Equestria Girls: Digital Destiny

by EquestrianTwist

First published

When the girls of Canterlot High are pulled into a strange new world, what awaits them on the other side? Are these new children the heroes this world seeks? Do they have what its takes to save the Digital World?

An explosion caused by an experiment with their new magical amulets, has summoned a strange infant creature into the halls of Canterlot High.

Unable to send the creature back where it came from, or even fathom the science necessary to achieve such a feat, Sunset Shimmer and the girls decide to care for the creature in secret. At least until they can come up with a way to send it back home.

But ultimately, will it be that easy to let go? For when more strange and dangerous creatures arrive in their world aiming to collect their newest charge for seemingly diabolical endeavors, the girls will jump through rips in reality itself to save the creature they hardly now anything about. But will they be ready to face the dangers that lie on the other side of the gateway? In a world far different then anything they may have seen on Earth, or even Equestria.

(A collaboration story with Foxhelm)

(Disclaimer: This crossover story combining Equestria Girls and Digimon: Digital Monsters)
(I own nothing and all property belongs to its respected owners)
(The Equestria Girls series is property of Hasbro)
(Digimon is property of Bandai and Toei Animation)

Somebody Order Eggs

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"Twilight, darling... are you entirely sure about this?" Rarity asked in trepidation. The other girls that made up the Rainbooms, were all standing around her, each carrying a similarly worried expression to the one she was currently convaying.

Before the group was another girl in a lab coat. She was placing seven multicolored necklaces, each with different engravings, into little stands inside a small compartment of a larger futuristic-looking machine. She had light purple skin and darker purple hair done up in bun-like hairstyle. She turned back towards her friends with a smile as she adjusted the pointed thick-rimmed glasses that sat on her nose.

"I am most excitedly sure about this Rarity!" Twilight answered giddily. "These necklaces we got from Camp Everfree are the first physical forms of Equestrian magic I've been able to study in a long time." She danced happily in place as she imagined all the data she would be collecting from this experiment alone. "Just imagine what they could teach us!"

The girls looked warily glanced towards each other and watched their friend uneasily as Twilight performed some extra minor calibrations to machine at large. They watched as Twilight pushed buttons, turned dials, plugged in wires, and generally did all that other sciencey-looking stuff that they did not fully understand. Suffice it to say, it didn't take long for one of the girls to start voicing concern.

"Yeah... What it could teach us..." Applejack repeated uncertainly. "But are ya sure this here experiment is safe?" Twilight looked back towards her stetson wearing friend after hearing the sounds of concern in her voice. She quickly stifled a giggle before returning to her adjustments.

"Of course it is Applejack. I personally went over this procedure multiple times on paper, and studied for every possible variable." She stated proudly. "I also made sure to check that every apparatus on this machine was working properly and at top condition. I even had our own resident magic expert check for me to see what kind of effects magical items like these might have on this kind of machinery." She pointed her thumb over her shoulder towards Sunset Shimmer who was sitting in front of them, at one of the school's old box computers. The two girls had borrowed the device and had wired it up to the strange machine. The fiery haired girl, also in a lab coat, turned back towards her friends and gave them an affirming nod.

"I can guarantee you all that nothing bad is going to happen." Sunset said with sincere smile. "This machine is simply going to scan the necklaces and tell us about their physical makeup." She tapped the printer sitting next to the computer with her hand, confirming where said information was going to be produced from. "I swear to you, this time, nothing is going explode... or catch fire... or suddenly implode on itself like the start of black hole... again." She mumbled her next words quietly so the other girls wouldn't hear her completely. "At least we're 90% sure..."

Applejack raised an eyebrow in casual disbelief. She had spent enough time on the farm to know cow dung when she smelt it. "What was that?" She asked her ex-Equestrian friend incredulously. The others narrowed their own gazes along side the farm girl's.

Sunset giggled timidly. Her eyes darted between her friends' hardened gazes with nervous tension. "All I was saying was... that this process is 90% similar to how a 3-D printer works!" She stated proudly finding an excuse. "I thought it'd be an easier way of explaining how the machine works rather then going through all the complicated science. Hehehe... It is completely safe I assure you."

"It better be." Rainbow Dash said as she folded her arms. "Because if I have to wear that stupid wig again, so help me!"

Pinkie Pie suddenly shot her hands up to cover her own mouth. She could barely contain her own laughter. "Oh yeah, I remember." She chuckled. "That time their last experiment burnt your hair off and you had to wear a circus clown wig for a month straight?" The others too snickered at the memory. Rainbow glared deathly at her pink poofy-haired friend.

"Pinkie Pie I swear to god, if you don't shut up right now, you will find a very heavy basketball flying directly in your face." Her words were eerily calm, frighteningly so some might say.

Pinkie gasped dramatically. "But I've forgotten the five D's, Dashie!"

"Alright that should do it!" Twilight stated happily as she backed up from the large supercomputer-like device. She ran back behind the desk where her friends were standing. She called out to Sunset. "Run the program!" Sunset nodded.

"Ah'm just gonna go and stand back here, if no one else minds?" Applejack expressed flatly as sauntered back and behind the rest of her friends. Wary looks from the rest of the Rainbooms indicated to her that they might just do the same.

Sunset began typing a long and intrinsic code noisily into the keyboard of the computer. She struck a triumphant seated pose in her chair like an overconfident hacker in a TV drama, as she finally hit the enter key.

The machine that Twilight had set up in the new Canterlot High School lab suddenly sputtered to life, it whirring, beeping, and clicking in that way that only scientific equipment could do. The compartment that held the necklaces suddenly began to light up, like a microwave oven when in use.

The two young scientists smiled eagerly at their computer screen. They watched in anticipation as scanned information was downloaded and processed onto the computer's hardware. They could hear the sounds of paper being formatted and printed besides them. The scanning of their group's necklaces was going better then either of the scholarly youths could have ever expected.

But then suddenly, there was a loud *CLUNK*. The girls all turned their eyes towards the large machine.

The machine's clicking was suddenly becoming more violent; Multiple blinking and non-blinking lights on the machine dimmed and popped from overuse; and a fire suddenly burst from the side of the device causing the girls to let out a terrified shriek.

"Quick, shut it off!" Twilight shouted. Sunset was quick to agree, and began violently punching in the program's kill-code.

The compartment that held the necklaces began to glow brighter. The girls were forced to cover their eyes as multicolored strobe-like lights shout from where the necklaces were placed. A high pitched whine sounded from the device, and the machine began to shake violently.

Applejack's eyes widen in realization. She jumped at her friends with her arms spread out wide and tackled them all to ground.

"Get down!" She shouted.

The scanning machine exploded in a small, but violent way, sending pieces of metal and wire in all directions. The girls were forced to duck and cover under the relent of the explosion, and only raised to their knees when everything had returned to silence.

"Is everybody okay?" Fluttershy asked nervously. The other girls nodded, Fluttershy signed in relief.

"Ouchie, could you be a little more gentle next time you save our lives Applejack." Pinkie moaned achingly. "Oh! And thank you for saving my life, by the way!"

Applejack was the first to get back to her feet. "Twilight... Sunset..." Applejack spoke calmly. "As your friend, Ah ask you this with upmost respect." A familiar fire soon blazed in the young girl's eyes. "BUT ARE Y'ALL TRYIN' TA KILL US!"

The rest of the girls rose to their feet around Applejack. Twilight placed her hand on her head. "I-I'm sorry, I-I don't understand what could of happened?!" She began raking her fingers through her hair. "We went through every possible scenario, we implemented every possible precaution, this experiment should have gone off without a hitch!" Twilight looked about ready to have an aneurysm, earning her a few worried looks from her surrounding friends. Sunset quickly placed her hand upon the younger girl's shoulder, giving her an equally concerned expression.

She looked toward the burnt and melted bombshell of a device that was now scattered over half the room. "I just don't know what went wrong!" Twilight shouted anxiously, her friends drew closer to comfort her.

Sunset removed her hand from Twilight's shoulder and strode closer towards the wreckage that was once a vastly expensive scanning computer. Interestingly enough, she found the closer she got the colder the debris was, even despite it recently being part of an explosion. She looked into the wreckage and noticed that the necklaces. They were sitting on the floor tiles in a circle of surrounding debris. They and tiles beneath them were completely untouched by the damage.

She turned back towards her friends with a look of confusion. "I guess the necklaces didn't like what we were doing to them." She bent down and retrieved the magical jewelry before walking back towards her friends. "So they decided to stop our experiment." She handed each of friends their respective necklace.

Twilight turned towards the destroyed machine, then towards the computer and printer (both had been run through by large shape chunks of debris). She groaned worriedly. "Principal Celestia is going to kill me." Her tone made her sound defeated.

"Us." Sunset resounded. Twilight looked up towards her friend confusedly. Sunset continued. "We both decided to run these tests. So it was both our faults that the machine went ka-boom. That means, we both have to share the wrath of Celestia too." Twilight smiled back at her friend appreciatively.

The rubble suddenly shifted with a couple resounding *CLANGS*. The girls all turned towards the noise. They noticed a large rounded piece of azure debris had rolled out of one the larger piles of scrap and was currently sitting where the necklaces once were. Sunset raised an eyebrow in confusion before walking back over towards the wreckage. She knelt down and pick up the new oddity.

"What is it Sunset?" Fluttershy asked. Sunset turned back towards her friends, she was holding the strange piece of rubble like one would hold a baby.

"Oh! Oh! I know! I know!" Pinkie Pie shouted excitedly. "Its an egg!" She promptly high-fived herself and smirked confidently. "One point, Pinkie Pie!"

The girls shot their hyperactive friend a few deadpanned expressions before looking back towards Sunset. "What is it really, sugarcube?" Applejack asked curiously. She glanced back towards Pinkie Pie. "Ya know, besides the obvious."

Sunset's expression was wary and uncertain. She did have an idea of what the thing she currently held was, but that idea was also just as unlikely. Still, the seven of them have faced weirder situations together, and it didn't hurt to at least voice assumptions. She took a breath then stated matter-of-factly: "I think this is a dragon egg."

"Eeep!" Fluttershy squeaked at her friend's declaration and hid behind Rainbow Dash. The other girls expressions, likewise, varied from shock, to terror, to vague feelings of excitement.

"Wait, so your telling us that there's a baby Godzilla in there?!" Rainbow asked quizzically. Of the all the girls present, she looked the most excited. "Like a literal dragon we could hatch and tame for our own?" Rainbow's eyes began to sparkle as she began entertaining a few of her own fantasies.

"We can't keep it Rainbow Dash." Sunset stated flatly. "I don't even know if this really is a dragon egg for certain."

Twilight scratched at her chin curiously. "It is really that hard to tell?"

Sunset gave her friend a so-so look to answer her question. "I've only ever seen depictions of dragon eggs in books and scripture, let alone held one. Princess Twilight was the one who hatched a dragon for her entrance exam, not me."

"Then perhaps she might know more about the little darling?" Rarity stated.

"Rarity's got a point." Applejack continued. "If we really want answers, she's gonna be our best bet. Heck, Princess Twilight might even be able to take the little critter back home where it belongs. Wherever that is?"

Sunset nodded in agreement. "I'll send her a message as soon as I get back to my apartment. We can work out what to do from there once I get her reply." She looked down at the purplish-blue shell she held in her arms. A faint smile crossed her lips. "Till then, we need to figure out where we're going to keep it."

"Ooh! Ooh! Move in with me! Let it move in with me!" Pinkie exclaimed excitedly while raising her hand and bouncing. "It'll the perfect playmate for Gummy!" She explained. "He's been feeling super-duper lonely with me being gone all the time, but he won't be anymore if he becomes a mommy to his own egg!"

Fluttershy placed her hands on her cheeks. "Awww, Gummy being a mommy sounds adorable." She blushed happily, imagining Pinkie's baby alligator wrapped protectively around the larger blue egg.

"I know right!" Pinkie agreed.

"Be that as it may..." Twilight interjected while she adjusted her spectacles. "I think it would be best if Sunset took care of the egg."

Sunset blanched. "W-what m-m-me!?"

"You do have the most experience with these kind of endeavors, Sunset." Rarity stated. "Besides you would know more about Equestrian dragons then the rest of us." The young fashionista darted her gaze towards Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie, causing Sunset's gaze to follow. "Plus, I would personally feel a lot safer knowing you won't try and hatch this beast... unlike some people."

Rainbow Dash shouted. "Hey!"

Pinkie Pie simply shrugged. "That's fair."

"But I don't even know how to take care of an egg! I barely know how to take care of a hamster!" Sunset exclaimed in panic. Her friends noticed a few stray hairs falling out of place on her fiery head. "An egg's embryo requires constant amounts of heat and warmth to ensure the yolk inside doesn't go sterile! We'd need to build an incubator, but we neither have the time nor the materials for that!" A sudden look of terror appeared on Sunset's face, and she shouted, "WHAT TIME OF THE MONTH IS IT?!"

"Uh... we're about halfway through November." Rainbow answered disconcertedly.

"THE COLD WEATHER HAS ALREADY SET IN!" The other girls winced worriedly as Sunset clasped the egg tighter in her arms like it was her security blanket. They feared she might shatter it open out of sheer anxiety.

Suddenly, Fluttershy stepped up and slapped her hands onto her worried friend's shoulders. She gave her a stare that she normally only gIve her misbehaving animals, and Sunset almost immediately calmed down. She spoke in a appeasing voice, "Sunset Shimmer, please calm down."

"Okay." Sunset answered in a calmer, near trace-like tone.

"You do not need to feel overwhelmed. Your friends are going to help you, okay?" Sunset nodded.

"Good. Now here's what your going to do: your going to take the baby dragon egg home with you; when you get there you are going to turn up your heater to a higher degree; and then you will wrap the egg's shell in the warmest clothes you can find. Do you understand?"

Sunset nodded again.

Fluttershy raised her hands from Sunset's shoulders and slowly back away towards the rest of her friends, whom all were carrying expressions of discomfort. Twilight silently leaned over towards Rarity and quickly whispered in her ear. "She scares me when she does that." Rarity nodded in agreement.

Sunset shook her head to clear it of dizziness. "I really wish you wouldn't do that Fluttershy." She stated groggily.

Fluttershy blushed in embarrassment. "I'm sorry."

"Don't be, in truth, I should be thanking you." Sunset said forgivingly. "I mean... at least now we have the start to a plan." She gave her friends a genuine half smile.

"And we're going to help you every step of the way, until we come up with a full plan." Twilight stated happily as she pulled her friend into a hug.

"Indeed, you have our total undying support and aid." Rarity stated as she joined the hug.

The rest of their friends nodded in agreement before joining the three in a much bigger group hug. Sunset smiled happily. She very much appreciated their love and support, but maybe now was not the best time for a tender embrace.

"Girls... your kind of crushing the egg." The group quickly backed away from each other in swift realization. They soon all began laughing.

******
The lock to Sunset's apartment echoed with a loud *CLICK*, as she gently pushed her way into her home. She quickly flicked on the lights to the apartment and smiled. It looked just as she had left it.

The three main rooms that made up her small living-space were still relatively clean, with only a handful of her dirty clothing laid strewn about her living room floor; The cushions on her living room's couch were still incredibly uneven; A few of her dirty dishes still sat untouched in the kitchen sink across the room from the front door, and some were even still caked in hardened oatmeal from her past breakfasts. Sunset looked towards her bedroom door, it was closed, but she somehow knew her bed sheets and comforter were waded into a ball from the way she threw them around in her usual morning rush.

Sunset made a mental note to start waking up earlier in the morning. She really needed to stop rushing around, essential things were not getting done when she only gave herself an hour of preparation before school.

Sunset sauntered over to her couch and gently placed her backpack on the cushions. She straightened and stretched her back and vertebra with a couple refreshing pops. The egg in her backpack may not have been heavy, but its round shape defiantly was murder on her spine. She unzipped her backpack, grabbed the egg taking up the entirety of its insides and laid it down on the coffee table in front of the couch.

Sunset quickly walked over towards her thermostat and turned the nob up to a much higher degree. "Okay... turned up the heater." She said as she recited her mental list of egg care directions. She walked over to her closet and scanned through her winter clothing. She grabbed her extra winter jacket, her scarf, and her woolen winter hat with the fuzzy ball on top. She waded up the jacket and placed it under the egg's base like a nest, she then wrapped the scarf around the egg's body before placing the hat atop its smaller point like she was putting the hat on a toddler's head.

"And wrap the egg's shell in the warmest clothes I can find." She continued to recite.

She flopped unceremoniously onto her couch, unintentionally straightening its cushions. She smirked at the egg calmly, her anxiety from before mostly gone thanks to Fluttershy's advice. She chuckled softly before turning over to look at her ceiling.

"If you could only see me now, aye Celestia?" She voiced thoughtfully. "First, I'm your personal student at the most prestigious magic school in the kingdom; Then, I become the world's first 'quote-on-quote' immigrant from an entirely different dimension; Now..." She chuckled again. "Just call me Sunset Shimmer, professional egg-sitter." She folded her arms behind her head lazily. She told her friends she would send a message to Princess Twilight Sparkle as soon as she got home, but right now, all she wanted to do was lay down and decompress.

An abrupt knocking suddenly began rapping at her door. Sunset sat up stoically. The words "of course" clearly wanted to escape her lips, but she decided to remain silent as she stared at her doorway. The knocking soon began a new. "Yeah?" She asked the door unenthusiastically.

"I've got pizza and a two-liter." Sunset's stoic expression suddenly changed into smile of mild enjoyment. Either she was now stuck in the middle of the weirdest robbery known to date, or more likely...

"Give me a minute, I just need to pick a few panties I left lying around." Sunset quickly got up from the couch and began picking her loose items of clothing that were scattered over her living room floor, none of which were undergarments.

"Whatever, just hurry up okay? Its cold out here." Sunset smiled as she dropped her discarded clothes in her hamper in the corner of the room. She quickly walked back over towards the door and unlocked it. As she opened the door, she smiled at the blue haired high-schooler who was carrying the items she was promised.

"Hey Flash." Sunset greeted in a friendly tone. Flash Sentry nodded in response. He walked passed the girl as soon as she moved out of the doorway and placed the pizza box and two-liter soda on the table in Sunset's kitchen.

"You do know we aren't dating anymore, right Sunset?" He asked jokingly as he dug through her kitchen's cabinets for cups.

Sunset noted the slight blush on her ex's cheeks, and snickered to herself knowingly. "Is it really my fault your so easy to tease." Flash chuckled good-heartedly.

"Guess not. I just wouldn't go around talking like that in public... or through doorways... where other people may get the wrong idea." Sunset's eyes widened at Flash's choice of words.

"Was there somebody else out there?" She asked worriedly. Flash gave her is own patented smirk.

"Your creepy looking neighbor was defiantly giving me some encouraging looks as he walked by, but I honestly doubt he talks to other people that often." Flash couldn't help but laugh at the pouting look Sunset was giving him. Her expression quickly changed however, keeping her furrowed brows but exchanging her pout for a smile.

"Jerk... I though you meant someone from school. You really scared me there."

"Right, now who's easy to tease." The two's expressions quickly began to lighten, and soon they found themselves laughing.

Sunset flopped back down onto the couch as Flash began pouring a pair of drinks. "So what brings you over here?" Sunset asked curiously. Flash looked up from the cups he was pouring to look at her.

He smiled. "My parents are working a late shift tonight at their job, and Scootaloo is having a sleepover with her friends at Applejack's place." He opened the pizza box and grab a pair of paper plates from inside. He deposited two slices of pizza on each plates before heading over towards the couch.

"I had nothing better going on tonight." He continued as he handed Sunset her pizza and drink. "So I though, why not surprise one of my friends with a veggie pizza and two liters of Dr. Pepper." Sunset smiled sweetly.

"Aww, you remembered I'm a vegetarian." Flash smirked back.

"Kind of hard to forget. It's not everyday your ex-girlfriend tell you she's a magical talking horse from another dimension."

"Pony. Not horse. There's a big difference." Flash nodded and took a sip of his soda. His vision soon caught sight of the giant egg sitting on the coffee table before him. He blinked a few times before calmly putting down his drink.

"What's that?" He asked, quizzically pointing towards the egg.

Without even batting an eye, Sunset answered. "An egg the girls and I found after an experiment with our necklaces went wrong." Flash blinked in confusion.

"So... it's a magical pony thing?" He asked.

"We think its a dragon egg." Sunset continued saying bluntly. "But don't worry, we plan to send it back Equestria before it has a chance of hatching."

Flash felt somewhat relived. "Guess that explains why its so festively dressed." He hooked two of his fingers around the collar of his shirt and stretched it open. "And why its so ungodly hot in here."

Flash suddenly felt a tug on his jacket sleeve. Sunset was hanging on his arm like only a flirtatious ex-girlfriend, who knew all the right buttons to push, could do. She fluttered her eye lashes at him and said in a sultry voice: "You mean, it isn't just me stoking your inner fire." Flash deadpanned as he stared at girl cuddled up on his arm.

"Just tell me the truth, you turned up the thermostat for the egg, right?" His voice was as flat as his expression could purvey.

"Yes I did." She stated playfully.

"Alright then." Flash pulled his arm out of Sunset's embrace and dug it into the one place the TV remote always seemed to be, in between the couch cushions right between where the two sitting. "Lets see what's on TV." He stated, again, flatly.

Sunset quickly snickered at the boy's behavior before reclining back on the couch. "Check to see if there's any good movies on."

******
The two spent most of the rest of the night eating pizza, talking, and watching bad movies on Syfy. It wasn't until a couple hours later that Flash finally looked at the clock. It was a quarter passed 10:00, and getting quite late.

Flash silently rose from the couch and stretched out his back. "I think it's about time I head home Sunset." Flash grabbed his jacket off the floor, picked the trash from dinner and headed towards the door. Sunset followed close behind.

The two felt sweaty and exhausted with the heat turned up as high as it was. They had opted to remove their jackets for relief, but refrained from removing anything else due to respect for the other. At the door the two avoided giving each other a hug goodbye because of how gross each other felt. They instead went for a handshake, and even then the gesture still felt slimy.

"I'll see you at school on Monday. Tell me how this egg thing works out." She nodded in response, earning a smile from the boy.

Flash quickly opened the door, and was met with a sprinkle of water in his face. The outside world was currently being drenched by an unexpected shower. Flash blinked. "Huh?" He stated unenthusiastically. "Guess I'm walking home in the rain."

"Nope!" The door to the apartment suddenly closed in front of him. Flash turned to Sunset, who had her arms crossed over her chest. "You are going to stay here tonight. You can go home when the rain dries up in the morning." She stated with authority.

Flash decided to think about his situation. On one hand, he did not want to walk home at 10:30 at night in the pouring rain. On the other hand, he would be spending the night at his ex-girlfriend's house, which could become awkward, and even frustrating, very quickly. He began to way his options. He looked towards the door, then back to Sunset, towards the door, and back to scolding look of Sunset Shimmer. He knew his answer. "Alright you've convinced me." He stated with a sigh. "You got some extra blankets for the couch. Doubt I'll need them, but..."

"Top shelf of the closet where I keep my winter clothes." She stated with a point towards her living room closet. Sunset began to saunter passed him and towards her room. "Feel free to stay up as long as you want, but I'm going to bed." She opened the door to her bedroom and sighed upon seeing the state of her sleeping space; she had waded up her sheets.

Sunset continued talking. "And if you need me please knock first. It is really hot in here and I really need to cool off. I'll be sleeping in the buff and I'm not even kidding." As one would expect, Flash began blushing wildly.

"N-noted." He stated embarrassedly. He quickly cleared his throat regaining Sunset's attention. "Before you go could you at least tell me were the bathroom is?"

"Its connected to the bedroom, so use it quick." Flash nodded before quickly walking past. "And I don't want any guy stank in there Flash Sentry, so keep your waste purely liquid!" She walked into the bedroom as she shouted out threats.

As they left the room, Sunset failed notice the egg in her care twitch, then slightly jostle. Suddenly, as soon as it had started, it stopped. The egg become stagnant and motionless again, and yet still, a strange new warmth could be felt resonating off of its shell.

Eight Teens and a "Fresh" Baby

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Bolts of lightning lite up the sky and thunder rumbled like a cannon in the distance. The downpour that had been drenching Canterlot was moving away, leaving the small town sopping wet, but otherwise unchanged.

A broken computer monitor with a crack in its screen flickered to life, illuminating the muddy ground it sat upon. Its screen was covered in static, like that of a broken television, and a tall menacing silhouette was vanishing and reappearing on the screen in-between larges gapes in the electronic noise. Each time it reappeared, it grew closer to the screen. It eventfully grew so close its entire chest took up the monitor. It reached outwards towards the screen, like a digital effect in a 3-D movie.

The monitor's screen began to glow with a blinding white light. Two massive claws attached to long gangling arms reached out of the computer monitor like an open window, and dug their fingers the mud in front of the screen. The arms began to pull the rest of the body out through the monitor. The silhouette, now a tall thin humanoid creature, slide out of the screen like a snake leaving its burrow. The creature got to his knees after exiting the computer, and quickly stood to his full height.

The creature was roughly eight feet tall, with deep crimson eyes that scanned its surroundings like the search lights on a prison tower. The creature noticed it was surrounded by garbage and large discarded machinery.

"A junkyard..." The creature quipped in young man's voice that didn't seem to fit its appearance in slightest. This was not the destination the creature had intended, but this was also a world of which it's kind weren't familiar, so some mistakes were to be expected. The digimon turned his attention towards a wire fence that seemed to encompass the entirety of the junkyard. Through the fence he could see a small city in the distance, connected to the junkyard by a long winding road.

The creature smirked knowingly to himself. If his quarry was going to be anywhere, he knew it would be in a settlement. The knights, despite their ranging personalities, were always known for their stance on companionship. They believed it gave them something bigger than themselves to fight for...

The creature chuckled. "...Utter rubbish." A bright flash of lighting covered the sky, engulfing the creature completely in blinding light. When the lightning vanished, so to did the creature. Silence returned to the junkyard.

