nod, and Iko would return his attention to Silence. "Once we get anywhere other than the Dark Area, it should get much better. This place doesn't have a Sovereign statue watching over it, so that kind of data just goes unchecked here."
”Just a bit. If you think she’s bad here try imagining how it is in my head.”
Silence shook her head and watched the witch go to the radio, the music wasn’t exactly what she was hoping for. It had pitches and ranges some mons couldn’t hear and well.. It would make her ears flick from time to time as certain notes were hit. During those three hours…
She had a lot to reflect on. A lot to go over. The fight against the striker agent had gone well enough. She likely would of been able to keep moving. If the petaldramon hadn’t caught up to her she might of even been the one to fight against the warrior of darkness rather than taken to the paratice head. She had to wonder if she could of won against them. How that fight would of gone. In her minds eye she found herself going through the motions. Her hands clenching and unclenching from time to time.
A somewhat far off look that the sorceress probably wouldn’t see leave her face until the renamon was out of the bath and taking that shower. She’d inspect her fur, wondering how she managed to even get that tone… and noting the stark black claw on her left that went all the way up to her wrist made her frown.
”Is this anything to worry about?”
Without the voice knocking at her head over and over she could concentrate a bit. Even ask questions and consider things that wasn’t where she had just come from. She couldn’t help but wonder what mikemon would think of her failure. What the others might say to her. Seeing syre and… Iko however made the renamon pause. The last time that she had seen iko was when he forced her digivolution. They had a few spars and she would be lying if she said she didn’t want to brag about the potential success. Or at least share a good story over mead. Now all she was left with was reflection and the biting sense of failure again.
”If you had been a few hours earlier you would have seen me with a fur coat that was darker than syres.”
Silence chuckled a bit and if allowed would give Syre a gentle pat on the top of the head. She was glad to see the both of them. Friendly faces in the dark area were always nice… Though she had remembered a few things while sitting in that tub. Long forgotten things, or things that K had known that she did not.
”...To base? What? You mean the floating island right outside of Rosewood? Thought you had to be part of the club to go in.”
Her voice was flat and her brow raised slowly. She took the information about the sovereigns and D-reaper; stuffing it away to learn about later. If the Sovereigns and the D-reaper were connected somehow she wanted to find out herself rather than just have someone bloody tell her everything. She didn’t even get a sudden ‘flash’ from K’s memories either.
"Keep an eye on it." The Witchmon's tone was rather level: "Can't expect this kind of treatment to be perfect. Honestly, be glad its just your arm - you would have been just as likely to have those spots all over your fur."
Perhaps it wasn't the most encouraging answer, but things were definitely looking up for Silence. Syre's ear would give a flick as the top of her head was ruffled, giving a small chuckle back at the fox's humor. Should she really be joking about all of this, though? It seemed like Silence was in good spirits, but...
"Hm? There's nothing against bringing guests - and I think K lived for the better part of a year inside the Digital Field Club, or something. Its not even a new idea for 'you'." Iko would give a shrug at that last part, as Syre rolled her eyes, opening up the team portal behind them. "Don't worry about it, Silence."
And just like that, they would step out onto that floating island. Almost immediately, the Renamon's head would feel much clearer: without the foul air of the Dark Area, whatever voice was left became little more than a murmur at the back of her head. In some respects, she'd likely feel refreshed... though after that entire ordeal, it was unlikely that Silence would feel perfect.
"Let's see... where to put you..."
"Just an empty room, right?" Iko gave a shrug, his next sentence directed to Silence. "Just think of this as a nice chance. My tamer's off with exams, so I got nothing better to do than to toss ya around."
"... Sheesh, just cool it, Iko..." Syre shook her head. "If you need to crash, just let us know, we'll point you to a bed. Alright?"
”I figured as much. If that was the case I feel like people would be kinda startled.”
Silence snorted a bit and shook her head; she didn’t really care if she was left like that. She was grateful that it wasn’t stuck on her entire body, imagine if she had been the pitch black renamon even after the treatment! Silence was in good spirits, being thankful of wickeds treatment and being able to move of her own volition again. Sure she was a little tired but that was only natural.
”Yeah well not every group is the same. Doesn’t hurt to check. For all I know there could be some power there that smites intruders or something.”
The renamon shook her head, giving a somewhat doofy grin at the idea. She’d give a small nod to syre as they opened that portal. She was very glad once through that her head felt clearer and that whatever voice was pressing against her was… well just a murmer. She’d stretch and grunt as she felt her back crack.
”Yeah an empty room is fine. Weirdly enough I’m not super tired after all that. Spent the better part of three hours just lazing in what amounted to a hot tub treatment.”
Silence chuckled and waggled her finger at iko at the idea of tossing her around. Now that was a challenge if she had ever heard one! Syre of course was met with a small nod. She did appreciate it but…
”Worse come to worse I can always just take a portal home or pop out my ship. But I think I’ll take you up on that Iko. Been wantin to tussle with you for a few days now.”