******
Sunset awoke with a start and shot straight up in her bed. "What a nightmare..." She voiced to no one in particular.

It was currently early morning, and to say the ex-unicorn was feeling sweaty and disgusting was vastly an understatement. She had barely slept at all last night, the blasting heat from her apartment's furnace having been just too much to bare. She had been tossing and turning uncomfortably on her sweat-drenched mattress all of last night, and her comforter and sheets had been discarded a long time ago and had been left to rest thrown in a misshapen pile in the corner of the room.

Sunset wiped the majority of sweat off her brow and began to cast her tired eyes around the room. She suddenly stopping to stare when her gaze caught sight a full-body mirror she had hanging just to right of her bed. Her appearance was disheveled, her hair was a mangled mess of its former self and her eyes were crusted over with huge ugly black bags hanging under them

She groaned inwardly upon seeing this monster in her mirror, before turning her gaze towards her bedside table. The alarm clock next to her lamp read 4:30 AM. Sunset groaned louder and cupped her face in her hands. She then flopped back onto her bed offhandedly and without care.

"What was it that podcast that Rainbow Dash showed me said?" She mumbled to herself irately. "This is my journey, this how it changed my life. Come with me on my stupid fucking journey." Sunset sat upright in her bed again, and began stretching out a few kinks and cramps left over from last night’s dreadful attempt at sleep. She stretched forward to reach for her toes, lowering her head forward to looked over her body as she did so.

Despite what she had told Flash yesterday, she was clothed in a pair of opaque black panties and a bra. She had worn these as a precaution, just in case Flash somehow did stubble into her room during the night. The undergarments gave her just enough cover so her body could breath while she slept, while at the same time made it so she didn't need to feel too embarrassed if her ex did manage to catch her while undressed. Even still, her clothing was skimpy enough to warrant her slapping him across the face if he dared try to sneak a peek.

She twisted her neck slightly, producing a noticeably loud popping noise from her stiffened joints. From her new perspective, she soon noticed something seated just off the foot of her bed. From where she was sitting, she could clearly make out the tip of a large purplish-blue egg shell. Sunset furrowed her brows in clear annoyance. "That boy is definitely getting his ass kicked."

Sunset quickly flipped over and onto her hands and knees and began crawling towards the edge of her bed. She leaned over the banister to pick up the egg.

"As for you..." She spoke to the egg as if talking to a toddler. "Let's dress you back up in your nice warm clothes." She grabbed the egg, and was surprised to find it felt much lighter then when she had last held it. Upon raising it to eye-level however, sent a chill down her spine. The egg had been broken, almost completely in half.

Sunset's eyes widened in shock. She stared vacantly at the empty shell before her. "W-wha...?" She found herself unable to form words.

A sudden clatter of a shattering lamp and a falling clock, followed by a sharp animalistic snort, rang out behind the teen from her bedside table. Sunset shot up on her knees in surprise, then slowly turned her head to address the noise.

What she saw next nearly made her faint, as a creature she could barely describe jumped off her nightstand and straight towards her face.

******
Flash was laying uncomfortably on Sunset's couch in his white t-shirt and jeans. His arm was lazily draped over his face, and the strange sleeping position he was forced to take during the night was causing him to snore obnoxiously loud. Despite this, he had managed to remain asleep through most of last night, and probably would have stay that way for a couple more hours, if not for...

"AAAAAAHHHHHHGGGGGHHHHH!!!!"

"Jesus!" Flash shot up from his not-so peaceful slumber and fell to the floor in a not-so graceful heap. He quickly sat up, and shot his gaze towards Sunset's closed bedroom door in confusion.

"Sunset..?" He mumbled groggily. His eyes listlessly fell to the floor in a tired haze and he soon noticed a scarf and winter hat trailing towards her bedroom. The same winter hat and scarf that Sunset had put on the...

Flash's eyes shot open and the teen quickly turned his head towards the coffee table. Sitting on top next to him was the jagged bottom half of a purplish-blue egg shell, resting alone and undisturbed in its makeshift winter jacket nest.

Loud banging soon erupted from behind Sunset's bedroom door, and the puzzle pieces slowly began falling into place. Flash quickly glanced between the piece of egg shell, the scattered winter clothing, and the bedroom door. It all soon clicked, and Flash found he had only two words to say in response to the situation he now found himself in.

"Holy shit."

The door to Sunset's bedroom suddenly, and violently, busted open...

******
On the other side of town—in a purple bedroom that was filled to the brim with books and other intelligent person things—in a bed tucked in tightly by her astronomy comforter (a blanket that depicted all the major constellations in their exact locations in the night sky), Twilight Sparkle was sleeping. Beside her, Spike, her dog, was cozily curled up in a ball and was peacefully enjoying both the bed's and his best friend's warmth.

The two were enjoying their peaceful night's slumber, but then Twilight's phone suddenly began to ring with a all too familiar ringtone.

"Ugghh..." She groaned loudly as she begrudgingly lifted herself off her bed. She looked at the clock on her smart phone. "Why's she calling me this early in the morning?" Twilight grabbed her glasses from her bedside table and shifted into a seated position on the side of her mattress.

A loud groan and the feeling of movement near her stomach reminded her that Spike was still sleeping right next to her. “Twilight, please go back to sleep.” Spike grumbled, keeping his eyes closed as he pressed tighter into his ball.

Twilight chuckled lightly at her sleepy puppy. "I've got a call, you goof." She turned back towards the purple-cased smartphone buzzing on her table, it was now about half through its song. "...And it's from Sunset, so it could be something important."

Begrudgingly, Spike lifted himself from the bed's tender embrace and began to stretch. "So answer it..." He said with a groan. "It's not like were going to get anymore sleep tonight anyways with your playlist going on repeat."

Twilight nodded in agreement before reaching for her phone. She swiped it before answering. "Hello?"

"Twilight! Oh thank Celestia you picked up!" The girl on the other end of the line sounded frantic and winded. It made Twilight feel uneasy.

"Sunset, are you okay? You sound exhausted." Twilight asked out of concern.

"You could say that." Sunset admitted. "But that isn't important right now. Listen, I need you and the other girls to get over here!"

Twilight pinched the bridge of her nose between fingers in tired annoyance. "Sunset it's 5:00 in the morning on a Saturday, I'm sure whatever's going on can wait a couple more hours." She expressed in her groggy tone of voice.

Sunset's voice began turning frantic again. "But Twilight, you have to listen to me!"

"I'm hanging up now Sunset." Twilight moved her finger to push the end call button on her touch screen.

"Twilight wait!" Twilight paused upon hearing the severity in the young girl's voice. "Twilight...the egg hatched."

Twilight's eyes widened in shock. She practically yelled at her phone. "What?! You actually hatched the dragon egg!!!"

Spike, upon hearing this, stared up at her in confusion. "...Dragon egg?" He mumbled to himself concernedly.

"It wasn't on purpose, okay!" Sunset exclaimed defensively. "Look, just get over here as soon as you can. We have the creature currently trapped, but I don't know how long we'll be able to keep it that way."

Twilight pursed her lips quizzically. "Who's we?" She asked nonchalantly.

"Twilight!"

"Sorry! I'll start making calls!" Twilight exclaimed. "We'll be at your apartment as soon as we can."

"Thank you."

With a flick of her wrist Twilight ended the call. Then with a swipe of her finger, Twilight opened the conference call option on her phone. "I'd better ask Applejack to pick us all up. We'll get to Sunset's faster if we all take the same car." Twilight mumbled to herself as she left her bed and rushed out the door.

Spike too jumped off her bedside. "Wait a minute, I'm coming with you!" He exclaimed as he ran on her heels. "There's no way I'm letting you girls face a dragon alone! Those things are wild ugly beasts, haven't you seen the movies!"

The sound of the dial tone rang loudly in Twilight's ear for a few minutes before someone actually picked up. Spike could hear her quietly talking to someone else on the line as they both silently rushed through the house, neither of them wanting to wake up the rest of Twilight's sleeping family.

"Applejack?" Twilight said in a whisper.

(...)

"Yes, it's me Twilight."

(...)

"Yes, I'm aware what time it is. But listen, I need you to get your family's truck and pick me and other girls up, okay?"

(...)

"Sunset's dragon egg hatched!"

(...)

"Yes, I know... holy shit."

******
A high-pitched snarling could be heard bellowing out from under Sunset's bed. The creature she had originally thought was a dragon had been using the area under her matress as a hiding place since before she had made her phone call to Twilight.

She had been watching the creature nonstop for what felt like twenty minutes now, and Flash had been watching it for even longer. Sunset had been the only one of the two to have had taken a break, using it as a time to put on a pair of modest pajamas and slather on some makeup to make herself look more presentable.

Thankfully, the creature itself hadn't yet tried to escape, and for the most part, had been remaining relatively calm since it started hiding. But that doesn't mean it didn't cause its far share of damage back when the three first met. Literally anything and everything that could of been knocked over or broken in Sunset's apartment was now lying on the floor. Broken picture frames, cushions from the couch, shatter dishes, ripped clothing, and even the contents of Sunset's refrigerator decorated the floor and walls of the apartment like the aftermath of a crazy frat party. All that was missing was the rowdy chicks...

A sudden knocking came from Sunset's front door.

"That must be the girls." Sunset said turning towards Flash. "Watch that thing and make sure it doesn't go anywhere."

With a fake salute, Flash replied. "Roger."

Sunset quickly made her way towards the front door to greet her friends, taking care with every step as to avoid any sharp or dangerous shards of glass that may have been lying on the floor. She opened the door...

"I'm glad you girls could get here on su–Oof!"

...Only to be tackled from the other side of the doorway by a girl in pink pajamas.

"SUNSET ARE YOU OKAY?! DID THE DRAGON HURT YOU?! DOES IT LOOK COOL?! ARE YOU ALRIGHT?!! SPEAK TO ME!" Pinkie Pie shouted frantically as she shook her grounded friend like a broken rag doll.

"Sunset we came as soon as we–" Rainbow immediately paused in what she was saying to stare perplexedly into Sunset's apartment. The other girls in her party soon joined up behind her and began sharing similar expressions.

"My word Sunset, what happened?" Rarity exclaimed.

"Yeah dude, it looks like you threw a kegger in here?" Rainbow Dash said staring at the destruction in amazement (quite frankly she was impressed). "Because this place is reaching rock star levels of thrashing."

Sunset pushed Pinkie Pie off of her stomach, and sat up strait. She noticed her friends, like Pinkie, were all still in their pajamas. She assumed that they had all rushed over as quickly as they could. She began rubbing the sides of her head sorely, she was getting a migraine (apparently magical beasts and vigorous shaking did that to a person).

"Yeah I know." She stated lividly. "Apparently, whatever was in that egg really didn't approve of my choices in décor."

"That's weird?" Pinkie stated perplexedly. "I'll admit your not the most fashion forward person I know, being a unicorn from another dimension and all. But I personally never thought you had bad taste?"

Pinkie's honest comment was met with a cluster flat expressions. Even Flash, who was sitting away from the girls at the moment, was groaning quietly with his face cupped in his hands.

"So where is it now?" Twilight asked after the lengthy awkward silence subsided. "The dragon I mean."

"Still under my bed. Flash is watching him."

The girls looked at their friend in confusion. "Flash?" They asked in unison.

"Sup."

"He was spending the night here before the egg hatched." Sunset explained as she started leading her friends towards the bedroom. Thankfully they were wearing shoes, so navigating the room was much less of a hassle.

Rarity began smirking cattily. "Was he now~?"

Sunset flinched at her friend's assuming tone. "Platonically!" She shouted. "We were sharing a pizza before it started raining earlier. I said he could spend the night instead of drenching himself walking home."

It was Flash's turn to smirk, he had a terrible idea. "As opposed to getting myself drenched here with you." He voiced chidingly. Sunset blushed brightly and the girls began to giggle.

"Flash!" Sunset shouted indignantly.

"What?" He shouted back mockingly. "I would have expected by now, you'd have admitted to your best friends that we have had sex before."

Sunset began to blush madly as her friends politely stifled more of their laughter. If Flash didn't diverse the slap she had given him earlier, she thought he defiantly deserved it now.

Back by the front doorway, Fluttershy heard what sounded like whimpering. She immediately stopped giggling and turned to see Spike was still outside, currently shivering and with his tail between his legs.

Fluttershy quickly became concerned. She walked back through front door and quickly knelt down next to the frightened puppy. "Is everything okay Spike?" She asked warmly.

Spike quickly noticed she was next to him. He then spoke loudly, in hopes of hiding his nerves from the girl. "Y-yeah I'm g-g-good." He lied. "I'm just giving y-you girls a h-headstart. I'm not afraid of any d-dr-dragons." The tremble in his voice and body denoted otherwise.

Fluttershy smiled sympathetically. She moved hands around the little dog's sides in order to carefully pick him up. "I know your not." She said soothingly. "Your our big strong guard dog, after all. Your here to protect us, in case me or the others gets scared, right?" Spike looked up from Fluttershy's arms and noticed she was smiling down at him. He smiled back.

"Y-yeah... Of course!" He stated more proudly. "Don't you worry Fluttershy, I'll protect you!"

She giggled lightly. "Glad to hear it Spike. I feel safer already." She walked back over towards her friends with the happily yipping puppy brave guard dog still nestled tightly in her arms.

Once everyone was back together, Flash pointed towards the area underneath Sunset's bed frame. Snarling, seemingly more vicious sounding then before, could be heard escaping out from between the bed's legs.

"He's right under there." Flash explained. "And judging by his increase in volume, he knows that there's more people here then before."

Sunset quickly turned to forewarn her friends. "You each can take a look—but be careful—this thing is incredibly temperamental, and as Flash and I have recently learned, very little can to set him off."

Now sharing some worried expressions, the six teenagers nodded to prove they understood. Flash slowly got up from his seat in the bedroom's doorway in order give the girls some room. Fluttershy placed Spike back down on the floor so he could also take a look. They each laid down on the apartment's carpet, Rarity more hesitantly then the others considering the mess, and explored the under area of the bed with their eyes. They soon caught sight of the creature...

...their supposed baby dragon.

The beast was backed up against the opposite wall like frightened raccoon. It snapped it jaws a few times at them in an attempt to look threatening. It only succeeded in making itself look more adorable by flapping its toothless infant gums.

Taken by surprise, Rainbow Dash suddenly burst into laughter. She rolled onto her back to stared derisively at the boy and girl standing above her, both of whom were wearing the same equally embarrassed blush.

"That's your baby dragon?!" She laughed. "You two really need our help dealing with that knockoff Furrbie?!" The rainbow-haired girl continued to chortle and roll around floor as Flash and Sunset scowled hatefully in response.

"He so cute!!" Pinkie Pie exclaimed reaching out only to receive another snap from the creature. She pulled her arm back, but continued talking as if nothing had happened. "He's like a giant purple puffball, from one of those things Rarity uses to powder her face. Only he has eyes, ears and a mouth."

Rarity grimaced at her friend's ignorance in the field standard beauty tools. "It is called a powderpuff, and they are found in compacts Pinkie. Honestly now, you are a teenage woman, you should already know these things!"

Twilight, for her part, found she could only stare astonishedly at the creature before her. The creature itself soon noticed her gaze was significantly more focused then the others, and it quickly began glaring back at her with added intensity. Twilight began to speak, "This... is..."

The girls, Spike and Flash were pulled from their own thoughts as they looked towards their friend.

"...INCREDIBLE!" The group was then immediately taken back as the normally mousy girl started shouting.

"A creature like this has never been encountered before, its an entirely new species completely alien to this world!" Twilight said excitedly while lifting herself onto her knees. "We need to study it! If it truly is a dragon like you suggest Sunset, then this discovery could have major implications on not only science, but historical mythology as well!"

Twilight suddenly felt someone's hand pat down gently on her left shoulder, surprising her back to reality. "Calm down there, sugarcube. Yer startin' ta drool." Twilight blushed as she wiped her mouth instinctively. "Besides we can't do any sort of studyin' yet. We haven't even figured out how to pull this critter out hidin'." Applejack proclaimed.

The realization soon struck Twilight, and she began rubbing the back of her right hand sheepishly. "Your right." She timidly agreed. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't be getting ahead of myself."

"It's alright Twi, we all know how ya get when yer around these kinda scientific thing-a-ma-jigs." Applejack smiled reassuringly at her friend before turning back to look at Sunset.

"Did ya get any word back yet from Princess Twilight about this critter, Sunset?"

Sunset shook her head. "I sent her a message through my journal earlier, but as of yet she hasn't replied. For now, we're on our own."

A quick, yet sudden, vicious growl from the creature under the bed seemingly worked to confirm Sunset's statement to the rest of the group.

Twilight began to ponder their predicament. "Well... we can't just leave him under there." She stated. "Without our direct supervision there's no telling what he could be doing. But then that bring up the all important question: how do we coax a creature we know nothing about out from under Sunset's bed?"

Rainbow Dash smirked confidently and cracked her knuckles. She started pushing her way forward past her friends. "Out of the way everyone, I've got this." She fell down onto her belly and began army crawling towards the creature, much to its displeasure.

"I wouldn't do that Rainbow, your only going to get him more riled up." Flash warned.

The creature aggressively snarled, warning the rainbow-haired teenage to stay away.

"He's fine." She exclaimed, ignoring the creature's angry protests. "Tank gets like this whenever he hides under the couch back at home. The only way to get him to stop is by grabbing hold of him and pulling him out into the open!"

"But Rainbow, Tank is a Tortoise." Sunset argued. "This thing is an Equestrian dragon... we think."

Rainbow Dash only continued crawling. "They're still both reptiles. Tank and this thing could practically share the same family. Heck, they could be twins."

Sunset blanched in disbelief. "You can't be serious right now. That dragon is purple and furry, Rainbow Dash!"

"Please be careful with him, Rainbow." Fluttershy pleaded. "He looks really fragile."

"Don't worry Fluttershy, I won't hurt him." Rainbow Dash assured.

Rainbow Dash drew closer to the creature snarling in front of her. "Come here ya little hairball." She reached her hands out to pick up the creature, only to hear it shout something back at her in return.

"Chīsana Tetsu Tsubu!!!"

A small iron bead, roughly the size of a marble, shot from the creature's mouth at a speed comparable to a fired airsoft pellet. The metal bead hit Rainbow Dash right under her left eye, stinging her greatly and causing a noticeable welt to form where it had impacted.

"SON OF A–" Rainbow shouted as she crawled out from under the bed. She placed her hand over her eye. "Dammit!!" She cried. Raising to her knees, Rainbow glared furiously at the space underneath the bed. She could hear the creature snickering at her expense.

"Screw you, ya little turd!"

"We tried to warn you." Flash stated smugly. Rainbow glared daggers at the two smirking teens standing behind her.

The rest of the group meanwhile was gaping in disbelief. They all stared underneath the bed in astonishment. "That baby critter... just... talked?" Applejack stated.

"And in Neighponese no less..." Twilight added.

"And to our knowledge, it's the only thing he knows how to say." The group turned towards Sunset, who was speaking rather flatly. "At least, that's all he's ever said to us." Sunset lifted the hem of her purple pajama shirt and Flash rolled up the sleeve of his jacket. Flash's left arm and the side of Sunset's midriff were both covered in randomly placed red welts.

Applejack blinked in disbelief. "Ah think we need to catch this thin' before anyone else gets hurt." The others nodded in agreement. "Anybody got any ideas?"

The teens grew silent as they all began to brainstorm. This silence only lasted for a few minutes, before Fluttershy suddenly spoke up. "Maybe he's hungry."

The others looked towards her in confusion. "What do mean Fluttershy?" Rarity asked.

Fluttershy quickly became nervous, everyone else's eyes where on her. Even still, she continued speaking, albeit more softly. "Normally, when baby lizards hatch, they are already very hungry and very mobile. Sometimes this hunger can make the newborns very cranky and can lead to different kinds of aggressive behavior."

The others nodded. "Maybe if we give him something soft to eat, he'll calm down and I can try talking to him." Fluttershy produced the necklace she gotten from Camp Everfree from the breast pocket of her pajamas.

"You brought your necklace with you?" Sunset asked quizzically.

"We all did." Twilight stated. Sunset looked to the rest of her friends to see they all indeed had their amulets in hand. Though unexpected, she found herself thankful for her friends' proactive behavior.

"Well in that case, I guess it's as good a plan as any." Sunset said reassuringly. "What should we try to feed him?"

"I think I left some wet dog food in the backseat of Applejack's truck. I'll be right back." Twilight bolted from the room and out the apartment's front door. After a few minutes, she returned with a purple backpack she only normally used for school.

"I'll go get you a can opener." Sunset said before quickly dashing from the room and towards her kitchen.

Reaching into her bag, Twilight produced a small can of wet dog food and a small dog bowl with Spike's name printed on it. Rarity cocked her eyebrow in confusion.

"Do you always carry Spike's dog dish around with you, Twilight?" Rarity asked curiously.

"Only when I take him with me outside the house." She explained. "When your dog can talk, and complains as much as mine does..." Spike huffed at Twilight's remark. "...It pays to always be prepared."

Sunset returned with the can-opener and quickly handed it to Twilight. She opened the can and dumped its contents into the dog dish before placing it at the foot the bed. The teens all backed away from the bowl until they had all left the room entirely. They waited in anticipation just outside the bedroom doorway to see if the creature would take the bait.

The room grew silent, nothing could be heard except for the sounds of the creature breathing. Then, there came a sudden thump, like a ball bouncing on the carpeted floor. After a brief moment, another thump came, and soon another and another. The creature bounced out from under Sunset's bed to eye the bowl suspiciously. It glanced towards the teens standing outside the room, and then back towards the bowl. By the way its brows were furrowed, it may have believed the food was poisoned.

It shot one last quick glance in the teens' direction before tentatively taking a bite of its offered meal. It chewed the food contemplatively, studying its texture and taste. It swallowed and quickly licked its lips. The creature liked the dog food, and quickly began scarfing down the rest of it happily until there was nothing was left but a licked-clean bowl...

...which the creature then promptly began to gnaw on.

"Well, what do ya know," Applejack said tipping her hat. "Ya were right, Fluttershy. That was a good plan."

Fluttershy smiled happily at the complement.

"Quick, see if you can talk to him now!" Twilight exclaimed. Fluttershy nodded and started stepping tentatively towards the creature. She grasped her necklace tightly and felt its warm magic glow between her fingers.

"Hello there little guy." She greeted warmly. The creature stared up at her perplexedly, but did not run away. It remained silent as Fluttershy lowered herself onto her knees. "Do you understand me?" She asked.

Her friends leaned deeper into the room through the doorway. For the moment the creature only continued to remain silent. He hopped off the floor onto Sunset's bed. He stared into Fluttershy's eyes blankly, and opened his mouth as if to speak. He said...

"Chīsana Tetsu Tsubu!!!"

"Eep!"

Fluttershy ducked as another iron bead was fired from the creature's mouth. The bead soared over her head and into Rainbow Dash's knee, who just so happened to be standing in doorway behind her.

"FUCK!" Rainbow cursed as she grasped her knee. "God damn little twerp!"

Rainbow Dash noticed the creature was snickering at her again. Her anger boiled over. "That does it! I'm gonna make a hat out of you!" She began storming into the room.

"AAAGGGHHH!" But she stopped suddenly when Fluttershy released a terrified shriek. Everyone turned towards their frightened friend.

"Fluttershy, what's the matter?" Sunset asked in concern.

Fluttershy only trembled in response. She slowly lifted her arm and pointed towards the window on the bedroom wall. "T-there's a m-monster in your window..."

The teens blinked in confusion, before turning to look at the window. Their eyes all widen in fear.

A tall ganging figure, cloaked in the early morning darkness, was staring into the room from the other side of Sunset's window. It had long steer-like horns pointing off horizontally from sides of it head, and its eyes glowed a deep crimson like the side of a firetruck. Its gaze was piercing, but it was not seemingly focused the teenagers. Its sights were pointed at the small creature trembling on Sunset's bed.

A young yet sinister sounding voice echoed through the room, despite glass window blocking the monster from the outside.

"I've finally found you."

The creature raised an elongated arm from its side and aimed it at the window.

"Death Claw!!!"

It shot its large clawed hand through the glass and towards the bed, shattering the window entirely.

"AAAGGGHHH!!" The teens screamed. The monster's claw slammed down onto Sunset's bed, nearly missing the infant creature they had been watching, as it leaped from the mattress and back onto the floor. The infant promptly shot back under the bed to hide.

"You can't escape me so easily! Not this time!" The monster lifted its other claw and grasped onto the frame of the windowsill. Using both its long arms, the monster pulled itself halfway into Sunset's bedroom, its lean and gangling form now on full display for the teenagers to see.

The creature was vaguely humanoid in appearance, and its body was covered from head to toe in a skin tight leather suit. Belts, bandages, and skull and bat designs unadorned multiple places around its body, with a big pair holey bat wings pressed tightly against its back given the confined space of the room. Its demonic gaze and appearance sent a chill down everybody's spine.

Rainbow Dash grabbed Fluttershy and pulled her back towards the rest of their friends. "What the hell is that thing!" Rainbow shouted.

"The devil in a gimp suit?" Pinkie unsurely replied.

The evil-looking creature continued paying little attention to the teens, as it continued its pursuit of the smaller creature. With the claw it had sunk into Sunset's bed, the creature lifted both the mattress and bedframe clear off the floor with ease. The smaller creature stared up in shock at the larger, now that it was suddenly out in the open.

"I've got you now." The creature growled maliciously. He moved his claw to grab the infant.

"We've got to help him!" Fluttershy shouted. "I think it wants to hurt him!"

Acting quickly, Sunset glanced down towards the floor. She noticed a sharp piece of a shatter glass plate laying on the floor. Sunset furrowed her brows and steeled her resolve.

Before anyone had a chance to react, Sunset grabbed the sharp piece of debris and charged the monster.