It had been a little bit since their last fight. Yes the knight was fighting with her to help her practice and after only a few sessions with one another she had felt like they were making progress. She wasn’t necessarily as skilled as he or her prior iteration and syre gave the ‘young’ mon a run for her money regardless of what form she kept but…
After this entire event with the D-reaper something was different. The deepness of her voice, the low growl of power in her chest. Nothing like K’s overwhelming presence or natural charisma but something changed. Maybe fighting the D-reaper had been good for her, not falling into it’s clutches… or maybe that was the reason for it? A certain want and desire for battle?
Or maybe it was something more?
"So we got a place to fight or we gonna just go find some clearing on this island where you can 'toss me around'?"
It seemed that Silence's next few days were set, then: a recovery period at the Knights of the Rose's base. In retrospect, it made sense that the Renamon wasn't tired - and heck, she was already raring to go to spar!
"Hm? I'll leave you to at it, then." Hearing that Silence was in good spirits, Syre gave the two a chuckle. "Iko's pretty much stuck in base while he's left without his partner, but I have to do my patrols as normal. We should just about have that mushroom problem in the woods figured out at this rate!"
"Right." Iko gave a wave: "Just be careful. Quite easy to trip over a few bug nests when they actually start to pull that stuff up."
"I'll stick to ultimate..."
And with that, the cat would be off, vanishing past another portal, as Iko gave a chuckle towards the fox. "Suit up as Shutmon." Even without his partner, Iko was capable of ultimate himself: a brief flash of light, and he'd be covered in golden, cybernetic armor, taking the form of Ankomon. Presuming Silence would match him, the wolf would lead on, further into the base...
... To a practice arena. "I'm convinced K put this in just so she and I could fight, but I'm not going to question it. For now, no special techniques."
He cracked his knuckles, and led his way into the arena. "Time to see just how much you've improved."
Silence stretched a little bit more, feeling her arm pop she was satisified with it and giving a small huff she’d consider the location for a moment. She had never been in a structure like this, it was strange in a way. Human almost. She had been in a few human buildings before but nothing like this!
”Thanks syre. And really now? Well. I spose that makes sense, tamer pairs are ussually stuck at the hip with one another. Why aintcha along with him or you just get bored?”
Silence tilted her head watching syre leave; mushrooms in the woods? She had to wonder what was going on with that. But it wasn’t something she… well if they were just about to solve it she wouldn’t press for information until syre got back. They did look like they were in a hurry.
”What don’t like cats?”
The renamon teased and took the form he suggested. It was normal as things went save for that single digit that was the pitch black. Frowning a bit she’d tug at her armor and look to the wolf as they lead her to the practice arena. She could feel the hum of the energy field around the actual fighting area and couldn’t help but raise a brow.
”Makes sense that a bunch of knights would have a place to spar. Given that your entire job revolves around fighting one thing or the next in one fashion or another. No special techniques huh…?”
The shutmon mulled a bit and slid her sword out of it’s sheathe. Unlike the prior iterion she had no large scissor based sword but instead had a single handed one that was far lighter and faster. Sure she still had her arm blades but… They seemed not exactly her style.
”Tch. It’s been less than a week since our last spar Iko. How much could I realistically of improved since then?”
The shutmon didn’t know just how much she actually had improved. Her foot slid into position, her stance wasn’t wide. It wasn’t full of holes. There was a controlled venue and a few traps in her stance now. Had she been practicing on her own? Had she been meeting with others? What had happened to her since their last interaction? Her tail adjusted to match her center and there was… well a somewhat odd look to her eye.
”What about you? Practicing with the others or am I just your focus right now?”
"Patrol is patrol - I got a bit of a schedule to keep!"
No reason to take along someone who was only running at about 50%, really! Syre would head out, leaving the fox and the wolf - soon to be two wolves - alone to head out to the practice arena. At that bit about cats, though, Iko gave a chuckle. "Don't mind it, Syre's just headstrong like me. We get along better like this."
That aside, it wouldn't take them long to get down to the arena. Iko, now clad in armor, was able to hide his eyesight as he gave something of a glare to the Shutmon. Such a lack of confidence, despite her form and accomplishments. Her starting stance seemed a little more practiced, whereas Iko kept it more or less the same: leading with his left foot, claws tensed, ready to charge in as he lowered his stance.
"Oh, please, like you're my only target." He chuckled. "Cat always needs a bit of shooting practice - and it gets easy to get into a lot of fights if you offer 'em."
With that, it didn't take long for Iko to push out, dashing in to start their spar proper.Silence was by no means weak.
There was a capable fighter in there, and she'd be able to land hits of her own, even a few square on Iko's stance... but it never felt like she was in control of the bout. On average, it seemed like there was less weight to a lot of Iko's attacks: mere palms or pushes against her shoulder, or even taps against her sides.
... But when Silence missed, her exertion of energy made her a wide open target - and it was here that Iko didn't hold back. Full open shots at her stomach, powerful throws over his shoulder that would leave Silence flat on her back, or sweeping kicks that would leave her flat on her face. Whatever ground Silence thought she might have gained were taken away in yards instead of inches - and after one particularly strong through, the wolf would roll his shoulders.