"Sunset!!" Her friends shouted.

"Leave him alone!" She jammed the sharp piece of shatter plate into the upper forearm of the demonic monster. The beast howled in pain, before retracting its arm and grasping the wound in its other claw, noticeable drops of blood could be seen pooling on the carpet. The smaller creature stared in amazement at the event he had just seen.

The monster hissed, and eyed the fiery haired teenager angrily. "DO NOT INTERFERE!" The monster swung its uninjured arm at Sunset, backhanding her back across the room and into the arms of her friends.

The smaller creature's eye widened in shock. He looked towards the teens, they were surrounding their friend checking to see if she was alright. She looked dazed, and a bruise was forming on her cheek from where she was struck, but she didn't look to terribly injured. Even still, he could somehow feel the monster they were facing wasn't going to hold back any longer.

The tiny creature began to growl. If they interfered again, that monster would not hesitate to kill them. A strangely familiar hatred, like the creature had never felt before, filled his mind. That girl had risked her own safety to protect him. He had been nothing but a nuisance since he had hatched, and still she put her own life on the line to protect him.

Memories he couldn't place clouded his mind. Blurry vague images from his own perspective...of him protecting creatures like himself...they called themselves something...digimon...he was protecting fellow digimon.

These children were they..?

The small creature shuddered violently on the floor. He felt more angry now then he may ever feel for rest of his life. The creature grit his gums together and gazed hatefully at the giant demonic figure. The small creature did not know why he had these memories—nor where they came from—what he did know however, was that they gave him a feeling... A determined feeling... A feeling that told him the crimes the demon monster just committed would not stand. That he needed to protect the girl that protected him. He needed to protect them all.

The tiny creature suddenly roared with his tiny high-pitched voice, taking the teens—and even the larger creature—completely off guard. The small creature's body was suddenly enveloped in a blinding white light. Sunset and her friends stared on in amazement, the demonic creature stared on in shock.

Dodomon Warp Digivolve To...

The high pitched voice the teens had been hearing before suddenly began to lower several octaves as the glowing form suddenly began to morph and change. The small creature's body suddenly shifted and grew to a size roughly reaching their waists. Its new body laid horizontal to the floor with two small arms and two powerful looking legs supporting it.

Dorumon!!!

The light exploded off this new form, forcing everyone present to avert their eyes to avoid the blinding flash.

The large creature quickly turned back towards his quarry as soon as the flash had dissipated, only to see a new creature rushing towards him.

"Dino Tooth!"

The new creature bit down forcefully on the demonic creature wounded arm, drawing more blood with his sharp teeth. The monster recoiled backwards as it shouted in pain, dragging itself and the new creature back outside through the destroyed window.

Rainbow Dash was the first to look back at the scene before after the flash. Both creatures were missing from the room. "What the hell just happen?!" She shouted.

"They both went out the window!" The teens looked down at Spike who was pointing towards the shattered window with his paw. Without hesitation, the teens all rushed towards it to look outside.

The devil creature was now standing at its full height and was shaking its arm wildly. It launched the smaller creature off with a powerful flick, sending him flying down the road. The smaller creature, Dorumon they heard him call himself, landed on his feet and skid gracefully to stop a short distance away from his opponent.

Even in the darkness of the early morning, the teens could clearly make out the new form of the creature in front of them.

He resembled a dinosaur with vibrant purple fur covering his entire body. Sharp black claws extended from each of the creature's fingers and toes, and set of sharp white teeth now filled the creature's mouth. Its tail resembled that of a fox, and a deep crimson gem was embedded into the center of its forehead. Dorumon lowered himself in a defensive stance as he stalked closer towards his opponent.

"So, you were able to skip the In-training stage, and jump straight to rookie." The demon creature spoke with mild amusement. "Impressive, but it doesn't matter. You're still no match for me!"

"Demon's Ray!"

Two blasts of dark energy shout out of the demon creature's hands and towards Dorumon. The smaller creature quickly leaped out of the way and began charging the larger, all the while dodging more blasts fired by his opponent.

Sunset's face quickly furrowed with concern. She turned towards her friends, they all carried similar expression. "He needs our help!" She voiced passionately. The other's nodded in agreement.

The teens and dog all rushed towards the front door and down the stair onto the street to witness the battle continuing in front of them. The larger creature fired another beam of dark energy from its claw as Dorumon avoided it. He leaped from the street as soon as he was close enough to the larger creature...

"Dino Tooth!"

... and dug his canines into his left bicep.

The demon monster screamed in pain, then grasped Duromon's body in its right claw. "YOU ARE AN IRRITATING PEST!"

He pulled the smaller creature off his arm violently in a spray of his own blood. The larger creature began to squeeze Dorumon between its palm and fingers, like it was trying to crush an empty soda can. Dorumon screamed in more human sounding voice then he had been using prior.

The teens and dog gasped in fear. The larger creature chuckled evilly...

...then promptly felt a garbage can collide with the side of its head. The creature loosened its grip as it staggered, but didn't let go of his quarry. As soon as it could straighten itself, the demon monster turned to see where the sudden trashcan had been thrown from. It saw a teenage girl wearing a Stetson and blue footy pajamas, hefting another fully-loaded garbage can over her head like it were a baseball. A small necklace she wore around her neck was glowing.

"Now ya probably don't hear this very often but, GO PICK ON SOMEONE YER OWN SIZE!" Applejack chucked the second garbage can like it was the lightest thing in the world. The demon monster caught it in its free hand and crushed it quickly.

It drop the can and open its free claw to point at the girl. "I'll kill you for that!"

The creature suddenly felt itself begin lifted off the ground, almost like it was a lost balloon suddenly taking flight. The creature looked down and noticed its legs were enveloped in a bright glowing purple aura.

The rainbow haired human was suddenly at his feet. The monster's crimson eyes widened, she had appeared faster then he could even blink.

She grasped onto the monster's right ankle tightly with both of her hands. She smirked, "Ya better hold on Stretch, because I'm taking you for a ride!" Rainbow Dash suddenly began sprinting faster then her friends could perceive and pulled the still levitating demon monster along with her like a kite in the wind. With the sudden burst of speed, the monster accidently let go of the Dorumon allowing him to fall gracelessly back to the pavement below.

Twilight suddenly dropped her focus and let go of her levitation spell, a resounding "THUD" could be heard in the distance. She, Sunset, Flash, Rarity and Fluttershy all rushed to the grounded creature's side. They helped him up to sit on his haunches.

"Are you alright?" Sunset asked.

Dorumon looked up at the fiery-haired teenager, his expression was one of pure astonishment. "You all just saved my life." The new creature's voice was child-like, but carried a clear sense of intelligence that the teens found odd.

Loud screaming could be heard coming back down the street. The teens and Dorumon turned to see Rainbow Dash running back towards them with the tall creature dragging painfully against the asphalt behind her.

Rainbow let go of the monster's ankle and let him skid to halt a few feet away as she rejoined her friends. Behind the group of teens and Dorumon, Applejack hefted another garbage can over her head. Meanwhile, Pinkie Pie dug through one of the open trash bins.

The demon monster slowly rose from his back and onto his feet. "REPUGNANT, IRRITATING, HORRID LITTLE HUMONS! I'LL SLAUGHTER YOU ALL!"

A rotten egg suddenly splatter across the demon monster's face. The teens and Dorumon turned as the large creature began rubbing the gunk clear of his eyes. Pinkie Pie was holding an open carton of rotten eggs she apparently found in the trash in the crook of her arm.

Pinkie began hucking the eggs one by one at the creature as she shouted. "Get out of here Stinky McLeather-Pants, nobody wants you here!" Once the final egg was lobbed, Pinkie Pie threw the egg carton of her shoulder in a sassy "that's all I have to say about that" motion.

The tall demon monster rubbed a small amount of the egg gunk off his closed eyes, allowing him to once again see. The creature growled angrily and raised his claw at the teenagers.

"Death Cl-"

The monster paused. His face was suddenly beginning to feel hot. It looked down over is mouth and chin, the rotten egg gunk was beginning to glow and was releasing a high-pitched ring that was quickly growing louder. Before anyone—besides Pinkie—knew what was going on, the egg gunk suddenly exploded like colorful fireworks in the sky. The blast sent the monster flying backwards and onto his back again.

Rainbow Dash began laughing. She rushed over to Pinkie's side and quickly high-fived her. "Pinkie Pie, you are amazing!"

For the moment, the large imposing creature only laid motionless on the pavement. It contemplated the situation it found itself in. Humons were never reported to be this strong in the Digital World's records. History always said they had the power to incite digivolution, but it never stated that they'd have abilities like digimon did. These weren't normal humons, the demon monster decided.

He had been careless, and didn't consider the possibility. He needed to regroup and formulate a new strategy with the information he had learned. He would make sure not to fail his masters again.

The ganging monster quickly returned to its feet and flapped its holey wings to get into the air. He stared down at the eight teens, their dog, and the knight he was forced to let get away for the time begin.

The creature shouted, "This isn't over! I will slay that knight, even if I have to gut everyone of you meddling humons to do so!"

The demon flapped his wings quickly and rose higher into the air. He began flying into the dark morning's horizon until the teens could no longer see its body in the distance.

"Well, if nothing else, you can definitely say the guy's goal-oriented?" Flash joked.

The teens that had been crouched around Dorumon rose back to their feet and began looking amogst each other. "Is everybody alright?" Sunset asked. She received a smile and a nod from each of her surrounding friends.

She turned to Rainbow Dash. "Rainbow?"

Rainbow Dash smirked. "Gimpy didn't even touch me." she stated proudly.

"Twilight!" Twilight turned to see a rather frightened puppy rushing towards her. He leaped off the street up into her arms.

"I'm so glad your okay!" He nuzzled her face. Twilight smiled and nuzzled him back.

Pinkie Pie smiled the widest of all and inexplicably pulled all her friends into a group hug, despite them all standing a good distance away from each other.

"Yaaay friendship!!" She shouted. The other teens and dog all shook their heads unquestioningly and returned their pink friend's hug.

"Umm... Excuse me..." The teens eyes all widened in surprise. They all turned as a clumsy unit and stared at the purple-haired saurian creature standing roughly at their waste height. He looked up at all them, and continued to speak.

"Thank you for giving me your attention." He stated with a bow. "Firstly, I would like to apologize for my actions while in my fresh stage. I am now aware that the way I was acting was both rude and brash, and I hope that you will all forgive me. Second, I would like to thank you all for the assistance you have provided me today. You can all rest assured that I will be providing you the same kindness, and that I will be ready should our enemy ever choose to attack us again."

The street suddenly became silent as Dorumon waited for a response. The teens only stared wide-eyed at him, they had been so caught up in all the excitement that they completely forgotten that small creature could talk. Dorumon cocked his eyebrow in slight irritation. "Are you not going to respond to me? Do you all really have nothing to say?"

The teens and dog all spoke quickly and concisely exactly how they felt about the situation they all found themselves in.

"Holy shit."

Living Life with Dorumon

View Online

The teens were lead back into Sunset's apartment as soon as the crushed garbage cans were taken off the street and place back where they once sat. Dorumon lead the them through the door back into the destroyed apartment, but at the moment not one of them gave a single iota about that.

Dorumon noticed their uneasy expressions, and quickly turned around to address them. "I'd assume, now that we're no longer in mortal danger, you all will want me to explain what is going on and who exactly I am. Am I not correct?" He said stoically.

The teens timidly glanced at each other for a moment, before turning back to give him their answer. "I mean... it would be nice." Sunset stated jokingly. Her friends gave a few nods in agreement.

Dorumon stared at them contemplatively for a moment, before releasing a quick irrated sigh. "I suppose it would be for the best. You do deserve an explanation after what you've all been through. Though, I do wish you hadn't needed to get involved."

Rainbow Dash cocked an eyebrow in confusion. "What are you talking about?"

"Come." He commanded, then began leading the girls, Flash and Spike over to the living room couch. Once they arrived, Flash and Applejack went about placing the cushions back on the coach's frame. They swept off most of the sharp debris that had been left behind after their earlier skirmish, before allowed Fluttershy, Twilight and Rarity to take their seats. They themselves decided to sit on the floor along with the rest of their friends.

Dorumon hopped off the floor and onto Sunset's coffee table, before turning around to look at the teens who had gathered beneath him. "I do not recall much, but I think I can tell you enough to explain the events that have taken place tonight." He stated reticently. "As you can probably tell, I am not a creature of your world. I am what is called, a Digimon... though I am unsure what this title fully means."

Pinkie Pie smiled. "You know, Digimon would make a great name from a neat-o video game series or an awesome TV show!" She stated giddily. "I can hear the theme song now! Hey Digimon, Hey Digimon, monster friends to the boys and girls~" She sang.

Deciding to ignore Pinkie Pie's nonsensical ramblings, Sunset was the first to voice a question. "And that thing we fought outside, was that also..?"

"Yes." Dorumon replied without hesitation. "His name is Devimon, and he is extremely dangerous, as you have seen. I believe he has come to eliminate me for something I did in the past. I am not completely certain why, but I believe I may have been some form of protector before I met all of you."

"Past?" Applejack said ruefully. "How's that possible? Sunset and Flash only saw you hatch more then an hour ago."

"I'll admit I don't understand the science of the situation either. But I clearly have some form of memory telling me all that I know now." He glanced down at the coffee table curiously. "Yet interestingly this knowledge didn't start returning to me in such volume until after my digivolution."

"Digivoultion?" Fluttershy asked.

"It's the process that you witnessed when I transformed from Dodomon..." Pinkie giggled at the silly sounding name. "...To the form you currently see now. It is what resurfaced all these memories of my past life, as well as reminded me of my name and the name of my prior form."

"Fascinating!" Twilight said excitedly. She clutched Spike closer to her chest. "A rapid evolutionary chain directly connected to an interlocking memory bank! Instantaneous maturing and metamorphosis! If I didn't see you standing before me right now, I would say that would only be possible in computer modeling programs."

Dorumon started at her blankly, following her comment. "I must apologize madam, but I do not understand this comparison your making? What is this 'computer program' you speak of?"

A long swath of awkward silence filled the room for a few minutes, before anyone else was brave enough to continue talking. Flash cleared his throat.

"You say your from another world. It wouldn't happen to be one we be familiar with would it?" He shot a brief glance towards Sunset, who shot him a sly knowing smirk back. Dorumon only blinked at this exchange.

"I do not believe so." He explained dourly. "Truthfully, I don't even recall the name of my homeworld. All I know is that it is populated by creatures similar to me and Devimon."

Sunset grimaced. "I guess that means you're not from Equestria. Nothing we have there even matches Devimon's appearance."

"I wouldn't say that." Rainbow Dash stated confidently as she rubbed her knuckle against her shirt. "After dragging his face against asphalt, I'd think he'd looks more like roadkill then anything." She smirked at Sunset. "You have that back in Equestria, right?" The teens all giggle slightly at Rainbow Dash's joke. Dorumon however, didn't seem to understand.

"But even after you dragged him across multiple miles of rough ground, he still resembled how he usually appears? He didn't look anything like a killed road?" Dorumon's ears suddenly perked up curiously. "What would a dead road even resemble anyways? I do not believe it is possible to kill the ground."

Rainbow Dash chuckling slowly turned awkward. "Don't worry about it man, it isn't important. The joke just went over your head, okay?"

Dorumon looked even more confused. "But I am not a man, I am a digimon like I just told you. And nothing can go over my head, because I would catch it before it did so!" He exclaimed heatedly.

Another awkward silence filled the room. The group of tfriends didn't know how to respond... well, except for Pinkie Pie.

"Oh yeah, what if an airplane was up really high in the air, higher then you could jump, then it would go over your head." She smirked, feeling proud of the argument she had against the digimon's previous comment.

Dorumon was beginning to feel challenged. He didn't like it. "I don't know what an airplane is, but I wouldn't simply allow it to fly over my head! I would move away from it before it had the chance, and then I would climb up to a high enough point to catch it!"

The two continued to argue as the rest of the group slowly melted into their own conversation.

"Yeah, I don't think he understands metaphors..." Flash whispered bluntly.

"It could just be a result of his memory loss." Twilight explained. "Maybe that information will come along with rest of his memory after his next evolutionary cycle."

"Sure... and how long exactly will that take, Dr. Egghead?" Rainbow Dash said sarcastically. Twilight furrowed her brows in an angry pout. "I'm just saying, the sooner he gets back his memory the sooner we can figure out how to send him home.

"I think we should try to help him adjust for the time he's going to be staying in our world." Fluttershy said, voicing her own opinion. "He may look different now, but he's still technically a baby, we should offer him a place to stay until he remembers how to get himself home."

Applejack nodded in agreement. "Doin' that probably will help us keep track of that flyin' devil thing too. Considerin' he's more then likely goin' to try an' attack us again. The little fella's going to need all the help he can get!"

Sunset nodded as well. "He can stay with me until we can figure all this out. I'm the only one who lives here, and no one besides you guys normally stops by, which will make him a lot easier to hide. I'll text the rest of you if he tells me anything new he remembers." The others nodded in agreement.

Rarity smiled. "Well I guess everything is settled then. Well... mostly everything." She stood up and turned her attention towards Pinkie and Dorumon. "Pinkie dear, would you mind halting your conversation for the moment? We need your's and Dorumon's help to get Sunset apartment picked up before we leave."

Pinkie only smiled cheerfully back. "Oki-Doki-Loki!!!~"

******
"...But are you absolutely sure this is the best course of action? We can't monitor Alphamon's digivolution properly while he's being absconded to this alien world. We don't even have visual on his whereabouts!" A blue screen with a blurred silhouette flickered dimly in the shade of a darkened room comprised of stone and ruin.

"It's a calculated risk to be sure, but if Wisemon's theory proves to be true, then Alphamon's Digi-Egg should have landed in the same place the power that's affecting the Digital World came from. With any luck that same power, might incite a faster digivolution then is expected here!" Voiced a second screen with an equally blurred visage.

The room was hexagonal in shape, with six screen adorning each wall. A large stone table sat in it's center with six large wooden thrones surrounding it, of which only one was in use. Five screens barely flickered with enough electricity to remain powered, while the room's single occupant contemplated the first screen's worlds.

"But we haven't fully tested this theory! Nor have we actually explored this other world!" The first screen shouted again. "We don't know what dangers exist there, and in Alphamon's current state he is in no place to protect himself."

"Enough!" The room's occupant exclaimed. "We all unanimously made the decision to have Jijimon open the gateway, because we all agreed we had no other options left. I understand your concern, but we need to stay hopeful and at least have some faith in the legends of old. If for nothing else, then to at least have our friend return to us safely."

"I agree with the boss." A third screen voiced. "The Digital World is a mess right now, and it's only going to get messier if we don't find some help fast! Besides, I already sense Alphamon's presence, even despite the dimensional gap. He's alive, but I don't know for how much longer..."

"Master..?" A fourth screen, this one directly in front of the occupant, asked with a concerned tone.

The third screen continued. "There's another presence there, a champion-level I think... I could be wrong, but Demon Lords might be getting wise to our intentions."

"The Devimon from before..?" A fifth screen asked.

"Possibly... I can't really make anything out besides power-levels and vital signs."

"We need to incite an extraction and forgo this experiment! Whatever knowledge we can obtain means nothing if Alphamon can't be returned to us! The first screen demanded.

"I agree. I'll set out immediately..." The second screen replied.

"Now hold on a minute, the situation might not be as bad as you guys think. He's surrounded by other vital signs. They're faint, like really really faint, but they're definitely there. Oh, and he's a rookie-level now... so that's a thing too." The third screen chuckled slightly at the serendipity of the situation.

"You didn't think to tell us this earlier!" The first screen fumed. "How long have you been withholding this information?!"

"First off, you didn't ask, and secondly, about twenty minutes..." The third screen joked. The first screen noticeably growled.

"In any case, I believe we should continue with the extraction... if he is a rookie-level digimon as you say, then he may already remember some information that could prove useful. If not, then we can still begin his training and bring him backs into our ranks again." The occupant turned towards the second screen. "You are to be as discreet as possible, and no one is to be harmed. Is that understood?"

"Perfectly my lord..." The image was still fuzzy, but the occupant could tell the creature in the screen was giving him a respectful bow.

"Good... you are all dismissed." The screens all flashed a bright white before vanishing a millisecond later. The room returned to a notably darker state as the occupant was left alone with his thoughts.

******
Working together, Sunset and her friends were able to clean up the apartment in almost record time. Trash was picked up and placed in bags, the gunk was clean up off the walls, and generally everything was just put back in its proper place... though the carpet was still going to require a good shampooing.

With most of the work done, the girls hastily said their goodbyes and piled back into Applejack's truck, each of them adamant on getting back to their respective homes quickly before the rest of their families woke up. Sunset waved to her friends as they drove away and as Flash wandered down the street back to his own house. Beside her, Dorumon stood with a pleasant smile strewn across his muzzle.

"They are good people. I can see why you like them so much." He said happily as he led her back inside.

"They're my best friends, and we've been through a lot together. I don't like to imagine what my life would be like if I didn't have them." Sunset crossed the living room and into her kitchen. She opened her refrigerator looking for something to eat.

"You want something for breakfast?" She asked pulling out a carton of eggs, ironically one of the few things that survived her and Dorumon's initial meeting. "We don't have a lot, but I'd assume your hungry after the morning we've had."

Dorumon seemed to perk up at her question. "You wouldn't happen to have more of that foodstuff you fed me earlier, would you? Try as I might, I can't get that substance's intoxicating flavor out of my mind."

Sunset chuckled slightly. "Sorry, but I don't own a dog. You're going to need to ask Twilight if you want more. But don't worry I can make you something else." She placed a frying pan on the top of her stove, and turned it's settings to high. She dabbed a pat of butter in the pan's center then allowed it time to melt.

Dorumon wandered curiously around Sunset apartment as she began to cook. He found it oddly charming now that it didn't look like the aftermath of a hurricane. The memory however still made him wince with guilt. "I feel I must apologize to you again, concerning my previous behavior. You really do have a lovely abode, it's a shame I so thoroughly destroyed it before."

Sunset found herself laughing again, this time more genuinely. "It's alright, really." She said between giggles. "You don't have to be so formal." She began scooping some scrambled eggs onto two separate plates. "After all, for the time being, we are going to be living together."

"Something else I feel I should thank you for. I'm not certain, but I'd assume not many would do this for an alien creature they just met."

"Don't sweat it." Sunset said as she placed Dorumon's plate on the floor, before taking a seat on her couch.

"Actually, I think it feels quite chilly at this moment." He replied honestly.

Sunset stopped the small bit of egg on the end of her fork from entering her mouth as she remembered the digimon's understanding of metaphors. Quickly, she rethought her previous statement. "What I mean is, it's not a problem. You can stay here as long as you need to."

Dorumon nodded, then looked at the whitish-yellow substance that sat before him. He sniffed it slightly, "What do you call this delicacy?" He asked absent-mindedly as he lap up some eggs with his tongue.

"Scrambled egg—" Sunset held her fork in her mouth as a realization suddenly struck her. She looked over her shoulder to see Dorumon giving her an incredulous look.

"You do recall I came from an egg, don't you Ms. Shimmer?" He asked her bluntly.

She giggled awkwardly. "Sorry, it must have slipped my mind..."

Dorumon only continued his deadpanned stare. "Your lubricated cranial lobes aside... this is still quite delicious, and I appreciate the kindness." He said lapping up the rest of his eggs. "I would ask you think more before you cook again however, to avoid anymore insults against my honor."

Sunset nodded. "Yeah... I' ll do that." She quickly went back to her plate of eggs, when she suddenly felt a pressure being placed down on her lap. She looked down to see Dorumon laying his head on her legs, like an affectionate puppy looking for attention. "Uh... what are you doing?" If it wasn't for Dorumon's thick fur, then she would have noticed the digimon was blushing.

"Like I said earlier... the room feels quite chilly to me, and as also previously stated, you are doing a lot for me in giving me shelter and meals. I feel I need to reciprocate this kindness. My body heat should help you keep warm."

At first surprised, Sunset now found herself smiling. She placed her eggs on the coffee table before her, and began to scratch Dorumon behind the ear, like she knew Spike enjoyed her doing. She found humor in the fact that the digimon's tail was waging slightly at the scratches she was giving him. "That is very nice of you, Dorumon."

"It is my pleasure, Ms. Shimmer."

"You can just call me, Sunset."

"Very well, I will try to make a habit of it."

******
A couple hours later, Sunset found herself waking up from a nap, and noticed Dorumon curled up beside her on the couch. She looked towards her TV and saw a large "Game Over" screen on it with Tirek's laughing face taunting her. She noticed that her game controller had fallen to floor while she was asleep, and the controller she had given to Dorumon was still resting in the same place on the couch where he had last dropped it. She couldn't help but giggle when she remembered what he said to her when the two of them tried to play multiplayer earlier in the day:

"I'm sorry Sunset, but I don't appear to have the appendages necessary to play this game with you."

Yet even despite his embarrassing lack of thumbs, the digimon found he greatly enjoyed watching Sunset play her game, and cheered her on every step of the way as she trounced her way through the unholy armies of the Dark Lord Tirek in her favorite game series. Surprisingly, she found it quite easy to live with her new roommate, even despite only knowing him for a few short hours. He was extremely polite and courteous, and interestingly found enjoyment in a lot of the same activities she found fun.

Sunset looked to her side and watched Dorumon's chest rise and fall as he slumbered, his position reminding her of a dog curled up before the fireplace at Christmas time. She couldn't help but admit, "You really are the cutest thing." She whispered, as she scratched Dorumon behind his ear again, earning a pleased groan from the sleeping digimon.

Her phone suddenly began to ring with a familiar ringtone, and she quickly rushed to her room to pick it up.

"Rainbow Dash?" The person on the other end of the line replied. "Oh hey.."

(...)

"Yeah me and Dorumon have just been hanging out since you guys left. He's been pretty cool, he really enjoys watching me play video games. How have you been doing?"