"... Bad habits are hard to break, I guess." He sighed, dropping down to his champion form, stretching out his back. "A better work-out than a month ago, though, I'll give ya that..."
Silence rubbed at her chin, she didn’t know what sort of relations the knights had with one another. It probably didn’t help she didn’t know who all was in the knights. So far she knew it was iko and that it was syre… as well as iko’s tamer. Though didn’t that mean that it was just two groups of people at the very least?
Honestly silence didn’t feel like she accomplished much and even if she did it was never anything to compare to the one that came from before. Wherever she went it was always excitement thinking that K was there. Instead she saw the faces fall as they learned she was not who they were hoping to see.
”I should be honored then eh? I wouldn’t disagree. Most of the time I get into fights it just feels like scuffles or that the other side isn’t entirely into it.”
Silence shook her head and spun her sword around. She would meet that dash with a sturdy stance. Not wanting to be unseated from the first portion…
It was hard for her to really get a good read on iko, maybe it was because of the experience or perhaps it was just because there was something inherently different between the two of them. A few pushes or palms were frustrating and when she missed? Leaving herself open and well… She’d grunt, hiss or snarl as she was on her back, face or those throws that left her with that rushing sensation.
She’d crash down on the ground and grumble a bit, using her sword to push herself up. She still looked ready to go even if she was frustrated. After such a bout it left a lot to be desired she felt. She could feel her sword’s hilt groan as she gripped it tightly but seeing the wolf take his champion form it would slam home into her sheathe.
”I’ve been practicing and fighting of my own accord. I can’t make improvements if I’m just fighting you.”
She’d fold her arms and scowl. She had felt like that fight had started off better but dear god did the long game seem to not be her forte. Her tail was moving in frustration and with her ears laying flat the way they were it was obvious she wasn’t happy with the results.
”Bad habits? I figured I’d have a lot less in the way of openings unless you’re talking about something else.”
Iko blinked as Silence came to that conclusion, clearly thinking that she was being overconfident. "Its not hard to take a stance that doesn't have many openings. And its not hard to not make any openings if you're thinking solely on defense - but your style, in particular, is full of them."
He gave a sigh, trying to think of the best way to put it. "I guess it makes sense, considering how little time you've been around, but every blow you make is a full swing. Tell me, did you think I was holding back with all of those light, 'glancing' blows? I wasn't."
That much was true. They didn't amount to much at first, but at the end of it, the Shutmon would definitely feel sore in the sides. The attacks weren't worthless, and as Iko put it?
"Its not how I would typically fight - but in this spar, all I did was wait for your big swings. Some did hit, but when you missed, I was able to take your momentum and just give you a right hook of my own... or, well, just flip you over my shoulder. For someone who flips a coin and hopes it lands on 'heads', well, this is how I can force it to come up tails, nine times out of ten."
”Yeah. You don’t have many and the ones I did find were pretty much traps. Cept for maaaybe that one I found early on when I tapped your shoulder with my sword.”
The shutmon rubbed at her neck awkwardly; she wasn’t really good at this after fight pow wow shit. She never really did it before and the reflection was making her go over it in her head by… well some passive natural reaction. Maybe that part was the K in her? Or something she picked up somewhere?
Hearing that her style was full of openings didn’t really make her feel terribly good about herself. But given her youth… well she was used to the full swings. Feinting wasn’t really her thing and she knew if she tried it too often that people would start to looking for it too!
”Well I certainly felt the ‘oomph’ behind them but with the way you were doing them they were… lighter than my strikes. If that makes sense at least? Yeah. I noticed you were able to toss me around a lot. More than I’m used to let me tell you that. So many people I fight are so much bigger than me so big and wide swings have more force to deal with their armor or something.”
Silence rubbed at her chin; furrowing her brow a bit. She had gotten used to fighting things larger than herself so her skill was suffering? Was that it? Or maybe it was jsut because she was trying to adapt a little bit too much to her situation…
”...Again. I want to fight you again.”
The shutmon gestured at Iko, she had a few ideas and a few thoughts. Something that she wanted to put into practice. If he was suggesting not making such full swings she’d act on that, if he was suggesting using feints or other things she would do that too. She had a dazzling ability to pick up things and there was a strange thoughtfulness behind those icy eyes.
Something definitely changed since they last fought one another not even a week ago...
Hearing Silence's bit of self-retrospection, the wolf honestly didn't want to hear anything else after that. Almost immediately, he was once more clad in his gold armor, turning to face the Shutmon.
"Gladly." He cracked his knuckles, once more taking his stance. "Or, rather, I'm not going to be satisfied until you're able to be more than a warm-up.."
He had nothing better to do, but more than that, Iko wanted to see Silence improve. He'd wanted it ever since he'd first spotted her trying to stand her own against the SkullMeramon, and even more since she was able to break the chains to her higher forms. It wouldn't be easy, but as many times as Silence could get back up to her feet, willing to fight?
Iko would gladly cross fists with her. Maybe this time she could actually leave a mark.