(...)

"Drills? Like what?"

(...)

"100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 squats, and a 10km run?"

(...)

"Well I've never met your dad, so I don't know what a usual Dash family punishment would be like."

(...)

"Because you refuse to introduce me, nor the rest of our friends for that matter. In fact, I don't think I've ever even been over to your house."

(...)

"The mall? I don't know Rainbow. I'd have to leave Dorumon home alone, and I don't feel comfortable doing that just yet."

(...)

"We'll maybe I am like his mom! Lets not forget who's house he hatched at."

(...)

"Flash is not my husband, Rainbow Dash! Why don't you and the girls just come over here!"

(...)

"You want to go shopping to help me replace what's been broken?"

(...)

"Alright fine, but for no more then a couple hours. I don't want to leave Dorumon alone with Devimon still out and about, okay?"

(...)

"Yeah, I'll see you at three. Bye."

Sunset sighed as she placed down her phone, and walked towards her closet to pick out some cloths for later. Her PJs might have been fine for lying around the house, but they weren't anywhere suited for a day at the mall. Whatever she pulled out of the closet would probably work fine, she thought. Sunset suddenly heard claws scratching against the carpet.

"Sunset, is something the matter?" Sunset looked to see Dorumon standing in her bedroom doorway, a more then perplexed look on his face. "I heard bits of your conversation, and grew concerned."

Sunset smiled at him warmly. "It's nothing. I was just going to the mall to do some shopping, I'll be back in a couple hours alright?"

Dorumon looked even more concerned. "But Devimon is still out there! Aren't you the least bit concerned about his whereabouts?"

Sunset knelt down, and rubbed her hand atop his head. "As long as you stay inside, I don't think he'll try to attack. There are too many people around to see him at this time of day. If he's smart, he wouldn't want to cause a panic."

"It isn't me I'm worried about." He stated clearly. "You and your friends bested him before. There isn't a doubt in my mind that he may hold a grudge against you because of it. At least allow me to come with you."

Sunset stifled some laughter. "Yeah, I can see that going down without a panic." She stated sarcastically. She began to mimic some fake passerby's reaction. "Hey Sunset, cute dog you got there. Oh wait, that's not a dog! It's a dinosaur with fur! Everybody run for your lives, it's Jurrassic Park, but real this time!" Dorumon was unamused by her joke.

"Regardless of this other person's opinion, I still feel it would be safer if I accompanied you." He stated sternly. "I remember more about Devimon, then you have experienced when facing him the first time. He could easily surprise you with a new tactic you haven't seen, then just as quickly end you on the spot!" Sunset didn't like the fact that Dorumon's warning was making her feel uneasy. It truth, she hadn't face anything like Devimon before. He wasn't something magically created, he was something completely alien, and simply trying to befriend him like she did so many other villains before didn't seem like a liable option here, given their group's first encounter with him.

Sunset shook her head, clearing her mind of worry as she turned her attention back to Dorumon. The little digimon seemed to be pouting as he turned away from her, his bushy tail wrapping around his legs. He clearly didn't want her to go.

Concernedly, Sunset lifted her hand and slowly began to rub Dorumon's back. She spoke calmly, "Listen Dorumon, it not that I don't want you to come with me, or that I'm not worried enough about Devimon. I don't know if you understand this, but I can't just let you wander around outside with me. Your like nothing this world has ever seen, and if people see you they might try to take you away." Upon hearing this Dorumon turned to look Sunset in the eyes. Sunset continued, "If that happens, I don't know if I'll be able to follow you... and what's worse is that we won't be able to get you back home." Dorumon could clearly note the sounds of sadness present in her voice, and it made him frustrated that he was the one causing her to sound this way. Even still, he wasn't going to just let her walk away because she said a few touching words.

"You are a very caring and logic person, Sunset Shimmer, and you have my appreciation for the words of concern. But I will not simply stand idly by while a threat on your life, as well as the lives your friends, still exists out there!" He narrowed his gaze at Sunset. "I am going with you to act as protection, and their is nothing you can say or do that is going to stop me!"

Sunset blinked at the digimon in surprise. No where in the amount of time they had spent with each other had he ever spoken to her so harshly. She supposed this was more his past self revealing itself, and she wasn't going to lie, his wanting need to protect her and her friends' well-being was incredibly sweet, if only somewhat scary. She wanted to argue with him more, but truthfully she knew that it wouldn't do any good. He was dead set on coming with her, and nothing short of the apocalypse was going to stop him.

Reluctantly, she sighed. "Alright, clearly I'm not gonna be able to talk you out of this. And simply locking you in the house isn't an option, because you'll just knock down my door."

"Or jump through your window. Whichever will conserve more of my energy if we manage to get into combat on this venture." Dorumon stated bluntly.

"Right..." Sunset sighed again. "I guess, I'll have to figure out something to make it so you can go around unseen." She looked at her clock. "...and it's nearly half an hour to three already—wonderful." She groaned.

"That seem like a poor choice of words actually, considering your apparent mood."

Sunset facepalmed. "Dorumon..." She paused exasperatedly. "...would mind leaving the room for a minute. I need to get changed."

Dorumon nodded. "Of course, Sunset." He left the room through Sunset's doorway, before she gently closed it behind him.

She turned back to her bed and once again noticed the clothes she had chosen from her mall trip. With another groan she began to strip off her pajamas and walk towards the bed. "...And here I thought he was going to be easy to live with."

******
"This is degrading..." Dorumon grumbled as Sunset carried him down the sidewalk. Her right hand was holding his bottom and the other was gently placed on his back. For all intents and purposes, he perfectly resembled an infant being carried by its mother.

"Stop complaining. You think this is any better for me?" Sunset replied. She groaned as she lugged the surprisingly heavy digimon towards their destination. "I'm a seventeen-year-old girl carrying around what looks like an oversized plush toy down the street. People are looking at me right now either thinking I'm immature or I'm crazy... neither of which I going live down anytime soon." She didn't look at him directly, but he could tell her cold frustrated gaze was now on him. "So the least you could do is be quite and act like a doll, okay?"

Dorumon didn't move, but he did whisper in reply. "Understood, my apologizes Sunset."

Sunset and Dorumon and soon stopped at a crosswalk just a few blocks away from the Canterlot mall. Luckily, Sunset didn't happen to live to far from the mall, so a walk there was never usually out of the question. Having to carry a creature the size of your average Germane Shepard however made the experience somewhat more unbearable, as the growing ache in her lower back would gladly attest to.

Dorumon continued to remain motionless, feeling quite bored with his role in the situation, when suddenly he felt something tugging at his tail. It was a wet, greasy something with multiple fingers, from what he could tell, roughly five. The sensation made his skin crawl in discomfort, he quickly darted eyes his over Sunset's back until he caught the sight of a tiny humon pulling at the tip of his appendage.

She was little, very little, he'd assume a toddler if his blurry memory of what toddler's look like severed him correctly. She was wearing little blue jeans with a white t-shirt that was covered in drool marks and colorful stains. On her head, a large amount of curly orange hair that climbed upwards until it reached a peak like a mountain, a little blue bow situated at the top to identify where it ended. She absent-mindedly sucked on the fingers of her other hand as she played with his fur.

"Sunset... Um, Sunset..." He whispered in her ear.

She glanced towards him. "Yeah?"

"We have a stranger in our midst." He voiced concernedly. "She's right by your leg."

Staring at him in confusion for a minute, Sunset then turned her head towards the sidewalk and saw a tiny baby pulling at Dorumon's tail. She immediately began to smile. "Pumpkin Cake? What are you doing here sweetie?" She cued in delight.

The second youngest of the Cakes looked up at her for a minute before going back to pulling on Dorumon's tail. "Where's your mommy and daddy, Pumpkin? Are they somewhere nearby?"

Pumpkin only replied with some incoherent babbling before she placed the tip of Dorumon's tail in her mouth and began to suck. Sunset actually felt Dorumon shiver in disgust, at the sudden sensation.

A sudden cry soon rang out from up the road. "Pumpkin, there you are!" Sunset turned her attention to her left, down road opposite to the one she was following. She saw a heavyset, blue-skinned woman running towards her. Her breath was clearly labored after the brief amount of exercise she had just experienced.

"Thank goodness I found you." She said through several wheezes. She bent down and picked up her second born twin and cradled her affectionately. "Don't you ever wonder away from mommy again, do you understand me?" Pumpkin didn't reply, and only seemed to reach out for Dorumon with want in her eyes.

It was at this point that Mrs. Cake recognized the teenager currently staring at her, and immediately blushed in embarrassment. "Sunset, Hi!" She replied awkwardly. "I'm sorry I didn't recognize you for a minute there. I was sort of stuck in mom-mode."

Sunset only chuckled in reply. "It's alright. It gives me more time to enjoy having my favorite little friend around." She lifted her hand off Dorumon's back and gently ran it through Pumpkin Cake's hair. "Isn't that right Pumpkin?~" The baby giggled happily in reply.

Sunset looked back up at Mrs. Cake. "What's she doing all the way out here anyway?" Sunset asked. "By the looks of it, you've been running a mile just to catch her?" Mrs. Cake blushed slightly.

"It was only a few blocks actually." She explained. "I really need to start cutting out the sweets, and get some more exercise." She then turned her attention to Pumpkin. "This one however has energy to spare." She stated happily. "She and her brother must be picking something up from Pinkie Pie, because I keep tending to find them in the darndest of places."

A joking grin grew on Sunset's face. "There growing to be just like Pinkie? Jeez, now that's a scary thought."

"Your telling me." Mrs. Cake agreed. "Your not the one watching them on a daily basis." Her attention was soon pulled to the large thing Sunset was holding in her arms. "My word Sunset, what is that your carrying? Some kind of stuffed animal?"

Sunset blinked, suddenly realizing she was still holding Dorumon, quickly she replied. "Uh, yeah! It's my new stuffed animal, I won it in a contest!" She said clearly lying through her teeth. Luckily, Mrs. Cake seemed to buy it.

"Really? What kind of contest? Because Pumpkin seems to be quiet smitten with it." The baby continued to stretch her arms out in an attempt to grab Dorumon again, and much to the digimon's relief, she was not succeeding.

"It was a one time offer... a radio contest from... Neighpon." Sunset groaned inwardly, knowing for sure that her awkward pauses would no doubt give her away.

Again luckily, Mrs. Cake didn't seem to notice. "That's to bad. Well then maybe you could let me borrow it sometime, I'm sure Pound would appreciate it just as much Pumpkin seems to."

Sunset felt Dorumon's front claws dig into her shoulder, making her wince slightly. "Actually, I've become quiet attached to it myself recently. It's one of a kind, nothing else like it, I don't know if I could ever part with it?" Dorumon seemed to become less tense as his claws retracted from her body.

"Well alright then, I don't want to push you to do anything you don't want." There was a brief 'ding', they heard coming from off to their sides and upon turning they noticed the crosswalk sign had just changed.

Sunset sighed contently. "Thank Celestia, I thought I'd never be able to leave." She whispered silently to herself. She turned towards Mrs. Cake. "I'm sorry Mrs. Cake, but I'm going to have to cut this conversation short. I'm meeting the girls at the mall, and I don't want to keep them waiting."

Mrs. Cake only smiled in reply. "I understand completely. Run along, go have fun!"

Sunset nodded before bolting across the street to her next destination, Mrs. Cake waving at her all the while. Dorumon whispered testily in her ear. "You are never to give me over to that child again!" He demanded.

Sunset smirked knowingly. "What's the matter? She really seemed to like you. Don't you like her back?" Dorumon only glowered at her in response.

"There is a difference between 'liking something' and 'wanting to violate something'! If I am not allowed to move while in public, you are not allowed to leave me in situations where things like what happened that can occur! Is that understood?!" He growled at her, he clearly was trying to make this a point.

Sunset giggled goodheartedly. "Alright, alright, I get it. I promise I won't ever leave you around children again. Ya happy?"

He only continued to glower. "Get me some more of that food Ms. Twilight fed me, and then we can negotiate." He stated seriously. Sunset couldn't help but break out into full blown laughter.

******
It didn't take long for Sunset to arrive at the mall after her brief conversation with the Cakes. She ran across the mall parking lot until she noticed her friends standing near the entrance. Like her, they appeared to be dressed in outfits comparatively different to the ones she usually saw them wear.

Rainbow Dash was dressed in a sky blue sleeved vest and skirt with a brown studded belt cinched around her waist. She wore a thick collared blue shirt under her vest that was an almost similar tone to her skin, and under her skirt was a pair of leggings that resembled the color of a dark pair of blue jeans. For some reason, she also had a pair of brown leather straps wrapped around her left thigh, and she seemed to stand more confidently once she noticed Sunset had saw them.

Pinkie Pie was dressed in a pair of higher-then-knee-high white socks and a pair of fashionable hot pink boots. She wore a large light blue hoop skirt with a small red T-shirt that had a large star on it and white collar. Sunset remembered the shirt as merchandise from a TV show Pinkie like watching... something about gemstones? Anyway, she wore darker pink thin jacket over her top with a similarly colored pair of fingerless gloves. She looked rather excited to see her, more so then usual. Sunset assumed if must have been because she carrying Dorumon.

Rarity, as fashionable as ever, was dressed in a fetching icy blue blouse and royal purple skirt and boots to match her hair. Like Pinkie, she wore a thin lighter purple jacket with a hood over her blouse. Unlike Pinkie and Rainbow Dash however, she was eyeing Sunset more concernedly then invitingly, probably for the same reason Pinkie was excited.

Applejack was dressed more western then Sunset had ever seen her been dressed before. Everything she wore, from her shirt to her skirt to her cowboy boots, was a different shade of thick earthy brown. If what she learned from Rarity was to be believed, then these were good strong colors that really looked attractive the farm girl. But what really caught her attention was the strange poncho-like thing around her neck, and the fringes on it and her skirt. Sunset didn't know what it was called but she assumed Rarity did, and if it wasn't openly explained to her once she met up with her friends, then she would make it her mission to ask later. Like Rarity, Applejack looked confused and was raising an eyebrow.

Fluttershy was dressed much less extravagantly, and of everyone, looked the most similar to her usual attire. She wore a simple pink top with a green skirt that was similar to the one she usually wore. Her boots and socks looked the same as any other day, and like usual old Fluttershy, her expression showed no overexcitement or major concern. She just looked complacent and happy to see her friend finally arriving.

Twilight wore a long purple vest that stretched down to her hips with a pristine white long-sleeve underneath. Above it and under her vest, was some kind of grape colored corset that didn't look too cinch up against her body, like Sunset would image corset's did, but instead hugged her figure comfortably. Below it she wore a large dark purple skirt with an image of Princess Twilight Sparkle's cutie mark placed over it's majority. Upon seeing it, Sunset momentarily began to wonder what the other Twilight would look like in the same outfit, and the thought made Sunset momentarily debate asking the human Twilight to start wearing contacts and leave her hair down. Like her other friends, Twilight was also giving her a look of concern.

Sunset stopped running when she had reached her friends. She was breathing heavily and was gasping greedily for air. She leaned forward slightly as she held Dorumon, "Hey girls... sorry... I'm... late." She wheezed.

Before anyone could reply, Pinkie broke out from the group and shot towards Sunset. "DORUMON!" She exclaimed making Sunset jump back in surprise.

"Greetings Pinkie." The admirably motionless digimon exclaimed. "I am sorry, but I cannot turn to address you right now. Sunset has asked me to remain motionless and quite while we are moving about outside. A task I believe I am currently failing, so I will only continue to converse in whispers from here on forward." His volume significantly lowered as he began to whisper. "I hope this doesn't become of any inconvenience to you."

If Applejack could raise more then one eyebrow and still looked confused, she would have. "Uh... Sunset? Ya care to explain what's goin' on here?"

Sunset sighed. "Dorumon refused to let me leave the house because he was afraid that Devimon was going to attack us again."

Dorumon began to whisper heatedly. "I am trying to be cautious! I am not afraid! If I am to protect you all properly, then we need to be on guard at all times!"

Sunset furrowed her brows in annoyance. "This was basically the argument we had back at my place." She stated gruffly.

"So you decided to carry him with you because you couldn't leave him at home?" Rarity asked curiously.

"We agreed that if he could hold still and act like a doll, then I would take him with me." Sunset began to groan. "A decision I am really beginning to regret, because my back is killing me."

"Sacrifices must be made in order to make sure you and your friends are under the upmost protection." Dorumon explained.

Sunset shot him a frustrated look over her shoulder before looking back at Pinkie Pie with a smirk. "Pinkie would you care to hold him for a little while?~" She asked ruefully.

Pinkie gasped. "Would I?!" She exclaimed happily.

Sunset felt Dorumon sinking his claws into her shoulder, probably out of an immediate sense of danger. "I must ask you refrain from this course of action!" He bellowed at her pleadingly.

She whispered back. "Consider it your way of making it up to me for braking my things..." Without a second though she lifted Dorumon off her shoulder and placed him Pinkie's hands, like one would carefully hand off a baby.

Immediately after being handed to Pinkie, Dorumon found his midsection being squeezed by the party girl in an excited bone-crushing hug. "Huggies!!!~" She sang in delight.

Dorumon could swear he felt his eyes beginning to pop out of his head. He gasped for air. "I think... I'm internally bleeding..." He whispered, this time not out of his own volition.

Sunset clapped her hands together drawing everyone's attention away from the poor struggling digimon. "Anyways, now that I'm here. Let's get to shopping, shall we?" The others looked at each other warily for a moment before nodding at Sunset in agreement. They had not been part of the arguments Sunset and Dorumon may have had earlier in the day, so they had no place to judge the punishment she deemed worthy for his actions... no matter how severe it seemed.

Sunset lead her friends into the mall with Pinkie trailing behind them, her grip on the small digimon never faltering as they made their inside.

Little did they know, above from the mall's rooftop edge, a dark figure watched them. He had been following them for a while now, ever since the pink-skinned one was dropped off at her home. He knew they'd reconvene, he knew he'd have a second chance of eliminating the knight before his masters learned of his failure. All he needed to do now was wait, and look for his chance when they were separated. He swore he would not fail in his mission a second time... and he was a digimon that always kept his word.

He bolted from the malls edge and began to peer through the skylights for the group of humons he had been tagging. He saw them walking his direction, and silently he whispered his intentions clearly. "Soon... I will slaughter the knight."

******
"So the outfits you're all wearing are all designs Rarity made?" Sunset asked curiously as she and her friends left yet another store, this one a home and supply shop where they had just bought plates.

"Well... mostly made by me." The fashionista explained. "The girls did add a few of their own personal touches to the designs to make them a tad more unique, but no less magnifique~"

Sunset looked to both Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie. Rainbow was carrying plastic bags filled with bought items like the rest of her friends, while Pinkie still had her arms tightly wrapped around Dorumon's midsection. She politely asked them her next question, "...And I'm assuming by personal touches, she means your shirt and that strap around your leg, right?" Both smiled and nodded. Sunset turned to Rainbow Dash specifically. "What is that thing anyways?"

Rainbow Dash began to smirk. "It's about time you asked!" She stated confidently. She pointed to the strap wrapped around her thigh. "This is a little trophy I plucked off Devimon after I finished dragging him across the pavement. When we tangle with him next time, I want that jerk to remember who in particular kicked his ass!"

Sunset gave the cocky girl a somewhat worried look before shaking the expression off. She didn't say it out loud, but the idea of running into Devimon again frightened her immensely. Dorumon said he had different tactics he could use on them, tactics that he could probably use to ambush them now that he had seen what they could do. She didn't like that Rainbow wanted to taunt the creature that almost killed both them and Dorumon. However, now was not the time for worry, now was the time to relax and forget about the worry they experienced just this morning. So to help her forget, she decided to focus on other matters, specifically the matters she had been wondering about prior.

"So you just decided to give out these brand new outfits? Just like that? Without any reason?" Sunset continued her questioning of Rarity with a smirk. "You're very generous Rarity, but even you wouldn't do something so out-of-the-blue as this without an excuse."

Rarity huffed indignantly, and gave a rather frustrated pout. "If you must know, as punishment for sneaking out earlier this morning, my parents forced me to give out some of latest creations out for free." Rarity smirked cattily. "Of course, they never said of whom I was supposed to give them too, and what designs to give out."

Sunset addressed her high-class friend with a hint of skepticism. "That doesn't seem like a very effective punishment? Forcing their daughter to give out gifts, like she would normally do?"

Rarity suddenly began to blush. "Well... I may have goaded them into believing it was the worst possible thing with some method acting, but this was merely out of sheer necessity, I assure you. Mother and Father's punishments can be quite severe, I'll have you know."

Rainbow Dash cocked a brow. "Yeah right, what do they do usually? Take your needles and sewing machine away?~" She laughed, causing some of her other friends to laugh.

Rarity began to grow a bit more frustrated. "Those needles and that sewing machine are paramount to my work as a fashionista, Rainbow Dash! If I don't constantly practice my craft and create stunning designs on the daily, then I may begin to lose my touch, and if that were to happen, I wouldn't be able to create any fabulous outfits for the community anymore! All my dreams of become the world's next top fashion icon would be in shambles, and I, the always fashion forward Rarity, would fade into obscurity before I even began my career!" Everyone paused as she fell melodramatically backwards into Sunset's arms acting out a faint. "Now that truly would be, The! Worst! Possible! Thing!"

She brought the back of her hand to forehead and released a forlorn sigh like actress during her death scene as rested her head against Sunset's shoulder. Everybody stared at her perplexedly. Sunset wanted to clap her hands together slowly, but with her hands currently holding bags, as well as Rarity, she decided her sarcastic comments would have to do without. "And the academy award for most hammy in an independent piece goes to..."

Her friends started to laugh out loud again as Rarity picked herself up, another slight blush warming her cheeks.

"Sunset!" A new voiced called out to the group, gaining their attention. The group turned and noticed Flash Sentry walking towards them. Unlike his usual attire, the teen was dressed in a black collared work shirt with a white beater underneath. The shirt had a horizontal red stripe running down it's side and a two small stitched-in words near the left shoulder that read: "Nightjar Guitars". Flash sauntered up to the girls and greeted them with a pleasent smile.

"Hey Sunset," Flash turned his attention to the other girls in her group. "Ladies..." He greeted them as well. "What are you all doing here today?" He asked while casually folding his arms.

"We're helping Sunset pick out some new supplies to redecorate her home with." Fluttershy stated joyfully. "We thought it would be the least we could do after what happened this morning."

Flash nodded in agreement. "Fair enough. Kinda makes me wish you called me over as well. I could have called in sick for this sucky shift I been having at work. Would've been there in a flash." Sudden realization hit him seconds later, and he groaned in embarrassment.

"Pardon the pun."

The girls giggled goodheartedly. "It's cool dude." Rainbow replied.

Flash nodded in thanks before turning his attention back to Sunset. He looked her over for a brief moment, then asked, "That a new outfit? Looks good."

Sunset blushed slightly at the compliment before looking herself over again. She recognized her usual orange, yellow, and magenta skirt and the purple top she didn't usually wear over it. She also wore a thin black jacket, similar to the leather one she used to wear, but different enough that she thought it wouldn't bring back too many bad memories. Underneath her skirt were her blue leggings and black boots that her new look was known for. She knew she didn't look to different from the way she usually dressed, so she answered him back just as casually. "Nah, this is just something I threw together from the clothes I had in my closet."

Again, Flash nodded. "Even still, you look good." She blushed again.

Rarity cleared her throat, gaining Flash's attention. He soon noticed they all had new outfits on, causing the teen stutter in embarrassment. "O-oh! Sorry, y-you all look good today..." He whispered his few words so no one else would hear. "...I guess."

Rarity huffed and turned her back towards Flash. "Figures you would notice something your girlfriend pulled out of the closet, and completely ignore six new strokes of genius placed right before your eyes."

Flash groaned and cupped his face in his hands. "We aren't dating anymore Rarity..."

Applejack chuckled. "Could've fooled me, partner."

A loud grumble echoed loudly from within Pinkie Pie's arms, causing everyone to turn their attention towards Dorumon. He blinked slightly in embarrassed, then turned his head slightly and whispered in Pinkie Pie's ear. "I believe those meals from before have finally caught up with me. Could you please escort me to the nearest facility where I can... relieve myself."

Flash meanwhile whispered at Sunset. "Is that Dorumon?"

She nodded. "It's a long story. I'll tell you later." Flash nodded in return.

Pinkie pie smiled at Dorumon's request, and quickly went about addressing his issue to her friends. "Dorumon has to go potty!" She stated bluntly, before skipping away.

Everyone was struck silent, except for Rainbow Dash who was laughing. Underneath his fur, Dorumon blushed.

"Should... should we follow her?" Twilight asked hesitantly, she not really wanting to hear 'yes' as an answer.

"I think we can let Pinkie handle this one." Sunset said without hesitation. "Let's just wait here until she gets back." The others nodded in agreement.

A shadow suddenly crossed over the skylight above them, blanking out the sunlight for a brief few seconds. The teens looked up, but saw nothing but open sky above them. Sunset blinked, she didn't want to believe her suspicions, but she knew what had just passed by was all to real. She looked towards her friends, based on their expressions they were thinking the same thing.

"May-Maybe it was a bird?" Fluttershy squeaked nervously.

"There ain't no bird that big in Canterlot!" Applejack shouted. "Come on we need to find Pinkie Pie and fast!"

The group began to rush towards the nearest restroom exit, hoping to all higher powers above that where they were going wouldn't be the last place they'd ever see Pinkie Pie again.

Let's go to the Digital World

View Online

"There's got to be a bathroom at every exit to this mall, why didn't she just go to the nearest one!"

"Because nothin' Pinkie Pie ever does makes sense. Now stop yer bellyachin' and help me find her before Devimon does!"

Applejack lead Rainbow Dash towards another public restroom near the third exit they had found today. She kicked open the door only to find the main area of the room empty, with further inspection of the stalls only further proving the fact.

"She's not here either." Applejack growled. "Ya think she might be on the other side of the mall?"

Rainbow Dash only shook her head in reply. "I don't know. But I can go check."

The light blue geode around Rainbow's neck started to glow, and she shot off out of the bathroom at a speed rivaling most floored drag racers. It only took her a few seconds to make the return trip, but judging by the panicked look still plastered on her face, her search for Pinkie Pie and Dorumon had provided no leads.

"She's not there either!" She exclaimed. "This is really starting to freak me out, Applejack!"

"Ah know sugar, Ah don't like this either." She slid past Rainbow Dash in order to reach the door, after which she bolted through to get back into the mall. "We should regroup with the others and see if they found anythin'. Maybe we'll get lucky and they'll have already found Pink-"

A song on Applejack's phone cut her off before she could finish her statement. Judging by the sound of it, it was Twilight who was calling her.

"Twilight! Please tell me you girls found Pinkie?!" Applejack asked after swiping her phone.

"We think we found where she used to be." Twilight explained, a clear sense of dread was radiating from her voice through the line. "Fluttershy and I are at the south exit. We found a huge gaping hole in the exit's restroom wall, as well as half of the restroom stalls destroyed. There was a fight here, Applejack... I'm afraid that we might already be too late." A clear sniffle crept its way through her phone, causing Applejack to grit her teeth in frustration.

"Don't you dare be talkin' like that yet, Twilight!" She demanded. "You start callin' the others, and me and Rainbow will meet y'all at the main entrance with the truck. There is no way in hell I'm lettin' that monster runoff with our friend!" Before Twilight could respond, Applejack slammed her thumb on the touch screen ending the call. She then turned towards Rainbow Dash with a livid glint in her eye. "Devimon's got Pinkie Pie."

"WHAT?!"

"We're goin' to get her back! Now come on, we need to get Granny's truck started before the others make it to the front of the mall."

******
Meanwhile, a few yards away from the mall's parking lot, Devimon soared through the air carrying an unconscious Dorumon and a struggling Pinkie Pie in the grasp of his two elongated claws. It pained him to have to exert himself so quickly, especially considering the short confrontation he was forced to partake in before capturing his elusive prey.

It was clear to him now that the rookie-level digimon had the advantage over him in close quarters combat, as the several new bite marks and welts from iron spheres littering his body would attest to. It didn't help either that the pink humon was able to get a few clean shots on him with her own explosive abilities. He couldn't decide which was more humiliating, being pelted with rotten eggs and garbage the previous night, or being attacked with combustible toilet tissue today. This, without a doubt, was going to be a mission he would refrain from retelling once he got back to the digital world.

Pinkie was trying to break free of his grasp by biting and punching at the fingers she was able to reach. Her rather petite attacks were causing his grip to loosen somewhat, but not nearly enough to make him lose his hold on the girl completely. Devimon sneered in annoyance. "If you keep trying to get away from me like that, you'll only find a ten minute screaming drop awaiting you." His voice carried a grim tone. "But please do keep trying to escape my grasp. It will save me the trouble of having to end you myself when we arrive at our destination."

Pinkie Pie paused in her attacks, and almost dropped her arms to her side entirely after hearing Devimon's threat. Something in the way he spoke to her made it clear that he wasn't lying, and that he would feel no unease watching her plummet a thousand feet onto the hard pavement below. "What's your deal, you big meanie?!" Pinkie Pie shouted. "Dorumon didn't do anything to you--and even if his past self did--I bet you deserved it for being a butt-faced, sticky-headed doo-doo brain with bad fashion sense!"

Devimon had to remind himself not to clench his fist in anger, or accidentally risk breaking her back, after having to listen to the pink humon's childish attempt at an insult. Failing to fake a calm demeanor, he replied back with the most hateful growl he could muster. "I do what I do, because it is what my masters expect of me. Our leader seeks a new justice in the world I come from, a better justice that does not require digimon with such ideals as this one. As long as this knight still breaths, he is a threat to that new justice."

He turned his gaze towards Pinkie and squeezed tighter around her midsection to better emphasize his point. "Our intention was to find him and silently eliminate his digi-egg before it could hatch. But because of you meddlesome children, that no-longer remains a viable option for me. I am now forced to take the knight back to digital world with me, and let my masters decide what his fate will be."

A devilish smile spread across his face as a new additional idea soon popped into his head. "Mayhaps you would like to come along with us? I am quite confident, that my masters would be very interested in meeting you."

"I-In-Interested... in me?" Pinkie stammered.

"You have powers that no depiction of humons in our archives comes close to describing. I'm sure my masters would be more then happy to gut you open to figure out how you function. What is even better, is that your discover will lead to me being greatly rewarded. Perhaps they may even let me perform the gutting, to act as retribution for you humiliating me."

"Eep!" Pinkie squealed, hiding her face under the fingers of Devimon's claw. She clutched his top most finger of his claw tightly with the full strength of both her hands. If it weren't attached to a creature soul set on causing her demise, one might argue that the girl looked like she was grasping onto his hand for reassurance rather then out of terror.

Devimon chuckled. "Hold as tightly as you want, little humon." He whispered. "Remember the feeling of these claws... they will be rending your body soon enough.

******
It took almost no time for the girls and Flash to make it back out through the front entrance of the mall, where Applejack already had her truck parked. The truck's windows were rolled down and the engine was already running, the teens outside the vehicle almost assumed it was about to take off before they even had a chance to clamber inside.

Rainbow Dash stuck her head out through the passenger window and shouted at her approaching friends. "Quick, get in! We might still be able to catch him if we hurry!"

"You saw where Devimon went?!" Sunset replied, a vague sense of hopefulness appearing in her voice.

"Well he obviously ain't here!" Applejack exclaimed. "And we ain't gonna find him any sooner just standin' around doin' nothin'! We need to get on the road!"

Rarity blinked in surprise at her friend's sudden impetuous tone. Applejack wasn't the type of person to want to shoot off running without having a plan, and she certainly was not the type of person to scream at her friends even when frustrated. "Applejack, please calm yourself." She asked politely. "We are going to find Pinkie Pie and Dorumon, I assure you. But we won't find them any quicker it we continue to run about in random directions. We need to have an idea of where that beast took our friends."

"That thing took ma cousin, and is doin' god knows what to her right now, and you expect me to just stand around here while the rest of ya come up with a plan?! Ain't happenin'!"

"Um... Excuse me."

Rarity furrowed her brows after hearing the farm girl blatantly rude outburst. "Don't you dare raise your voice at me, Apple-Jacklyn!" Rarity roared back. "Pinkie Pie's safety is just as important to rest of us as it is you! But if we just rush off blindly, then it just raises the possibility that we won't find her in time!"

"Excuse me... everbody?"

"Rarity's right Applejack." Twilight added. "We need to find clues... signs of struggle... anything first that will tell us which way Devimon went with our friends."

Applejack finally snapped, and launched herself over Rainbow Dash's lap to stick her own head out the passenger window. "Yeah?! Well what Ah need right now, is to find that leather-wearin' bastard, so Ah can shove my boot six feet up his-"

"GIRLS!" The surprising volume of Fluttershy's voice cut through the fury of Applejack's tirade like a hot knife through butter, forcing everyone who had heard her to turn towards her and give her their full attention. She looked perturbed and was standing with her arms folded underneath her chest. A rather ratty-looking pigeon was currently perched on her shoulder.

She pointed her finger at the bird. "Mr. Pigeon says that he saw a giant monster carry away two smaller creatures, and was heading due south." The pigeon released a few coos. " He also says that one of them was thrashing a lot in the monster's claw, so he assumes that it wasn't to badly hurt."

A sudden weight soon found itself in Sunset's stomach. "Was the other animal alright?" She wasn't quite sure why, but she somehow knew that the one creature who had to been struggling in the monster's grasp had to be Pinkie Pie.

The pigeon released a few more coos into Fluttershy's ear before she replied. "He... He only saw the one moving."

Sunset blinked, then shook her head as if trying to alleviate a fit dizziness affecting her senses. The ex-unicorn suddenly turned towards Applejack's truck, and began to stride towards it with a determined gaunt that reminded everyone of how fiery Applejack had been acting only moments ago. "The only place close to here in that direction is the Canterlot City Landfill." She explained in eerily calm tone of voice.

Her friends were hesitant to comment after hearing her speak, even though a few of them were less then thrilled to have to drive out of city limits and towards the dump. The way she was acting now, reminded them why they used to be afraid of her back when she wanted to takeover the school. Sunset grabbed the door handle to the backseat of the truck and swung the truck door open with enough force that the others were afraid it might fly off its hinges and come crashing down against the sidewalk before them.

"Get in!" She commanded, only to be answered by a few nods and a frightened squeak from Fluttershy, who's pigeon had flown away in fear after hearing the truck door slam open.

The teens didn't hesitate as they all rushed into the backseat of Granny Smith's pickup truck, only Flash stopped. In a brief moment of thought, a matter concerning the truck's speed occurred to him.

"We'll weigh the truck down if we over pack it with people." He stated, pointing out the already full confines of the truck's backseat. His hand suddenly shot into his pocket before pulling out a pair of his own keys. "I'll take my car, and follow behind you. It will make it so we can get there quicker."

Sunset glanced into the back of the truck, before nodding her head in agreement. "I'll go with you." She announced. "It'll be better if we have all are heavy hitters arriving to the fight first anyways."

Rarity slammed the back door of the truck as Applejack nodded. "We'll see you there then, hon." She stated, before slamming her foot down on the gas and rocketing out the aisles of the parking lot and onto the road.

Sunset turned back towards Flash as he jingled his keys in his hand anxiously. "Let's go!" He stated before taking off into the parking lot. Sunset didn't hesitate and shot off right behind him.

******
Back at Canterlot High, a window had been jimmied open through the use of a plastic ruler and a small whittler's knife. Two students--a skinny bookish-looking boy and his taller friend, a boy with green dreadlocks--had snuck into the school in search of the computer lab. The two had been around to notice a brief black out yesterday, that took out not only every electrical device attached to an outlet, but also every mobile device they had on their collective persons. A not completely unbelievable event to be sure, but when caused before the storm that hit last night, now definitely raised a few eyebrows.

Microchips, master of the programming language as he was, was busily typing away at the keyboard of one of the computer lab's desktops as Sandalwood watched on. "Dude, you sure there's something wrong?"

Microchips didn't look at his friend as he continued to type. "That strange power surge didn't happen on it's own." He explained. "...And I'm not that willing to believe that the fluctuations in the electronic waves that caused it are simply a matter of changing weather conditions before a coming storm." He reached into his pocket and pulled out a flashdrive and plugged it into the tower of the computer. "I think were dealing with something magical yet again."

"Then don't you think we should give Flash a call or something?" Sandalwood asked. "He's got like, a personal connection to the people who usually deal with this stuff."

"No need." He stated, before opening the flashdrive and pulling out the files he was able to salvaged from the destroyed computer they found in the other room. "With these files we should be able to figure out what the Rainbooms were doing yesterday, and why the room they were using for their experiment now looks like the result of failed Haydron collider."

Four files sat before him now on the desktop of the computer. One depicted the processes of the machine the Rainbooms were using. It's energy output; the amount of exhaust it was releasing; the current functionality of all its inner mechanisms before it exploded; It was all placed before Microchips like the open pages of a manual for a furnace similar to the one in his house's basement, and like that oh so despised manual, it had none of the useful information he was looking for.

The second file however, seemed to be much more informative. It held the results taken from the experiment the girls were performing and placed them on an easily readable spreadsheet, well... easy for a person of Micro's or Twilight's intelligence. Reading this file told the young technical savant all he needed to know.

"They were using the school's new scanning computer to determine the physical makeup of the alien geodes they acquired from Camp Everfree." He told Sandalwood. "Apparently, the heat and radiation released from the geodes was too much for the device to handle causing it to irrupt in a contained explosion, releasing in an EMP wave from the school that traveled roughly..." He reached down into the backpack he had placed next to his chair and pulled out a small calculator. He studied the spreadsheet for a few more short minutes before typing in a few calculations. "...16.7 miles."

Sandalwood cocked an eyebrow and starred at the computer screen in confusion. "You got all that from a few lines on paper?"

"Indeed." Microchips confirmed proudly. "Besides that, I don't think any other ill repercussions have occurred in light of their experiment." He quickly glanced at the two other files he hadn't investigated yet. "But these two corrupted files however still intrigue me."

He read them aloud. "Dodo.mon... Devi.mon..."

"Weird sounding files." Sandalwood admitted.

Microchips nodded. "I'm afraid to say it, but I think were only scratching the tip of the iceberg here Sandal." He turned his attention towards the file marked Dodo.mon. "This one seems to be a compressed file..." He paused and scratched at his chin in thought, before leaning in closer to examine the file on screen. "I wonder..."

He moved his cursor over the file with the intent to click, when another file unexpectedly appeared right below it and began to download. Both teens stared at the computer in confusion.

"That's bizarre. I'm not even online right now."

As the new file loaded, a name appeared below it: Chibo.mon. Both the boys blinked as the file finished downloading, and suddenly started to download more data and renamed itself to DemiVee.mon. It finished and started downloading again, this time renaming itself to Vee.mon. A new file soon appeared next to the other one, this one titled Digi.Metal, and upon downloading completely, attached itself to previous file. It was at this point that the screen started glow with a blinding white light.

"Trippy..." Sandalwood exclaimed, himself not fully sure how to react to a situation like this.

The screen became a field of white, as the outline of a bipedal figure appeared and shot towards them. "IN THE NAME OF THE GREAT IMPERIALDRAMON, MAKE WAY!"

The two barely had time to jump out of the way before the figure shot from the screen, flew over their heads and landed on the open tiles covering the floor. Microchips and Sandalwood turned onto their backs to look up at the creature that had just exited the computer, only to have their jaws drop in disbelief at what they saw.

What stood before them was a tall reptilian creature, with blue scales and golden armor that covered several portions of its body.

Several turbine engines seemed to rev and cool down anxiously as the creature turned and stared at the boys with its piercing crimson eyes. Their complexion almost immediately changed a few shades paler.

The creature seemed to notice their fear, and raised its hands near to its head as if mimicking a warrior trying to prove he held no weapon. "Do not be afraid, I am not here to harm you. I am here to help." He explained, speaking to them as one would speak to a frightened animal. "I am in search of furry purple lifeform roughly half your size. It is direly important that I acquire him with up most haste. Have you by chance seen him?"

The two boys said nothing, and only shook their heads in response. The humanoid lizard grumbled in annoyance, before slapping his helmeted face into his claw. "Then it looks like I'm doing this the Gankoomon way." He mumbled. "Let's just hope I can do this aura-sensing thing right."

Without another word, the large armored creature bolted out under the doorway to the room and down the hallway towards where he thought the exit to the building would be. Sandalwood and Microchips could only blink in shock at the events that had just occurred.

"Okay, gonna check that one off to some bad mushrooms." Microchips stared at his friend incredulously.

"You drove us here in your car."

"Bro, just let me have my denial mechanism, okay." Sandalwood pleaded. "I'm freaking out enough as it is."

Microchips got up from the floor and quickly rushed towards his backpack to retrieve his phone. "I've changed my mind. I'm thinking now would be a good time to call Flash." He exclaimed, as he hastily flicked through his contacts in search of his friend.

"You'll hear no arguments from me, dude."

******
The pleasant scenery of the farmlands outside the suburbs of Canterlot was doing little to quell the anxiety Sunset was feeling as she and Flash followed Applejack's truck to the Canterlot city landfill. Her foot was bumping up and down in an endless motion and her arms had been folded over her chest since they started of the car ride. If Flash didn't have his eyes currently focused on the road, he would have had all his attention solely placed on her.

He chanced a quick glance her way out the corner of his eye, before shifting back towards the road again. He exhaled out his nose before he spoke. "Something's bothering you..."

Sunset turned her head and stared at him like he had just stated 'the sky was blue'. "Our friends have been kidnapped, and that's how you start this conversation?" She stated with a sarcastic air. "Yes Flash, your absolutely right! Something is bothering me."

"You know that's not what I meant." He shot back, somehow keeping the calm tone he had using when they first starting this conversation. "I know you Sunset. I know you don't get stressed out like this unless you feel personally attacked."

Sunset blinked at Flash's accusation, her leg stopped bouncing and her voice seemed to catch in her throat as he continued to speak. "I've seen you stand up to magically enhanced monsters before, and you've barely ever batted an eye when it comes to saving the day. But right now, your acting more like how the old Sunset Shimmer would react if someone stole something from her."

Sunset felt herself shrink back a bit as the memories of her past self were spurred forth by Flash's statement. "Something about all this is making you take it personally, and I don't think it's just because Devimon decided to kidnap Pinkie Pie." He turned his head to give Sunset a brief sympathetic look. "You're afraid of what he may be doing with Dorumon, aren't you?" He turned his head back towards the road so he could continue driving.

Silence filled the car as Sunset rolled over Flash's words for moment. Eventually she replied with her question. "Aren't you?"

"Of course, but I only just met him this morning. Out of all of us, you've been the only one who's had time to spend with him. I'm afraid, because of that, that you may be thinking of doing something reckless to get him back."

Sunset found her brows furrowing again, this time in anger rather than irritation. "So what are you suggesting we do, ditch him? Let Devimon take him away, if it means saving Pinkie Pie?!"

"That's not what I'm saying!" Flash exclaimed, actually shouting this time. "We are going to get them both back. I just don't want you rushing into danger because you fell in love with a strange creature from another world."

Sunset turned her head away and frowned at her reflection in the window. "I don't love him." She grumbled. "I sympathize with him... which makes me want to help him." Curiously, Flash shot her another glance out the corner of his eye. "He's lost and alone in a world he doesn't understand and is forced to walk around in a body he doesn't yet fully know how to control. Out of everybody in the world, I'm probably the only person who knows what that feels like. If he is going to have any chance of getting back to his own world, he's going to need help."

Tears were beginning to stream down her cheeks as she continued to speak. "I want to be that person to help him..." Her voice hitched as she tried to force out the rest of her words. "...I don't want him to die, without getting a chance to see what his actual home looks like."

Flash wasn't sure how to respond. He chanced a few more glances her direction to gauge if placing a reassuring hand on her shoulder would be the wisest action to take. He decided to risk it, and lifted his hand off the wheel to place on Sunset.

Flash's phone suddenly began to buzz in his pocket, cutting the boy off from continuing this action. He looked towards his pocket, his sudden jolt of surprise apparently coaxing Sunset to do the same. He reached into his pocket and retrieved his cell.

After Swiping the touch screen, he handed it to Sunset and asked her to place it on speaker. "Hello?"

"Good, you picked up! Thank the binary code!" The person on the other end exclaimed. He sounded wheezy, as if he had just recently been startled.

"Micro..?" Flash asked.

"Yes, it's me." Microchips explained. "Listen we don't have a lot of time, are you with Sunset Shimmer or the Rainbooms right now?"

Flash shot a quick look towards Sunset. "Uh... yeah. She's right next to me, we put you on speaker."

"Perfect! She will want to hear this..."

Sunset and Flash leaned their heads closer as Microchips and Sandalwood retold the events that happened to them while at the school. They explained that they were investigating some files they pulled from the scanning machine she and her friends had destroyed, and upon examining them, somehow summoned a large reptilian creature out from the computer screen through one of the files they downloaded. What struck Sunset and Flash the most however, was that the creature they summoned said he was searching for another creature that was already in their world... a creature, he described, that had purple fur.

Sunset felt her heart stop and her stomach tighten as Flash thanked his friends. "Thanks for telling us about this guys, we'll go take care of it. You two stay out of trouble." Sunset hung up the phone, before the boys on the line had a chance to reply, then turned towards Flash to share a tentative glance. The two nodded in unison, before facing forward again.

"Step on it." Sunset ordered. Flash obligated and pressed down on the accelerator pedal, launching his car into the opposite lane and around Applejack's truck as they shot down the road like a bat out of hell. Surprised at first, but quickly getting the message, Applejack floored her own gas pedal and gunned it after Flash's car.

******
Devimon landed within the city... "What a dump!" Pinkie exclaimed. "It's a good thing the contract to clean up this place up was bided on." Devimon groaned in annoyance, before tightening his grip on Pinkie. The girl screamed and fell silent.

"Good Humon." Devimon chuckled as he dropped the unconscious Dorumon to the ground. "Now to find that computer." He muttered. He kept his claw firmly grasped around Pinkie as he began to scrap through one of the trash piles surrounding him. The trash seemed to look a tad different then he last remembered, and Devimon soon surmised that some more garbage must have been dropped off at the dump while he had been away. He grumbled angrily. This could prove irksome if this new garbage somehow managed to cover his only gateway home.

He began to pull large portions of trash out the pile and threw them over his shoulder as he dug deeper into the mound at a much faster pace. He stopped almost abruptly, when he started to hear what sounded like full-throttle turbines cutting through the air, like a supersonic jet suddenly breaking through the sound barrier.

Devimon turned in the direction where he thought the sound was coming from, and a clear look of confusion soon etched itself onto his face due to what he saw. Pinkie Pie had to cover her ears to block out at least some of the high decibel sound currently pounding at her eardrums. But even despite this painful noise, Pinkie still found herself able to look upwards and see something in the distance flying towards them at incredible speed. The thing glinted brightly in the rays of the sun as it quickly grew closer.

Devimon narrowed his eyes and leaned closer towards the oncoming object. "What the... OOF!"

Before the devil digimon could finish his statement, the object then collided with his chest and midsection ramming him backwards and into another pile of rubbish. The force of the impact caused Devimon to relinquish his hold on Pinkie, allowing her to fall safely, if only somewhat sorely, to the ground below.

Pinkie Pie rubbed at her now heated bottom, before turning over onto her knees to see the struggle now taking place before her. A large bipedal lizard man, wearing golden armor, had just slammed Devimon into the face of a large mountain of trash, his gaze full of hatred as he backed away from the now downed digimon.

"In the name of my father, I will not let you harm his heir." The lizard man growled. "For I am Magnamon, the Radiance of Miracles. Remember this name as you return to your masters, demon, for it will forever be linked to your failure this day. Now render unto my custody Dorumon and go back with some dignity."

Devimon chuckled. "You don't have the resolve to best me." He stood up and laughed again. "You Royal Knights don't have the stom-"

Magnamon punched Devimon in the gut cutting him off. "Speaking of stomachs." Magnamon continued to strike Devimon, blow after blow hitting their mark and forcing Devimon back to the ground. "Stay down and you will be sent back to the digital world alive."

Devimon rose back to his feet and spat out some blood. "You have no idea what you are dealing with."

It was Magnamon's turn to chuckle. "I've fought thousands of Devimons before you... as well as Myotismons and NeoDevimons, and that's not counting your old masters, the Demon Lords, at their peak. There is nothing special about you." The two then dove at each other, each grappling at the other's hands. "You think I am pathetic because I cannot evolve on my own, but you younger digimon know not the power of the digimetals."

Back and forth the two pushed against each other, little either of them knowing that Pinkie had just heard everything. "Wait? There are two scary monsters after Dorumon now? Not on my watch!" Pinkie ran over towards the unconscious rookie, before picking up a large piece of garbage and throwing it at the two. "SURPRISE!" She shouted. The large piece of debris soared through the air and crashed into the dirt near the two larger digimons' feet, before promptly exploding. The two were startled out of their holds by the blast as their attention was turned towards their pink assailant.

Pinkie Pie began picking up more smaller objects and started chucking them at the two. "Wait humon... Stop!" Magnamon shouted, blocking some of the smaller explosives with the armor on his wrists. "You need... to listen!" He tried to plea with Pinkie, but to no avail. He lifted his arms in front of his face as he tried to make his way forwards towards his attacker...

"AHH!" ...Only to feel a coiled fist collide with the back of his head while he was distracted. Magnamon was sent to ground from the force of the blow, feeling barely hurt, but dazed nonetheless.

Devimon chuckled, before leaping over his body and taking to air. "Thank you for the assist, Humon." He stated with a sneer as flew towards her. He lifted his claw above his body and pointed it at Pinkie, forcing the pink girl to halt her attacks and grab Dorumon. She bolted in the opposite direction as his claw came down.

"Death Claw!"

Pinkie dove out of the claw's reach before it could make contact with the ground. She landed roughly on her back as Devimon's fingers impaled the dirt. He landed and soon uprooted a good deal soil as he pulled his claw from the ground. He now stood over Pinkie raising the same claw he used for his previous attack to aim a crimson light in her direction.

Devimon narrowed his eyes as he glared at Pinkie. "I am really getting tired of these annoyances..." He stated. "...but on the bright side, this current turn of events gives me a more then adequate excuse to terminate you and the rookie knight right here and now." He snickered evilly. "I would say it was a pleasure knowing you, but that would be lying."

"Magna Blast!"

Before he could attack, a sphere of condensed plasma collided with the center of his back, sending him flying into the chain-link surrounding the landfill. Before Pinkie could fully realize what was going on and roll back to her feet, she looked up to see where the attack had come from, and saw an an angry Magnamon running towards her.

"YOUR FIGHT IS WITH ME!" He shouted, causing Pinkie to squeak. She nestled Dorumon closer to her chest and shut her eyes as the armored digimon grew closer with each charging step. She almost had accepted her fate of being stepped on, only to feel a gust of wind blow past her face rather then a big golden boot impacting it.

She opened her eyes and looked upwards, seeing Magnamon charging for Devimon rather then herself. "He... he saved me?" She whispered. Pinkie was confused, but she chose to not worry about it right now. Dorumon was still in danger, and though she didn't know what Magnamon's motives were yet, she still thought it unwise to let either of the two monsters take him from her. What would her friends say? What Sunset say? No, Pinkie needed to protect Dorumon now, like he had done before for them. No meanies were ever going to lay a hand on her newest friend while she was around!

Pinkie sat herself up on her rump, before quickly lifting herself back onto her feet. She sparred a quick glance at the two fighting digimon and winced slightly when Magnamon delivered another powerful haymaker to Devimon's cheek, which sent the devil digimon skidding through the dirt. Pinkie turned and speed away as fast as her legs could carry her, Dorumon still clutched tightly to her chest like a wounded soldier after battle.

Pinkie saw the gate to the landfill just up ahead. It had been chained shut and it looked too tall to climb in the short amount time she had before Devimon or Magnamon noticed she was missing. "I need to blow it up!" She decided. Pinkie reached down and picked up an empty can, struggling only slightly to keep her balance while trying to keep up her speedy pace. She reeled her arm back and aimed for the gate, the can slowly beginning to glow hotter as the telltale sign of her magic took hold.

She threw the can...

Demon's Ray!

...Only to see it vaporize as a crimson laser shot over her head and into the face of the gate, completely obliterating it in its entirety. In a brief moment of shock, Pinkie turned her head back to see what had just happened. She noticed Magnamon hefting Devimon's arms over his helmet, possibly in order to divert a pointblank attack from striking him in the face. She watched as Magnamon flipped Devimon over his shoulders by the wrists and slammed him against ground, before turning on her heels back towards the open gate. Pinkie Pie actually had to force herself not to giggle as she fully set her focus on escaping.

She was almost there now. All she needed to do was cross the threshold out of the city dump and make her way down the road where her friends could find her. Pinkie smiled at the idea of reuniting with her friends. It was admittedly optimistic thinking to believe such a simple plan would not go awry as soon as one of the two combatants behind her finished their fight, but Pinkie was a champion of optimistic thinking. She knew everything would turn out alright if she could get back together with her friends. They'd hug each other, share some heartfelt words, then hold hands and float into the air before blasting Devimon and this new meanie with all the rainbow harmony lasers they could muster. It'll be just like how they beat all those other bad guys in the past.

Magnamon shot his claw down and clamped it around Devimon's neck, pinning him to the ground. He raised his opposite claw as another orb of bright plasma started to build within his palm. "Submit!" He ordered. "My offer of leniency is still open to you. End this with honor, and I will return you to the Digital World in the form you currently hold."

Devimon groaned in contempt. "You're hesitating. You could have deleted my data at any moment during this fight, yet you continue to attack with only a fraction of your full power." For a brief moment, Devimon felt Magnamon's grip loosen around his throat before squeezing tighter millisecond later. He could tell he struck a nerve, but even more important, he could tell his words were having an effect on his opponent.

Devimon decided to twist the knife while the royal knight was unfocused. "The masters were right, the war has changed you. You have lost your resolve." The devil digimon chocked out a laugh. "I don't think you could delete me if you wanted to." Magnamon tightened his grip even more, making it harder for Devimon to breath. "Threaten... me... all... you... want...." He gasped. "You've... left... yourself... open."

Devimon's cheeks began to blow up as if he were holding his breath. Magnamon blinked in confusion but soon caught onto his enemies intentions as the demon's all too familiar voice past through his closed lips and rasped out the name of an attack.

"Hell Contract."

Devimon blew out a mist of pitch black smoke that enveloped Magnamon's body entirely before he even had a chance to back away. Within the mist, the knight found himself surrounded by strange glowing kanji symbols he recognized as Digimoji, the writing of the Digital World. The symbols seemed to be disorienting him, making it hard for him to walk straight as well as see clearly.

Devimon smirked as he watched his enemy vanish behind his veil the fog and cursed Digimoji. He never had a chance to use this attack on a digimon stronger then himself before, but he found delight in the fact it seemed to be working without fail. Devimon lifted himself back onto his feet and rubbed at his sore throat. He turned his sights towards Pinkie Pie as new wicked idea popped into his head. "Let's see how well the curse works on you, humon."

"Hell Contract!"

A huge intake of air was sucked in by Devimon until his lung's reached their full capacity. He exhaled a larger veil of black smoke out into the open air and watched with glee as nearly blanketed the entire front half of the landfill. Once she was completely covered by the smoke like the royal knight before her, Devimon charged in after the pink humon, fully intent on finally collecting the prize that had so been denied him.

Inside the fog, Pinkie Pie coughed and spit at the rancid taste that was now filling her lungs. It felt like that one time she played spin the bottle at one of her parties, and that gross boy she was forced to kiss ended up burping in her mouth. She gagged at the memory, but decided to keep running, just in case one of the monsters behind her had managed to catch up. She barely got even a few feet farther before she felt a large spindly claw wrapping around her torso.

Pinkie felt her grip loosen around Dorumon as she was violently yanked from the ground and into the air. He fell from her arms once she had gotten a few feet off the ground, his body colliding with the dirt like a limp rag doll. Pinkie gasped at the sight, before shifting her body around to get a full view of Devimon's smirking face.

"Hello again, my favorite little prisoner." Devimon chimed, raking a claw through Pinkie's hair like a toy he had just pulled off the shelf. Pinkie snorted and slapped the Devimon's claw away with more force the he was expecting. She narrowed her eyes at him with a bitter, hateful frown as her hair suddenly deflated with the sound of a unknotted balloon.

She growled at him as she spoke. "Me and my friends are going to kick your ass when they get here." Her words sounded less like a threat, and more like a promise.

Devimon sneered. "This defiant act you've been showing me thus far is beginning to get rather tiresome, girl." He shifted his gaze until he noticed the unconscious rookie laying at his feet. He grinned with clear wicked intent. "Luckily, I know just the way to stamp out this problem behavior for good."

He raised his leg up and into the air and positioned his foot directly over Dorumon's body. Pinkie's eyes widened as she gripped tightly onto Devimon's fingers. He brought his foot down as Pinkie screamed. "NO!"

A bright pair of high beams suddenly cut through the fog before Devimon could completely slam his foot down on Dorumon. The beams of light struck both them in the eyes, sending the devil digimon staggering backwards in confusion. Pinkie squinted through the light as Devimon tried to shield his own eyes with her body. In the distance she could see a fuzzy silhouette riding towards them through the smoke. She kind of thought it looked like the front of Applejack's truck.

Before she could make any further guesses, Devimon felt the full force of the speeding pickup collide with the lower half of his torso and every part of his knees. He lost his grip on Pinkie Pie as he fell forward onto the hood of the rampaging vehicle and was carried away.

To Pinkie's surprise, she now found herself flying through the air unaided. The fog was starting to clear and she could now see the ground from her place in the sky, as well as how far of a drop it was going to be for her until she met it. She closed her eyes, suddenly feeling the air rush past her as she started to descend. She knew this was going to hurt; she knew the fall was going to break something; but she also knew as long as she could walk, she could still somehow get Dorumon to safety. She gulped in anticipation and awaited the inevitable.

"HOLD ON!" She heard a voice call. "I'VE GOT YOU!" She felt a pair of claws wrap around her and hug her close to her savior's body, but unlike before, these claws felt scaly rather then leathery smooth.

Pinkie Pie opened her eyes to see Magnamon clutching her tightly to his chest as they both flew through the air. He landed on his knees, skidding a short distance given his recent jump. He placed Pinkie back on the ground as soon as they halted.

"Apologizes humon. I would have been to your aid sooner, but it has been a long while since I have experienced a Devimon's attack similar to that one." He opened his eyes, expecting to see Pinkie's thankful smile, only to find that she had completely vanished from sight. In confusion, he shot his gaze in several directions in order to find her. He turned around, and saw her hugging Dorumon protectively against her chest. She was hefting a fist-sized rock over her head.

Magnamon was blinked in surprise, he was not expecting so much resistance after being saved. He decided to act appropriately, and raised his hands over his head in his usual appeasing manner. "Calm yourself humon, I just want to talk. I do not wish to cause any harm."

Devimon was slowly beginning to regain his bearings as his hands grasped around side walls the truck's hatchback. He was dazed and confused, but the rushing wind crashing against his back was helping to alleviate that. He soon realized that he was laying atop the front end of a speeding vehicle, and much to his chagrin, could recognize several faces peering at him for the other side of the windshield. Suffice it to say, seeing five more humon women with the intent to fight, did not help him in making his growing headache go away.

"YOU AGAIN!" He shouted. "I AM GETTING SICK OF THESE GAMES!" He lifted his claw and pointed it at the driver's seat. "THIS! ENDS! NOW!"

"Death Cl-AHHH!"

Applejack had pulled the emergency brake before Devimon could finish, and sent him flying off the hood of her truck as it came to a sudden screeching halt. He flew across the junkyard until he collided with a large pile soft malleable trash, which promptly fell over from the force of the collision and buried him alive.

Applejack had to stifle a proud chortle as she and her friends exited the vehicle. "Right into the compost heap." She gloated.

"Serves him right!" Rainbow added. "The guy was a piece of shit anyway."

The Hell Contract's fog was finally starting to clear up. They could finally see landfill for its entirety, rather then just driving towards familiar sounding voices in the mist. With their clearer vision, they could now make out the other larger digimon advancing on Pinkie Pie and Dorumon, as well as Flash and Sunset running towards them from the gate.

"Another one?!" Rainbow Dash shouted.

"...And it looks like he's after Dorumon too." Rarity added.

"Well he can't have him!" Applejack interjected. "We've risked our lives twice now for that little fella, and nearly got my family's truck totaled in the process. He ain't takin' anybody without a fight!" The others nodded in agreement before they all charged in.

"Listen to me, humon, I am not going to hurt you." Magnamon stepped closer, but Pinkie refused to lower her rock. "I saved you from Devimon's attack remember? Would my intent truly be to harm you or your friend if I went to such lengths to keep you safe?" Pinkie's arm slowly began to lower allowing Magnamon to inch closer, but a blue reflective barrier appeared in front of him before he could completely close the distance.

"Step away from her, you glamorously dressed barbarian!" Magnamon turned to see five new humons standing behind him, and two more coming up beside Pinkie. He soon realized things were about to become a lot more complicated.

Sunset and Flash slid to a halt as soon as the had reached Pinkie's side. "Are you alright Pinkie?" Sunset asked. "This guy hurt you, has he?" She glowered at the larger digimon as she chastised him with an accusing tone.

"Not as much as Devimon did when he first showed up." Pinkie explained. "In fact, he hasn't really come near me." She dropped her rock, then wrapped her arms around the rookie digimon laying against her chest. "He's actually been protecting me from Devimon, even though I've done but run away and throw exploding garbage at him." She sniffled as she looked down at Dorumon. "Devimon however..." She handed Dorumon to Sunset, who took him as gently as a infant. "He hurt Dorumon, and now I can't get him to wake up."

An explosion was suddenly heard from the distance as large and small pieces of burning compost were thrown in all directions. "I AM ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY PERCENT DONE!"

The girls, Flash, and even Magnamon each took up defensive stances as Devimon marched towards them like a raging animal. "I DON'T CARE HOW POWERFUL ANY OF YOU THINK YOU ARE! AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED..." Two glowing crimson lights flicked to life in his palms as he pointed his arms out in front of his face.

"...EVERYONE DIES!" The two lights grew brighter within his palms.

"DEMON'S-"

"SHUT UP!"

Taken by surprise, Devimon actually did as requested and shut his mouth. The lights in his hands began to dim as everyone turned towards Pinkie.

The look of pure white hot rage in Pinkie's eyes somehow completely trumped the rage Devimon was expressing just moments ago. She stomped past her friends, who all decided to give her a wide birth as she lashed out, and started to shout at Devimon.

"YOU DON'T GET TO TALK TO US THAT WAY, AFTER EVERYTHING YOU'VE PUT ME THROUGH! YOU ATTACKED MY FRIENDS, HURT AND THREATEN ME AND DORUMON, AND NOW YOU THINK YOU HAVE ANY RIGHT TO GET ANGRY AT US!"

Pinkie knelt down and picked up an abandoned computer monitor from the middle of the scattered field of trash. She lifted it over her head as it began to glow just as hot as her fury. Devimon looked at the monitor and felt his eyes begin to widen. It was the same monitor he had used to get to this world, she had somehow found it.

"You put that down." He ordered, but Pinkie Pie didn't listen.

"I'VE BEEN WAITING TO SAY THIS SINCE YOU FIRST BROUGHT ME TO THE DUMP!"

"PUT THAT DOWN, NOW!" He shouted, almost pleading that she'd listen and do what he's say. But she didn't.

"FUCK OFF!" Pinkie threw the monitor and watched as its sailed through the air in Devimon's direction.

"NO!" The monitor hit it's mark, exploding like a loaded hand grenade and completely enveloping Devimon in a colorful ball of fire and magic confetti.

A large cloud of dirt was kicked up from the explosion as Pinkie turned and walked back towards her friends, Devimon's screams of anguish filling the air as she did so.

Her friends, and even Magnamon, stared at her with looks of equal parts shock and horror. "Jesus Pinkie..." Rainbow Dash stated. "I didn't like the guy either, but you didn't have to atomize him."

Magnamon found that he didn't have words to fully explain how he was feeling. "I've heard of how heated humons could get when placed in the field of battle, but I never expected such power and anger, especially from one so young." Magnamon continued to ponder this for a moment, before he realized something was off. Devimon had stopped screaming and the landfill had turned silent.

He turned towards the large cloud of dust kicked up by Pinkie's explosion. The center of the cloud was beginning to swirl inwards, like water entering a drain from a full sink. The cloud started to swirled faster, as all the dust was suck into a focal point within the center of its mass. Magnamon's eyes widened as powerful winds began to blow by him and the humons towards the cloud, finally gaining all of their attention.

The cloud finally broke and dissipated under the force of its own suction, revealing behind it not to be Devimon, but a large spinning mass of bright colors and whipping gale force winds.

"What the hell is that?!" Flash shouted, as they all felt their bodies being drawn closer by the suction of the portal.

"Your friend must have destroyed Devimon's gateway back to the Digital World!" Magnamon shouted. "The explosion mixed along with Devimon's own personal data, must have caused it to implode! The gateway has now become a portal!"

Pinkie struggled to keep herself balanced and upright as she fought against the winds pulling against her. Upon hearing Magnamon's explanation, she found she had only one thing to say before he feet left the ground entirely. "Oopsy..."

Pinkie flew backwards towards the portal, her friends screaming her name as she drew closer.

"PINKIE!"

"Stay behind me!" Magnamon commanded, and shot for Pinkie before anyone else had a chance to act. He flew towards Pinkie and twisted around her just in time to swat her away from the portal before she could make contact. He on the other hand, was not as lucky.

Pinkie shot through the air like a served volleyball until she landed in the arms of her awaiting friends. They all turned to look at the portal as Magnamon was sucked in. Like a black hole, his body was being stretched and elongated like a spaghetti noodle being pulled towards the center of the portal. Within seconds he vanished leaving only the teens to stare in horror and disbelief as the portal began to grow bigger.

"RUN FOR IT!" Applejack shouted. The others agreed and turned on their heels in order to escape, but the portal's pull had already gotten to strong. Before they could even take their first steps, three of the girls were pulled off their feet and sent hurtling towards the portal. Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, and Rarity all screamed in terror as they too were absorbed by the vortex.

Soon Applejack flew away, then Pinkie. Only Sunset, Twilight, and Flash were left to fight the portal as they clawed at the ground in a desperate attempt to keep from becoming airborne. Flash wrapped his arm around Sunset's elbow as she clung Dorumon close her chest with all the strength she could muster. She reached out one of her hands to grab for Twilight.

"Twilight!" Sunset shouted regaining her friend's attention. She noticed Sunset's outstretched hand and tried to reach for it, it was then the ground gave way. Flash and Sunset were pulled back, but never left the ground, Twilight however lost her hold and was sent tumbling backwards into the portal.

"NO!" Sunset shouted as she watched her friend vanish from sight.

Anger, regret, sadness, despair, and desperation all flooded through her mind, as Sunset tried to fathom the events that were taking place. Her friends, all of them were gone. Taken away in their prime, in a way none of them ever expected or even understood. It took all of her strength to not let go of Flash's arm right there and join them...

...Then she remembered what Magnamon had said.

"Flash!" She shouted. "I need you to let go of me!"

"WHAT?!" He shouted back. "Are you crazy?!"

"Listen to me! That other digimon said that that portal leads to the Digital World. That's got be were Dorumon comes from and where our friends ended up!"

"Or it could be a spinning mass of death with the intent of crunching you up like a cracker in a garbage disposal! Remember what I said about how I didn't want you doing anything reckless!"

"We have to try!" Sunset pleaded. "If we don't, we may never see Twilight or the others again!"

Flash blinked and began to think over Sunset's request. Over the months that he gotten to know the girls, he had come to see them just as much his friends as they were Sunset's. Even still, it didn't feel right to just let her go in alone.

"I'm coming with you!" He shouted. "You don't know what's on the other side of that thing. You're going to need someone to watch your back!"

"No, I need you here." She explained. "I need you to go back to my house and grab my journal. Let Princess Twilight know what's going on, I know she'll be able to help you find a way to get us back."

Flash only shook his head. "Sunset I don't like this! None of this is sure thinking, you could die! Dorumon could die!"

Sunset, soon realizing that the rookie digimon was still nestled tightly in her arms, thought over Flash's words, but found she could not change her present decision. She turned her head back up so she could look Flash in the eyes, and with a determined glare stated, "Trust me!"

Flash was struck silent, he didn't know how to respond. He thought about their situation, and tried desperately to think of another solution. But he couldn't find any. He looked up at the portal and noticed it was beginning to close. If he was going to act, now was his chance.

Begrudgingly, he snaked his arm out from Sunset's and watched as she and Dorumon flew into the maw of the vortex. It closed completely just before she vanished from his sight.

He was alone now, nothing around him, but scattered trash and two parked vehicles. He picked himself off the ground as he desperately fought the urge to punch something out of frustration. He looked back up towards where the portal was once, before growling something under his breath. "God dammit, Sunset!"

He turned and sprinted back towards his car. His trip back to Canterlot was going to be a long one... he was sure of that at least.

The Fighter

View Online

The first thing Rainbow Dash noticed when she exited the portal, was that her body and limbs were no longer stretched out for what seemed like miles as she flew backwards through a twisting tunnel of changing colors and blinding light. Her body had returned to its regular proportions, and though this was relieving for the first few seconds, her next realization caused those rising feelings of optimism to take an immediate nose dive.

As the portal steadily grew smaller and smaller within her area of vision, she noticed a few things that could be considered “alarming”. For one, there seemed to be an unsettling amount of blue sky surrounding the portal as it continued shrink before her, and a large amount of blustering wind was continuing to whip against her back with no sign of end.

After a quick shift in her positioning--in this case, a full turn of her body--Rainbow Dash found the source of the odd sensations that were currently afflicting her. She could not say however, she was happy in the least to have found them.

Rainbow could now see that she was plummeting downwards like a skydiver who had forgotten their parachute, and what was worse was that there looked to be a large stone mountain waiting just below to meet her... more than likely, face first.

Rainbow Dash was struck silent as the full scope of the situation hit her. Her pupils shrank as she racked her brain for any appropriate response to give in the moment. Her body was beginning to reach terminal velocity and the air blasting past her ears was starting to sound like the inside of a wind tunnel. Soon enough she made up her mind, and decided to go with the most fitting response she could think of...

...She screamed bloody murder as every moment of her short, insignificant, seventeen year-old life flashed before her eyes.

******
Meanwhile down below, on a large outcropped ledge jutting out from the side of the mountain, a small digimon was at work pushing together a few dense boulders just below the shadow of a much taller cliff.

"And... perfect!" The digimon chuckled as he shoved the final boulder into place at the end of the line. His mouth spread open by a wide grin, he shot towards the cliff wall behind him with all the speed of an over-excited mountain climber.

He leaped onto the wall and began climbing towards the top. It took him little effort to complete his ascent, and upon reaching his perch at the top, decided to marvel at the latest fruits of his hard work by gazing over the edge. The boulders he had been moving were each placed an equal distance apart in plain view of the cliff he now stood upon. With a smirk, he stepped back a few feet before falling forward into a sprinter-like stance. Without hesitation, he rushed forward and leaped into the air, directly over the edge of the cliff, and fell downwards head-first like a blue lightning bolt shot down from heavens.

"Vee Head Drop!"

He bashed his skull against the first boulder in the line, managing to dig his way through it thanks to the shear force of his fall, before colliding with the mountain shelf on the other side. The rock exploded outwards, the once mighty boulder had somehow been reduced to nothing more than a field of scattered chunks of stone. The small digimon pulled his head out of the hole he had just dug, and shook the rest of the excess rubble clean from his ears.

He brushed himself off as he picked himself up, mentally congratulating himself for smashing the boulder so completely on his first try. He then rushed back towards the cliff and began to climb back up it once again.

Upon reaching the top, he looked out over the ledge and marveled at the results of his seismic entrance. He scratched his chin in thought as he looked over his latest show of force. "Hmm... it's a good start, but I could definitely make the hole deeper with the next one." He thought. "I know from experience my head is hard enough."

He turned around and strutted towards the other side of the cliff, only stopping when his back was firmly planted against the stone wall of the mountain’s face. A determined grin stretched from ear to ear. He eyed the edge of the cliff and lowered himself into the same starting stance he had taken before.

"I'm gonna take down half the entire mountain with this one." He licked his lips in anticipation. "I can feel it in my code!~"

He pushed himself off the wall with his feet, breaking into a quick sprint. Before he could make the jump however, he was staggered to halt when a faint sound similar to screaming came billowing out the sky.

The digimon blinked, then looked upwards towards the open air. His eyes widened in surprise when he caught sight of a long haired female falling face first towards the boulders he had setup below. The digimon shook his head as tried to fathom what was going on.

"Okay... so the only digimon who can get up here either have wings, or are at least decent climbers." He glanced back up at the female and noticed her severe lack of wings. "But she doesn't have any wings… and yet she's still falling from the sky?" He scratched his head in confusion, trying to ponder further how the girl’s situation could’ve occured. It was only seconds after her falling past his vantage point, that the digimon was reminded of her imminent peril.

"Whoops!” He shouted, turning on his heels. “Hero time!" He jumped from edge of the cliff and dove towards the girl, colliding with her midsection upon closing the distance.

The digimon twisted her around his body until she laid bridal-style in his arms and against his chest. Rainbow blinked upon seeing her savior. “What the hell!” The digimon smirking back at her in response.

“It’s called a rescue sweetie.~” Shifting his body until his back was level with the ground, he braced for impact as his body collided with the second boulder he had planned to smash.

Like the first, the second boulder was decimated beyond any recognition of its previous shape. But unlike the first however, the hole that was dug by the two’s combined reentry was several feet deeper than the hole left behind when the digimon had made the jump alone. Unconsciousness followed, as both of their worlds soon faded to black.

******
Twenty minutes later, Rainbow Dash found herself seated on a small rock as she silently plucked small pieces of stone shrapnel out of her rescuer's back and hindquarters. It was an awkward situation for them both to be sure, and on a personal level Rainbow was glad none of her friends were around to see her doing this.

As she worked, Rainbow decided to focus her gaze on the body of the digimon, taking note of the small creature's appearance. She could tell he was some sort of reptile, with blue scales similar to the shade of her own skin and a slightly chiseled physique that made it clear he liked to keep in shape. She thought he sort of resembled the digimon in gold armor she and her friends saw back in the junkyard before they were all sucked into the portal. The thought focused her attention towards the fate of her friends. She was beginning to worry about what may have happened to them after exiting the portal. Remembering her own rough landing, she started to fear they could even be seriously hurt.

She turned her attention back towards the digimon laying across her lap. She noticed that while in her distracted state of mind, she had managed to pull out all the pieces of stone from the digimon's body... except for one. A rather large stone piece was still stuck near the lower base of his tail. Rainbow Dash grimaced at the stone's awkward placement and tentatively wrapped her fingers around it.

"We've got one piece left to go, and it seems pretty stuck in there..." She stated as she wiggled the rock. "I'm going to pull it out quick, so you may want to bite down on something."

The digimon nodded, before picking up flat rounded stone and shoving it in his mouth.

Rainbow yanked on rock, pulling it out of the digimon's thick hide and leaving only a relatively small gash in its place. This did not however reduce the fact that the removal process was still incredibly painful.

"YOW!" The digimon jumped out Rainbow's lap and landed on his feet, his hands rubbing his keister feverishly as if he had just been dealt a savage paddling. He spat out the rock and glanced at his butt to check for any permanent damage. A dispirited frown soon spread across his muzzle as saw the wound the stone shrapnel had left behind.

"Yep, pooping is gonna to be a trial for the next few days." He turned his gaze back towards Rainbow Dash before putting an immediate stop to his inappropriate behavior. "Sorry, forgot whose company I was in for a minute there." He stated with a modest blush.

Rainbow only shrugged in response. "Like I give a crap." The digimon quirked an eyebrow in surprise, before chuckling at her joke. The girls he usually met in his travels didn't act this way when he made a crass comment like that. It felt oddly refreshing to see one acting this way, and it definitely made her seem more relatable in the short amount of time he knew her.

The digimon lifted himself to his full height, allowing Rainbow a full view of his body. He stood at roughly half her height, with a large skull and crimson eyes. His belly covered in white scales that traveled upwards over his chest and across his muzzle before stopping at the bridge of his nose. Above that was a large golden “V”, prominently displayed in the center of his forehead. Of all his features it was this one that seemed to draw her attention the most.

She stared at him for a second, measuring him up. "So what's your name?" Rainbow Dash asked, folding her arms in front of her chest.

The digimon smirked at the question, then pointed his thumb back at himself in a cocky stance. "The name's V-mon, it's short for Veemon. If you haven’t heard of me yet, don’t worry you’ll have time to learn. I’m considered a pretty big deal by the other mons around the island."

Rainbow Dash lifted her gaze so she could see out into the horizon beyond the mountain top. She noticed that Veemon was indeed correct about them being on an island, as a vast encompassing sea--surrounding a large area of lush trees and a shimmering shoreline--covered everything she could perceive from her current vantage point.

In that moment, her mind went back to her thoughts about her friends and their whereabouts. Now that she knew that they were all on an island, she assumed finding them would become a whole lot easier. After all, if creatures like Veemon and Dorumon were any indication, human teens in a world like this should stick out pretty easily.

Rainbow turned her attention back towards Veemon so she could respond. "My name's Rainbow Dash." She smiled. "Thanks for saving me back there."

Veemon’s mouth spread into a flat smile, and he closed his eyes as he intertwined his fingers behind the back of his head. "Yeah, it was no big deal. Just doin' what any other self-respecting digimon would do when they see a lady-mon in danger." Veemon's eyes reopened half way, as he shot his damsel a sultry look.

Rainbow's brows rose up in surprise, before knitting back down in annoyance. "Are you... hitting on me?!"

Veemon shrugged nonchalantly in response. "Well it ain't everyday that an Angewomon just drops out of the sky and lands in my lap, now is it?"

"Weren't you the one laying in my lap?" Rainbow shot back flatly.

"Well I sorta caught you in a sitting position, so we could say there was bit of equal lap action going on."

Rainbow Dash's face reddened like a fresh tomato as she grit her in teeth in anger. "Okay, no. Just no. I’m out of here."

She pushed past Veemon and stormed towards the edge of the cliff. Upon stopping she looked down to see if there was any way to descend the rocky face without risk of falling. Finding none, and groaning because of it, Rainbow turned her head left and right to see if there was any other way down. She noticed a gentle incline leading down the side of the mountain to her left, which she eagerly began heading towards.

Veemon watched as the rainbow-haired girl left him behind to start her way down the mountain. He scowled at her, deciding right then and there that he didn't like that she was ignoring him.

"Where do you think your going?! This isn't the way you're supposed to treat the mon who saved your life! You owe me!"

Rainbow hunched her shoulders in response. "You asked me to pick rocks out of your ass before you even told me your name!" She shouted. "Anything I owed you went out the window the moment I decided to help you!"

Veemon was flabbergasted. He had never met a girl like this before. "Oh yeah!" He shouted back. "Well bad news for you lady! I don't give up so easily, and I hate being told no!" He ran after the girl until he could reach her and keep pace with her walking speed.

Rainbow looked back at the little digimon currently tailing her. "Get away from me!" She shouted. "I have other things to worry about without having to babysit you."

"Trust me sweetie, you ain't gonna be the one doing the babysitting when we actually get off Mt. Infinity. There's a lot of nasty customers waiting below for pretty faces like you to stroll on by, and believe you me, your gonna be happy I decided grace you with my presence when that happens."

Rainbow growled and clenched her fists. "I can handle myself!" She wrapped her fingers around her geode as if telling Veemon that it would protect her, even though he had no idea the stone held any sort of power. "Now leave me alone!"

“Mon, I hate it when chicks get catty like this…” Veemon mumbled. He glanced at Rainbow out of the corner of his eye, she wasn't glaring at him so she probably didn't hear what he said. He quirked an eyebrow at her. "But the way she does it isn't really that bad. She isn't all whiny, and she's shouting at me like she thinks she could actually take me on.” Veemon rolled his eyes at the thought. "As if."

Veemon stretched his arms into the air then lazily folded them behind his head. "So why were you in the sky anyways, toots?" He asked with a pair of bored half-lidded eyes.

Rainbow Dash felt her shoulders sag as some of her irritation started to ebb away. Clearly she was going to be stuck with this scaly-skinned pig for a little while longer, so she should at least spark some kind of conversation or risk having to listen to more of his pick-up lines.

"A portal dropped me off here after a digimon from your world tried to kidnap my friend."

Veemon whistled in astonishment. "Jeez, portal jumpin's no joke. Especially when you're not expecting it." He turned his head sideways so he could look at Rainbow Dash. "Where ya from? Witchelny? The Iliad? I've personally never been, but I've heard good things about the digimon who live there."

The question actually made Rainbow stop and give pause. She turned towards Veemon and gave him a confused look. "What? I'm not a digimon, I'm human."

"Ha!" Veemon snorted. "Good one. But your pronouncing it wrong. It's Hu-mon, with an 'o' instead of an 'a'."

Rainbow Dash blinked a few times in confusion. "But I am human, and I am pronouncing it right! It's you and that Devimon who tried to kidnap Dorumon who are saying it wrong."

Veemon laughed again. "Yeah right!" He challenged. "Hu-MONS haven't been seen in the digital world for a thousand years or something, and there's no real evidence that they were ever really here to begin with."

He folded his arms in front of his chest and smirked confidently. "Don't try to complicate your jokes with unnecessary details, other digimon will see you trying to fool them from a mile away." He waggled his finger at the prism haired teen for good measure. This made Rainbow Dash see red.

"You cocky little..." She grumbled. "Do you take anything seriously?!"

"That depends. If the situation is serious enough for me to take it seriously, then it’s got to be a pretty serious situation... and I mean that, seriously."

Rainbow Dash growled and released an aggravated roar that would scare most grizzly bears away as she through her arms towards the sky.

"UUUGGGHHH!" She marched down the path, stomping like a five-year old throwing a temper-tantrum.

"Was it something I said?" Veemon asked.

"It's everything you said!" Rainbow shouted. She reached another widely spaced ledge jutting out from the mountain before she noticed Veemon was still trailing behind her. She stopped and turned to look at him. Veemon fell to his knees and folded his hands together as if praying at her feet.

"Baby please, don't go!" He joked. "I know we both said a few things we're not proud of, but we can fix that! We just need to talk it out... maybe feel it out?" The way his eyebrows bounced suggestively made it clear to Rainbow what his intentions were, which instantly pushed her over the edge.

Leaning down, she scooped up a rock and chucked it at Veemon's head. "GET OUT OF MY LIFE!" In surprise, Veemon ducked, just nearly missing the stone as it flew over his head and collided with a large spiky boulder sitting just behind him.

The rock bounced harmlessly off the side of the boulder, but that does not mean the boulder remained undisturbed. The boulder started to rumble and shake as four gigantic legs sprouted out from four holes at its base and lifted itself out of the dirt. A large reptilian head popped out from the side of the boulder and opened its baby blue eyes. The eye most pointed at them turned it's gaze in their direction. It was at this point that Rainbow Dash realized that she was staring at a giant tortoise.

The tortoise turned its head and looked down at the rock that bounced off its shell, then turned its head back up to look at Veemon and the girl who had thrown it.

Its eyes narrowed. Veemon chuckled nervously. "Umm... She did it."

Rainbow was dumbfounded. "What the hell?" Veemon only shrugged in response.

The monster roared, scaring both the teen and digimon off their feet, but not for long as both immediately shot back up running when the giant beast began to charge. The two ran back up the mountain with the tortoise hot on their heels. "What is that thing?!" Rainbow Dash shouted.

"He's Tortomon! Remember those nasty customers I told you about? Well he's one of them, AND BOY IS HE NASTY!"

The two soon reached the ledge where they had first met and ever sooner came across a horrifying discovery, they’d run out of places to run. They both skidded to a halt, stopping just at the edge of the cliff overlooking a thousand foot drop to the forested ground below. They turned around and saw Tortomon blocking their only other pathway down.

Veemon walked out in front of Rainbow Dash. "Listen buddy, I know you’re upset. But we can talk about this. You clearly take pride in your shell--as you should, it looks fantastic--but squashing us isn't going to make that dent go away. Tell you what, let us get some rags, you give us some time and we'll buff that right out for ya. Afterwards we can call things even and be on our separate ways. What do ya say?"

Tortomon raised up on his hind legs and slammed his front feet forcefully against the mountain stone. He roared giving Veemon his answer. Veemon chuckled before slamming his fist into his open palm. "Then I guess we're doing this the hard way."

Veemon charged the larger digimon and leapt into air.

"Volley Kick!"

He landed his foot against Tortomon's head with a powerful aerial kick. The tortoise's head shifted to the left from the force of the blow, disorienting the beast but otherwise doing nothing to move it from its spot in their way. Veemon landed on the ground again, then leapt back into the air to deliver a strong uppercut into Tortomon's lower jaw.

"Vee Punch!"

Tortomon's head shot upwards, but again did nothing to move him from his current place of resting. Tortomon shook his his head, clearly aggravated and somewhat dizzy. He glared down at the rookie digimon standing at his feet.

Veemon placed his hands on his hips and smirked confidently back up at the monster. "You had enough? Or do ya need another dose of shellshock?"

Tortomon answered by slamming his right claw into Veemon's left temple, and sending the smaller digimon flying into the stone wall a short distance away.

"Shell Phalanx!"

Large stones launched off of Tortomon's back like missiles out of a silo, and flew through the air in much the same way before colliding with the hole where Veemon had impacted. Rainbow Dash screamed out his name in horror. "VEEMON!"

Her scream alerted Tortomon, who soon moved his attention towards her. He stomped his way over towards the girl. Rainbow raised her hand and grasped her geode, but didn't notice the familiar warmth that came from it whenever she used her powers. She tried running to the left, but to her surprise, she found that Tortomon was already blocking her. She tried running to the right, but again Tortomon blocked her. It was only then that she made the chilling discovery that her super speed was gone.

Rainbow Dash backpedaled as fast as she could as Tortomon grew closer. She sped backwards until she found her standing at the edge of the cliff with Tortomon bearing down on her. He raised his claw and held it over the young girl's head. Rainbow Dash shouted in protest.

"Look, I'm sorry I threw that rock at you! I was upset! I'm worried about my friends! I didn't mean to hurt you!"

Tortomon wasn't listening, and instead decided to bring his foot down. Rainbow covered her head with her arms as the claw grew closer. She screamed in panic. "Somebody please! Help me!"

A flash of light suddenly distracted them both as a bright blinding glow exploded out from the pile of boulders that Tortomon had buried Veemon with. Both Rainbow and the large digimon turned their attention towards the rockpile as the boulders began to shift and fall away. Rainbow noticed her geode beginning to glow, but with a much brighter light then she had ever seen before.

She heard Veemon's voice call out from underneath the boulders.

Veemon Digivolve to...

The boulders exploded outwards like they has just been decimated by a bundle of lite dynamite. Pieces of stone both large and small flew in all directions. Now standing in the rockpile‘s place was a much larger digimon than Veemon, with three horns and even bigger muscles. White scales now covered his body along with blue ones in a much more even design, emblazoning a large blue V on the digimon’s chest. The new digimon smiled confidently and shouted his name to the heavens.

...Veedramon!

Veedramon shook off his body as if just coming out of a very cold shower. "Now that, was a rush!" He turned his grin towards Tortomon, before bring his fists together to crack his knuckles. "Alright ya oversized soup ingredient, the kid gloves are off! Ready for round two?!"

There was moment of silence as Tortomon tried to contemplate his opponent suddenly digivolving, but the giant tortoise soon gave his answer in the form of a monstrous roar.

"Grand Dash!"

The monster charged as Veedramon raised his fists in battle ready stance. "You got it!"

Veedramon ran forward and collided with Tortomon, digging his heels into the ground in order to bring the digimon's grand dash to a screeching halt. He then shifted his right hand to wrap around Tortomon's throat, lifting him up so his front feet were dangling in the air.

“Magnum Punch!”

Veedramon delivered a powerful right hook directly into the side of Tortomon's head sending him staggering backwards and spinning around so his tail was presented towards his opponent. Tortomon lifted himself off the ground and turned his head so he could see Veedramon. He then retracted into his shell and started spinning.

"Spinning Body Blow!"

Like a mad top, the tortoise digimon spun directly at his opponent, but Veedramon managed to jump out of the way before it could hit. The spinning shell stopped almost on a dime and changed directions, shooting straight back towards Veedramon with incredible speed. Veedramon only smiled however, before leaping into the air and delivering a mighty elbow drop on the back back of his enemy's shell. The power behind the blow forced Tortomon's shell to stop spinning and even impacted the digimon's body a short distance into the ground.

Rainbow Dash could barely believe what she was currently seeing. Veemon had just digivolved into a stronger form like Dorumon did back when he was fighting Devimon. But he said that only happened because he wanted to protect Sunset, herself and her friends. Did that mean Veemon wanted to protect..?

She was pulled out of her thoughts when she noticed Veedramon sticking his hands into the mountain stone and grasping onto the edge of Tortomon's shell. With a mighty heave the large blue dragon flipped the buried tortoise up and onto his back, upon which the tortoise poked out its head and appendages in a desperate struggle to flip himself back over.

Veedramon clamped his hands around the base of Tortomon's tail and began to drag the beast towards the center of the ledge. "Hey!" He shouted at an astonished Rainbow Dash. She couldn't take her eyes off him, and he was loving the feeling. "You better keep your eyes peeled, because this is gonna be the only time you ever see a turtle fly!"

He began to spin in a circle, never leaving his current spot or letting his grip go on Tortomon's tail. Faster and faster he whirled, slowly lifting Tortomon more and more off the ground with each passing rotation. Finally, he reached the momentum he was looking for and sent Tortomon hurtling into the sky...

"Enjoy the view!"

...and over the edge of the mountain shelf. "For as long as it lasts."

Rainbow Dash ran towards the cliff’s edge and watched as Tortomon fell end over end downwards. He roared every inch of the way, until finally being consumed by the treeline waiting below. The sounds of many pieces of crushed timber echoed in both of their ears, confirming that their enemy was indeed defeated and that they were undoubtedly the victors.

Rainbow stared down at the forest below, watching as few bird digimon flew away from the trees that Tortomon had crushed. A brief look of concern appeared upon on her face. "Is he going to be okay?"

"Yeah, he'll be good." Rainbow turned towards Veedramon, a bit surprised how low his voice had grown with with his change in size. "His body's built like a giant crash helmet. At worst, he’ll just have a mild headache."

His body began to glow before completely becoming enveloped in light. His body changing shape again, he shrank, reverting back to the size she knew him as when he was Veemon. He turned his head towards Rainbow and smiled at her. "Looks like I saved ya again... guess you owe me something."

Unlike before, Rainbow actually found herself laughing. "Alright, alright, fine. What do you want?"

Veemon scratched at his chin, making it look like he was deep in thought. "Hmm... take me with you. You obviously aren't going to make it out here without somebody watching your back. I want to be that somebody."

Rainbow smirked and stuck out her hand. "Deal. But you can't hit on me anymore. If you're going to stay you have to be my friend, not my fanboy."

Veemon swung his hand and clasped it against hers. "Trust me, by the time we're done, you're going to be fangirling over me. You... and your little friends too."

"You heard that?"

Veemon shrugged. "You'd be surprised how well piles of rubble funnel sound." The two started to make their way back towards the path that led down the mountain.

"So what's the difference between your nickname and your full name?" Rainbow asked.

"It makes more sense if you write it out. If we find a stick I can show you."

The Friend

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Pinkie Pie by no means had ever considered herself dumb. In most cases, she even considered herself a person of moderately above average intelligence, and some might argue even higher given strange amount of insight she tended to have in most situations. Knowing this about herself, Pinkie found she couldn’t help but mentally kick her own behind for doing something as stupid as throwing a magical computer portal at the monster that was attacking her friends. She had watched enough cartoons to see where their story was going, and she hated herself for not realizing it sooner.

Pinkie didn’t think much about her situation. She was falling out of the sky towards the ground, it wasn’t like she hadn’t done this before. Skydiving was one of her favorite hobbies when she could afford it. Though this was the first time she attempted free falling without a parachute…

...eh, the story’s only about a few chapters in, she knew she couldn’t die this early in the adventure. She briefly considered her death being a catalyst for her friends, urging them to go on a world-traveling journey to find a way home and console her grieving parents and sisters who had tragically lost their daughter/sibling to strange and unidentified alien-

Those thoughts left her mind the moment she felt her head break through the surface of water.

Pinkie’s eyes grew wide, then immediately snapped shut as vast amounts of salt bombarded her corneas. She gasped, feeling the collision knock the air out of her and forcing her to breath in water. She tried to struggle, swim even, but found her body was going lax. Crashing through the water must have given her a concussion or something. Her eyes began to flutter shut, the only thing she could see was the waves rippling above her as the sun beat down in the center of the sky.

Her eyes squinted, her consciousness now almost completely gone. She briefly considered that she might actually die here, drowned in parallel world she didn’t even get to see. She then noticed a featureless black figure swimming above her, before diving down in her direction.

As the figure got bigger and grew closer to her body, she couldn’t help but smile with mirth.

“I knew it…” She thought, closing eyes completely before letting herself get taken by the calm darkness of the sea.

******
Pinkie awoke sometime later, laying on the beach in front of a fire and was wrapped in large palm fronds like she had just been tightly tucked into bed.

She looked at her wrapped body, then turned towards the fire. She then looked back at her immobile body with a great deal of concern. “Okay…” She assessed to herself. “...either somebody saved me and is currently trying to dry my wet booty off, or they’re trying to cook me and make a giant Pinkie-in-a-blanket.” She sighed in annoyance. “This adventure is really starting to stink.”

She heard something coming over the bend as a few sharp sounds of twigs braking underfoot hit her ears. Pinkie turned her head towards the forest growing some distance away. Something large was coming towards her it the sounds of it clawed feet scraping the ground were any indication. It also seemed to be… singing?

“...If I had just one last wish, a would like a slow-cooked fish~” The creature smacking its lips, did not ease Pinkie’s panicked mind as it grew closer. In desperation, Pinkie quickly tried to leap herself up onto her feet. Unfortunately, being wrapped up tighter than Twilight in a good book, made the task almost near impossible. Eventually Pinkie just decided to forgo her attempts at hoping away, and instead flipped onto her stomach and tried to squirm away like a bird of prey.

The creature continued to sing. “...so long, so long, so long, so long~” But the sounds of Pinkie wriggling through the sand soon caught his attention. “Oh hey, you’re awake?”

“AH!” Pinkie and began to wriggle faster.

“Wait, come back!” The creature’s feet crunched against the sand as he chased after her. “I’m not going to hurt you!”

Despite her desperate attempts to get away, it didn’t take long for the digimon to catch up. Pinkie curled up in fear as the creature loomed over her. “Please don’t eat me…” She whimpered.

“Hold still.” The creature responded. Pinkie felt a sharp claw press gently against the back of her neck. She then tensed up as the claw slowly glided down the center of her back and all the past the bottoms of her toes. The tight palm wrapping that had been squeezing her suddenly began to grow loose until Pinkie she could escape from it completely, like a butterfly from a cocoon.

“There ya go. You know you really shouldn’t go swimming when you have things on you.” The creature explained. “Extra things just pull you underwater faster. Like this one time I tried going swimming with my favorite rock, I nearly drowned… plus I lost my rock.”

Pinkie turned around to look at the creature that was addressing her. It looked like Dorumon, but instead of fur its body was covered in red and black scales, and a pair of tiny wings seemed to be growing out the back of its head. White scales covered its belly and chest, and the black ones were patterned in such a way that he looked like he was covered from head to toe in tattoos. It raised to its full height, the top of its head reaching up to meet Pinkie’s shoulders, as it into her eyes with it’s own amber ones.

Pinkie looked confused. “So you’re not going to eat me?”

The creature shook its head. “Uh-Uh.” The creature began to think about what Pinkie was asking. “Did you want me too? Because I don’t know how I feel about that...”

Upon hearing the question, Pinkie found she couldn’t keep herself from giggling. “Of course not, silly. Nobody wants to be eaten.”

Her words seem to come as a surprise to the creature. “Oh!” He turned back towards the fire. “Then I think some fish are really going to be mad at me.”

Pinkie gigglied louder. “That’s a good one. You’re funny.”

The creature looked back at her in confusion. “I don’t like it when other digimon are mad at me. It makes me feel bad, and I don’t think you should be laughing at the fish.”

Pinkie narrowed her brows concernedly, her heart felt like it was swelling. His words had come off sounding so sweet and sincere that she swore she had just gotten a cavity. He talked just like a little kid, and she felt the need to console him because of it.

“Hey, hey, it's okay. Somethings are okay with being eaten, because they know they’ll be helping someone else by feeding them. I’m sure those fish are really really happy that there helping you.”

The creature looked back at the fire, then back at Pinkie. He smiled at her. “Then I’m still a good danshi?”

Pinkie needed to protect that smile. “Whatever that means, yes! You are the goodest danshi! And let nobody tell you otherwise!”

He looked down at the ground, trying to hide a blush from the girl that complimented him. “Thank you, you’re a really nice kanojo.” After regaining his composure, he turned on his heels and began trotting towards the fire.

“My fish should almost be done cooking, and your clothes should almost be dry. I’m okay with sharing if you like.”

Pinkie blinked, then looked down to notice she was completely bare to the world. “Eep!” She shot her arms over her most private of areas and shot towards the fire.

Less than a minute later, Pinkie was dressed and seated on the sand with a bright blush covering her already pink face. She thought she could feel a breeze, she just didn’t put it together when she thought she was going to be eaten. What was worse was that he saw everything. At least she thought he was a he based on the way his voice sounded. He really must have been a little kid, because he didn’t react at all to her body like some of the boys from Canterlot High would. She felt relieved that his innocence made the situation a little less embarrassing.

“Here you go!~” The digimon cheered. “This is a Swimmon. They’re my favorite.” What was held in front of her was a colorful, diamond-shaped fish with long fins and and a bird-like beak on the front of its body. It was skewered on a stick, probably what he was out in the forest collecting, and charred to a nice golden brown.

Pinkie swallowed nervously. She never had eaten a fish cooked raw over a fire before, not even at Camp Everfree. Even still, it wasn’t like she could turn it down. That would be rude, and nobody would ever call Pinkamena Diane Pie rude! Naive, scatterbrained, and maybe somewhat careless, but never rude!

Pinkie proudly took a giant bite out of her offered fish, and to her surprise found its flavors exploding in mouth like a bright flash of fireworks in the sky. ”Wow! This is Fan-terrifi-tastic!” She exclaimed taking another mammoth bite.

The digimon nodded and ate his own fish in only three chomps of his own gigantic jaws. “I know right!” He replied. “I try to eat at least three of these a day. Not only are they scrum-diddly-licious, but a smart mon I know says their also brain food! So someday, if I eat enough, I might be able to answer every question ever!”

Pinkie giggled. “My friend Twilight says the same thing about fish.”

The digimon looked at her curiously. “Is she a smart mon too?”

Pinkie shrugged nonchalantly. “Sorta-kinda… she’s the smartest person I know, but she’s not really a digimon. She’s human like me.”

The digimon tilted his head. “Hu… mon? I’ve never met a humon before.” He sauntered up to her and began sniffing her clothes. “That story Wizardmon read me said they all disappeared a long time ago.”

Pinkie chuckled as she was tickled by his snout. “Get off me, you silly gator.” She pushed him gently sending him falling backwards onto his rump. “At least ask me my name first before ya start smelling me.”

The digimon’s eyes widened in excitement. “Oh! Okay. What’s your name kanojo-san?”

“I’m Pinkie Pie, what’s your name?”

“I’m Guilmon. It’s really nice to meet you Pinkie-chan!”

Before Pinkie could get anymore words out in edgewise, a large plum of water shot out of the ocean and landed on their fire, soaking them both straight down to the bone.

“Aw… and I just got dry! Alright, who’s the pranking jerky-pants who thought that this would be funny!”

“He’s over there.” Guilmon explained, pointing out to sea where a large pointed object was raising out of the water. Upon parting, the water gave way to what resembled a giant spiked shell with and opening near the bottom roughly the size of a two-car garage door.

Two massive fists squeezed out of the opening like to giant wades of putty being pushed through a tube. They were followed by an equally viscous-looking body and head with giant blue eyes and dirty green tentacles growing out of its scalp. A monsterous fusion of a sea snail and dinosaur was now staring at the spot beach where both the girl and digimon were sitting, and he didn’t looked none too plussed to be seeing them there.

Reeling back, he shifted forward releasing a loud and clearly hostile roar. Both Pinkie and Guilmon stared at him in confusion.

“What’s he so cranky about?” Pinkie questioned.

“He says we’re getting footprints all over his nice clean beach.” Guilmon stated. Pinkie stared at him. “Oh, I understand primal roar.”

The giant shell-monster slammed it’s fists against the ocean’s surface sending to large towers of water flying haphazardly into the sky.

“Now he’s saying this transgression can not go without rebuke, and that we will pay dearly for the sullying his property.”

Pinkie’s brows narrowed in a contemplative expression. “Sounds like something Rarity would say…” She mumbled.

“Is she another friend of yours?”

“Yes actually, she’s-”

“Spin Shellder!”

Before Pinkie could get out another word, the giant mollusk retracted into its shell and began spinning like a violent top. The giant shell started to float due to the speed of the spin, and shot across the water in zig-zag pattern straight for Pinkie and Guilmon.

Upon seeing this, both Pinkie and Guilmon ran for the left side of the beach, barely avoiding the giant shell as it collided with their smothered fire and buried its base halfway into the sand.
The slimy body of the digimon pulled itself out of the opening in the shell, and glared hatefully down at the digimon and girl standing below it. It bellowed a deep and beast-like groan.

“He said, that Shellmon is going to smash us.” Guilmon stated. The creature, now identified as Shellmon lifted its fist over Pinkie.

“Do you think you can talk him out of it, Guilmon?” Pinkie asked, shaking under the shadow of the monster shell-fish’s appendage.

“I can’t speak primal roar.” Guilmon was ashamed to admit. “I know what he’s saying, but I can’t tell him to do anything. I’m sorry.”

Shellmon’s fist came down just above Pinkie, she knelt down and covered her head ready to accept the inevitable. Only to feel something bite down on the bottom of her skirt and pull her backwards before the blow could connect. Pinkie felt her feet leave the ground, before landing roughly on her bottom on something that felt much harder than sand. She looked down to see she was now sitting on Guilmon’s back.

“Hold on!” The smaller digimon shouted. “I’ve never let anymon ride bareback on me before.”

He turned on his heels and ran towards the other side of the beach away from Shellmon, the speed of his turn actually forcing Pinkie to fall forward and grip onto his neck to make sure she didn’t fall off.

Shellmon roared, before using his hands to grasp the sand and pull himself forwards after his escaping prey. However, he was nowhere near fast enough to catch the two, so with an annoyed growl he decided to change up him tactics.

“Hydro Pressure!”

A large plum of water fired out of the top of Shellmon’s head and flew like a missile past Guilmon and Pinkie before colliding with the sand, sending an explosion of scattered sediment flying everywhere.

“Hydro Pressure!”

“Hydro Pressure!”

Two more shots fired, which Guilmon was barely able to avoid. The flying sand was now beginning to block both their vision, the two both realized that they weren’t going to make anymore heading going in the direction they were. Pinkie turned her head and noticed the forest off their right.

“Guilmon! The forest! He can’t follow us there!” Guilmon looked towards the forest before nodding in agreement.

“Okay, Pinkie-chan!”

Guilmon darted to the right, forcing Shellmon to change his line of sight. Upon noticing the two heading for the treeline, the larger digimon decided to change tactics yet again.

He pulled himself back into his shell and began to spin. He began to rise off the ground, and fired for the trees right where Guilmon was running.

“Drill Shell!”

He collided with the outer trees of the forest before Guilmon could even reach them. Guilmon skid to a halt as the monstrous mollusk pulled itself out of the shell right in front of him.

“Fireba-”

Shellmon punched Guilmon before he could finish stating his attack. The blow sent Guilmon flying backwards and into a deeper part of the ocean, while Pinkie was sent flying into air before landing in Shellmon’s open fist. He squeezed her, Pinkie feeling every inch of her body getting covered by viscous snail slime.

It was unpleasant, but currently her focus was only on the digimon who hadn’t yet come back up for air. Pinkie squirmed and tried to get herself free. “Let me go you stinky shellfish!” She screamed. “He’ll drown if someone doesn’t do something to save him!”

Shellmon seemed to like this idea as he chuckled and clenched his fist even tighter. He opened his maw shocking wide and slowly began to move Pinkie towards it. “Why does everything want to eat me?!” She grew closer and closer with each agonizingly slow second. She was nearly about to touch its tongue when she realized she was all out of options.

She closed her eyes and screamed. “GUILMON! HELP ME!”

An explosion of light shot out of the ocean near the shore, before transforming into a beam that seemed to part the water creating a large hole.

A shout could be heard emanating from the hole in the sea.

“Guilmon Digivolve to…”

The beam extinguished, allowing the sea to crash back in on itself before exploding outwards as a much larger creature burst out of the waves.

“...Growlmon!”

The new digimon looked almost identical to Guilmon, except his body was far more muscular and a pair of diagonal horns and sharp curved blades were sticking out the sides of his forehead and forearms respectively. The black rings and designs scattered across his body had now become far more ornate, some even glowing golden sigils spanning around the rings. His eyes had become far more predatory, to the point that Pinkie almost didn’t recognize them. They no longer shinned with that wonder she saw when she first met the doey-eyed dinosaur, instead they were replaced with the eyes of a beast.

Growlmon stared down at Shellmon like a lion would stare down a cornered antelope. The mollusk digimon physically trembled, actually dropping Pinkie Pie as all his focus turned towards the monster now standing before him.

Growlmon stomped out of the water, and began to charge the shelled-digimon. Shellmon jumped back in surprise, before firing a plum of water as if on instinct.

Growlmon didn’t even avoid the blast, instead deciding to run right through it like it were nothing more then a shot from a squirt gun. Shellmon roared in fear as it saw the monster emerge from the jet of water. It tried to return to its shell, only to feel the hard whap of Growlmon’s tail collide with his cheek.

“Dragon spine!”

Shellmon flew over the beach and landed on its side, the force of the impact burying half of his shell in the sand. He hazily shook his head as he looked back towards Growlmon. As his vision cleared, he noticed the larger digimon was charging him again. Shellmon smirked, this time he was ready for him.

Shellmon retracted into his shell and waited, as Growlmon leapt into the upon it. He clawed and he scraped at the shell like a wild animal trying to tear through a tortoise. Inside the shell, Shellmon smiled and enacted his plan.

“Drill Shell!”

Shellmon’s shell spun at ludicrous speeds with Growlmon still standing on top of it. The surated and spiked sides of the shell cut into Growlmon’s body like a grinder, easily cutting through his thick scales and several noticeable cuts on his chest and stomach. The spinning continued until Growlmon was eventually thrown into the air and was launched back over towards the other side of the beach.

Pinkie shot her hands over her mouth as she watched Growlmon collide powerfully with the sand. She ran towards him, starting to see the blood seep off him from the wounds on his body.

“Guilmon!” She shouted. Only to hear deep guttural laughing bellow out from behind her. She turned to see Shellmon still spinning, but now in such a way that it dug its body out of the sand and positioned it back onto its base. The shell suddenly shot towards her and Pinkie screamed.

The shell stopped spinning as Shellmon sprouted out from the opening and aimed its maw for her. Pinkie closed her eyes as it flew towards her.

Then she heard a loud stomp, and a large gush of stand blew by her.

Pinkie opened her eyes to see Shellmon pressed against the sand with a large crimson-scaled foot holding him down. Pinkie looked up and saw Growlmon standing defiantly above her.

“Guilmon!” She cheered, before rushing forwards to and hugging his now monumental leg. “Your okay!”

Growlmon looked down and gave Pinkie a warm smile, his dilating back to the way she remembered them when they had first met. “I’m Growlmon now, Pinkie-chan.” He growled in a much deeper voice.

“You can be whatever you want, big guy.” She stated hugging closer to his shin. She soon released the hug and turned towards the other digimon currently trapped under Growlmon’s foot.

Pinkie smiled mischievously. “Now what do you say we send this big meanie back where he belongs…”

A large snort of steam exited out of Growlmon’s nostrils causing Shellmon to sweat. “Okay…” He leaned down and looked Shellmon in the eye. “Tell me, are you mad at me?” Shellmon didn’t respond. I don’t like it when other digimon are mad at me. Because when they get mad...“ He lifted his foot and dug it beneath the sand, right under Shellmon’s body. “...I get mad back!”

He kicked upwards sending Shellmon flipping end over upwards into the air. The digimon retracted into his shell, just Growl spun and whacked it with the broadside of his tail.

“Dragon spine!”

The shell cracked and was sent flying towards the ocean.

“Exhaust Flame!”

A large scorching burst of flame was fired from Growlmon’s maw with a roar. It soared over the seas until it collided with Shellmon’s shell, setting it ablaze and launching it farther until finally crashing into the ocean miles away from shore.

Pinkie jumped into the air and cheered. “Oh yeah! You did it! Who’s the dragon?! You the dragon?! Who’s bad?! Who’s bad?! You bad! You bad!”

Growlmon became enveloped in a bright blinding light before shrinking back down to his original state. Guilmon stared up at her in confusion.

“But I thought I was a good Danshi?”

Pinkie wrapped him up in the tightest hug he had ever experience. “The goodest!”

Guilmon winced under the force of her hug. “Thank you, Pinkie-chan. But your opening my wounds.”

Pinkie gasped, and immediately let him go. “Your right! We have to get you cleaned up immediately!” She looked down and noted how her body was also covered in blood, as well as sand and viscous digi-snail slime. “For that matter, I need a bath too.”

Without a second thought, Pinkie began to strip off her clothes much to Guilmon’s bewilderment. “I thought you were embarrassed to have others see you naked? Should I look away?”

“Naw, we’re friends now, and that means you have special privileges.” After removing every article of clothing from her person, Pinkie waded them up and tossed them into the sea water to let them soak. “Besides, I know you wouldn’t do anything pervy. Your to sweet and innocent to do anything like that.” She petted him on the head, earning a happy wage of his tail for her efforts.

“...like cotton candy?” He asked. Pinkie couldn’t help but giggle at the perfect comparison.

“Silly gator…” She replied. “Come on the last one in is a stinky Shellmon!” Pinkie bolted towards the surf before cannonballing into the deeper water. Guilmon wagged his tail and eagerly followed after her.

“Wait for me, Pinkie-chan!”

The Sage

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Magnamon, like the majority of his brethren found within the Veemon-line, considered himself a proud individual. He of course did not see himself as infallible, indeed he was capable of making mistakes and was even humble enough to admit to them when needed. But even still, he couldn’t help but considered himself a “mon among mons” when thinking about his status as a Royal Knight. He had fought, striven through, and ultimately conquered every obstacle in his way to reach the position he could boast about today, and fully believe he was worthy of the title given to him…

...This of course didn’t help make his current situation any less humiliating, as he laid face down, rear end up in a ditch of his own creation following his violent reentry.

He groaned as he placed his hands on the soil and lifted himself onto his knees. He shook his head in an attempt to reorient his vision. The rattling sounds of earth and stone within his helmet made him release an annoyed sigh.

Reaching up he grasped his golden helmet and removed it, revealing his snow white chin and neck and aqua blue colored head. He began to shake it clean once he did so.

“Magnamon..?” He mumbled to himself. “Is this the reason we avoid portals nowadays?”

“Yes, other Magnamon.” He replied. “This is why we avoid portals nowadays.”

Once satisfied with the cleanliness of helmet he placed it back on his head, before lifting himself to his feet in order to scope out his surroundings.

The area he had landed in was completely covered in trees, with only the small spanning patch of dirt he currently stood in acting as the difference. In the distance he could clearly make out the base of a mighty mountain that was near scraping the sky, and on the wind that blew past him he could make out the scent of seawater.

“File Island…” He stated to himself. “Well, there's definitely worst places I could have ended up.”

He lifted his claw to rub the back of his neck, partially due to the thought, but also because his muscles were still sore from his collision with the ground.

“Hope those kids are alright.” He commented. “If I’m lucky, they got away from that portal in time and are just waiting for me to come back and pick up Alphamon.”

A sudden roar in the distance killed any further hope he had in the scenario he just described. He pinched the bridge of his muzzle through the visor of his mask and inhaled deeply. He exhaled…

“King Drasil… Why must you test me?”

He didn’t wait for an answer as he immediately broke into a sprint toward the source of the noise. He tried to take off in order to get there faster, but found he could not achieve the right amount of lift. He looked to his shoulder, and noticed one set of his turbines had been damaged by the fall.

“Perfect…” He groaned.

It took longer then he would have liked, but he eventually reached the source from which the sound had came from. Unfortunately, the digimon who had made it had decided not to stick around, but thankfully was gracious enough to leave a good deal of evidence for Magnamon to inspect.

The area was completely trashed, with several layers of dirt having been torn out of the landscape with seemingly random attacks, and even a few trees having been knocked over.

Whatever digimon had been here it was clearly volatile, rage-induced, and most alarmingly, out of it’s mind. Magnamon didn’t want to believe it with so little evidence, but he couldn’t shake a gut feeling that this destruction was caused by someone he knew.

Magnamon shook his head. “This isn’t good…”

The flapping of wings soon caught Magnamon’s attention, and turned around in surprise. A digimon he recognized as a Ultimate-level mythical beast, had landed on the branch of a tree just behind him. It had white feathers and fur, a powerful-looking gold beak, and two pairs muscular legs, the back half of which resembling more of a horse then a bird as the rest of its body did. The digimon tilted its head to the left as it stared at the Royal Knight curiously.

Magnamon was a bit turned off by the strange digimon’s sudden appearance, but decided to push those concerns to the back of his mind until the current more-pressing situation was dealt with. He looked to the digimon and called out it’s name.

“Excuse me! Hippogriffomon?! Can you hear me?!”

The digimon didn’t respond and only continued to stare at him. Magnamon decided to take this as a confirmation.

“There seems to have been quite the squabble here!” He shouted. “I believe it may be the work of a very dangerous digimon that is currently on the loose! He can’t be allowed to performs actions like this again! Especially if other digimon are involved!”

The beast digimon blinked at him, but otherwise did not respond. “Please, if you have seen anything! Tell me right now! I need to find him before he can hurt anyone else!”

Again the digimon didn’t answer, but it did turn its head towards the northeast. Magnamon looked in the same direction.

“He went that way?!” Magnamon asked.

The digimon lifted his front claw and pointed it in the same direction, as if clearly trying to spell it out. Magnamon looked in the same direction again, before smiling under his mask. He turned back towards Hippogriffomon.

“Thank you!” He shouted, giving the beast a bow before shooting off in the direction he prescribed.

Magnamon didn’t know it, but the Hippogriffomon watched him as he ran out of sight, and as soon as he had gotten a good enough distance away, took to the air to silently follow him.

******
Fluttershy had had better days, and it wasn’t like the start of today had been terrible. Ignoring the monster that tried to kill her at Sunset’s apartment, she had rather enjoyed most of today.

She had made it home before her parents could scold her (not that they actually would have), she had gotten a beautiful new outfit from her best friend Rarity, and though she didn’t know him well, she was happy that Sunset and Dorumon were getting along so well after their initial meeting.

Of course, after Devimon showed up to steal Dorumon again, that’s when her day immediately plummeted. Now she found herself staring at the sky, in a world she did not recognize, while laying on a large pile of plush toys she had no idea as to why they were there. At the very least, she was happy that they were soft enough to cushion her fall, and keep her from getting hurt.

Fluttershy sat herself up, begrudgingly deciding to look at her surroundings to see where she was. It didn’t look to scary. In fact, for the first time in the timid girl’s life the unfamiliar world around her didn’t scare her the least bit.

The grass below her was colored two-shades of purple and was patterned like a checkerboard that spanned into the horizon in all directions. Gigantic building blocks sat randomly around and top of each other, with none reaching more than three blocks high, but still were able to scrape the sky like a tower. The only semblance of normality she could see in the area was the entrance to a forest, growing some yards away in the distance.

She picked herself up and started to brush herself off. “It feels like a playground the Cake twins might dream up.” Fluttershy thought to herself. She smiled to herself knowingly. “Still, I can’t lie to myself and say it isn’t very cute.”

As if on instinct, Fluttershy turned around and began to fluff up the toys that she had landed on, making them look as pristine as if they had never been touched before. It was her way of saying thank you for saving my life, even though the toys had no way of knowing the good deed they had done today.

She turned and began walking once her work was done. Hopefully, she’d be able to find her friends quickly, and they’d be able to better find a way home with superior numbers. Plus, she just felt safer when the others were around. They tended to make the right decisions, and whenever they worked together any problem always seemed to have corresponding solution.

She felt brave whenever her friends were around, which always felt better then feeling nervous when she was alone.

A sudden cry caught Fluttershy’s ears, and in surprise, she curled up by her knees in a defensive ball.

She listened for a few minutes, and soon found the cries weren’t those of some monstrous animal, but instead, a distressed infant. Fluttershy’s eyes shot wide open and she immediately shot back up to her feet.

Without a moment’s hesitation, she bolted in the direction of the sounds with the intent of soothing the creature that sounded so distraught.

Within a few minutes, she arrived at a open clearing that, to her surprise, held a seemingly endless supply of wooden cradles and giant colorful eggs. The crying was coming from one of the cradles, which Fluttershy ran to with extreme haste.

Inside the cradle was a tiny digimon, one that Fluttershy noticed had the same shape as Dorumon did before he digivolved. It had a round body, and two tiny pointed ears, two button-like black eyes, and a pink protrusion from its mouth that looked like a pacifier. Out of it’s back grow the stem to a giant leaf, that it was using to cover itself as if trying to hide from the girl that had just appeared.

Fluttershy had to hold her hands over her mouth just to keep herself squealing at the baby digimon’s adorableness. Taking a moment to get a hold of herself, Fluttershy then leaned down and began whispering at the creature.

It’s okay. I’m not going to hurt you little guy.” She brought her fingers under the digimon’s leaf and started to tenderly stroke its head. The baby digimon flinched at first, but then began to move into the petting it was beginning to enjoy. “There you go. See, I’m not so scary. I heard you crying and came to help. Is something upsetting you?”

The digimon didn’t respond with a cry, but it did a gurgle. It’s stomach was rumbling, and remembering the fact that it was hungry made the digimon’s eyes water again.

“Oh, your a hungry little guy, aren’t you?” Fluttershy began to look around the base of the cradle. Hopefully whoever was looking after the little digimon wouldn’t keep something to feed it to far away. “Ah-ha!” She found a bottle half-filled with milk near the back of the cradle. “Silly little boy, you dropped this didn’t you?” She held up the bottle, causing the little digimon to bounce in excitement. She couldn’t help but giggle. “Calm down, it’s coming. I’ll have your baba to you in a second.” She wiped the grass off the tip of the bottle before slowly moving it towards the baby. As she got closer he nestled into her arms and began to suckle on tip of the bottle.

Fluttershy smile as she got on her knees. This little guy was definitely more of a sweetie then Dorumon had ever been. Despite herself, she could help but find herself humming, which soon turned into the singing of a sweet lullaby.

“Hush now, quiet now, it’s time to lay your sleepy head. Hush now, quiet now, it’s time to go to bed~”

The digimon nestled deeper into her arms upon hearing her song. It wanted to hear more.

Unbeknownst to Fluttershy, more digimon besides the one she was singing to was hearing her song. They too were babies, and they could see from their cradles that she was feeding their friend. They didn’t know who she was, nor did they understand why she had suddenly appeared with the intent of feeding them. What they did understand however, was that their friend was being pampered and cuddled and they were not.

They all decided simultaneously, that this upset them a great deal.

*******
Meanwhile, in the forests overlooking the fields where the baby digimon snoozed, a boy-like digimon was lazily sprawled out on the thick limb of a tree. He looked like a cavalier sort of creature, like character you would see in a fantasy book. He was dressed in green and white garb with two swords strapped at his hips. He wore a long yellow scarf that blew helplessly in the wind, and though it wasn’t currently up, the bandana around his neck would normally be covering his mouth and nose. He leisurely blew into a stack of hollow reeds that he had fashioned together into makeshift instrument. The tune he played was both haunting and whimsical, all at the same time.

Beside him a much smaller digimon laid on her stomach upon a much smaller branch. Like the boy, if one were to see her, they might confuse her for a creature from fantasy. She was no taller than the length between the base of the boy’s palm and the tip of his middle finger, and had on her back a pair of shimmering wings that looked similar to that of a transparent butterfly. She had long blond hair and a green bow, and was dressed in a short top and even shorter pants that perfectly showed off her stomach and proportionally long legs. On her hands and feet she wore thick leather boots and gloves, with end of each finger and the end of each boot being tipped with a hot pink spike. She was staring longingly at the boy as he continued to play his song.

“This is nice. Relaxing here... just you and me.” She hummed. “We should really do this more often.”

The boy placed down his instrument before removing his hat and placing it down upon it. “Can’t say I can argue with you. But you know the kids aren’t going to give us that luxury.”

“We could always call a sitter.” She offered. “Someone to watch the kids, while we go on a little vacation. Somewhere preferably warm, cozy… and private.”

“It isn’t wise nor is it fair to delegate one’s jobs onto lesser experienced individuals. This is your burden to carry, so either perform the task yourself or train someone to take the responsibility for you.”

The girl’s brows furrowed in annoyance. “I don’t remember inviting you along, Mr. Fortune Cookie.” A thin, silvery weasel-like digimon was watching them from the higher branches. On his body was an ornate pattern of golden symbols that traveled down the length of his back, and at the end of his tail, a small golden casing like that of a empty bullet. He plucked an acorn from a twig nearby as he replied to her complaint.

“No, but I think my invitation should go unspoken, when it is my tree you two decided to rest in.” He took a bite of his acorn as if it gave merit to his point. He turned his attention towards the boy. “A pleasure to see you both again. Petermon...” Then back towards the girl. “...Tinkermon.”

“It’s good to see you too, Kudamon.” Petermon said with a smile. He glanced over towards his Tinkermon. “Right, Tink?”

Tinkermon folded her arms and turned her head away from both of them. “I can’t say the feeling is mutual.” She glared over her shoulder at the digimon watching her from above. “Don’t you have somewhere better to be?”

Kudamon shot her a smug grin. “Not particularly, no.”

Tinkermon lifted herself onto her knees and glowered at the weasel digimon. She huffed under her breath. “Fine, then we’ll just have to ignore you.”

Tinkermon closed her eyes and fluttered into the air with a quick buzz of her wings. She placed her hands on her hips and floated towards Petermon, all the while adding a slight sensual sway to them that she hoped the boy would notice. Before long she was floating in front of Petermon’s face, before laying herself down on his cheek so she could stare into his crimson eyes. “Where were we?~”

Kudamon couldn’t help but chuckle at the female digimon’s display. “Seem’s someone has finally taken the phase “Carpe Diem” to heart.” He muttered so neither would hear.

Before the scene could play out any further however, a large gaggle of cries emitted from the fields, immediately pulling Petermon’s attention.

“Oh boy, kids sound like they're at it again.” He reached down and picked up his hat with the pan flute still firmly clutched within its fabric. “Gonna have to put that thought on hold Tink.”

Petermon lifted himself off of the branch and suddenly began to float into the air. Tinkermon slide off his cheek as he did so.

“They’re probably just hungry.” She stated, trying to get him to stay. “They can wait for just a few more minutes.”

“Sorry, Tink.” Petermon replied. “But fixing problems is the only thing on my mind when I hear a baby crying.” He turned towards Kudamon. “You want to come along? We could probably use the backup.” He offered jokingly.

“Why not.” He expressed, before hopping onto Petermon’s shoulder. “Those who don’t recognize that babies are the link between mons and angels, rarely know what is most important.”

“Don’t bring him along!” Tinkermon huffed.

“I can’t say no now, he already decided.” Petermon shot back with a cheeky grin. “Now come on, we need to quiet these kids down before we start getting complaints from the neighbors.”

Tinkermon seethed, and actually started to glow a bright red color before firing after the levitating digimon, only stopping briefly to grab a pointed pink spear, that was no bigger than a sewing needle, from the branch she originally laid upon.

******
Fluttershy was beside herself with worry. Not only were there more baby digimon then she first expected, but there was so many that she didn’t even think her skills would be enough to calm them all down.

“Oh dear, oh dear…” Fluttershy whispered to herself. “...what am I going to do?”

“YOU!” Fluttershy turned around in surprise, only to see what looked like a pixie staring her dead in the eyes. She did not look happy.

“WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY BABIES?!” The pixie shouted, making Fluttershy jump back in fear.

“I… I mean… I didn’t...”

Tinkermon looked down towards Fluttershy’s hand and noticed the baby bottle she was holding. She turned her gaze back towards Fluttershy and glowered at her hatefully. “Stealing formula, huh?” She flew down and plucked the bottle out of Fluttershy’s hand. She then flew it back towards the cradle where the digimon she had been feeding was resting. She handed it to the digimon, who seemed to perk up upon seeing her.

“There you go, Leafmon. It’s okay, Tinkermon’s here.”

She began to smile when the digimon happily started sucking on his bottle. That same smile immediately vanished once she turned back towards Fluttershy. “...That’s low. Even for a petty thief like you!” Tinkermon brandished her spear. “You need to be punished.”

“But I didn’t…”

“YAAAAAH!” Her explanations fell on deaf ears as Tinkermon lunged at her. Fluttershy screamed before breaking into a run, the Pixie digimon showing her no sympathy as she immediately gave chase.

Petermon landed behind Leafmon’s cradle and leaned on its roof as he watched with mild amusement as his best friend chased the teen around like an angry hornet.

“GET BACK HERE SO I CAN SHOVE THIS UP YOUR NOSE!” Fluttershy screamed again.

Petermon smirked at the scene before looking down at the digimon happily sucking on its bottle. The baby briefly paused and looked up at him.

“Think you could tell me what’s going on here, kiddo?” Leafmon said nothing, and only continued to suckle on its bottle. Petermon snickered as he shook his head. “Didn’t think so.”

Kudamon crawled out onto Petermon’s shoulder, and smiled upon seeing the exchange of batter between the two girls.

“You think we should cut in?” Petermon asked.

“I believe there is an old saying from a foreign land for moments like this. Let them fight.”
Before they could let the situation play out any further however, Fluttershy shot behind the cradle and hid behind Petermon’s back. Tinkermon froze mid flight upon seeing she hand grasp upon Petermon’s shoulders.

Her body began to glow a bright red again. “Oh you just signed up for funeral arrangements, hussy!”

She shot at Fluttershy with the speed of a bullet, only to be stopped by Petermon’s hand before she could reach her. “Hold on Tink. I think there’s more to this story then just what we’re seeing.”

“It isn’t wise to jump the gun, milady.” Kudamon added.

Tinkermon pulled herself off of Petermon’s hand like a fly off a windshield. She glowered at Petermon. “She made our babies cry, and is using you as meat shield. That’s all I need to know to tell me that I’m pissed off!”

“Why don’t we let her tell her side of story, then we can decide how pissed off you should be.” He arched his brows at her in a playful manner. “You know how good I am at spotting liars.”

Tinkermon blushed, then puffed up her cheeks in annoyance. She muttered to herself, “My actual rack-size is still none of your business.”

Kudamon smirked at her. “I’m sorry my dear, what was that? I’m afraid even with my better then average hearing, I did not quite catch that?” In truth, he didn’t hear a word, but any chance he got to annoy the pixie digimon was always something to savor.

Tinkermon growled. “Fine!” She shouted. “We’ll see what the stupid girl has to say!” She didn’t want play into their game, but at this point she would do literally anything to stop them from teasing her.

“Ya hear that? Your gonna get a chance to prove your innocence.” Fluttershy looked up at the digimon who was looking over his shoulder to speak to her. She began to blush, but Tinkermon was undoubtedly growing redder.

He looked like a protagonist from one of her fantasy animes about knights, magic and sorcery. His windswept blond hair, captivating crimson eyes, and pointed elf-like ears were all working together to turn her legs to jelly. She didn’t like to admits this often (or to anyone, really), but some of her first crushes growing up were the heroes from imported cartoons that she caught on television, and the best part was that this one she could actually touch.

“Okay…” She said airily, and probably not in full sense of what she was saying.

Petermon turned his attention towards the crying digimons before looking back towards her. “Excuse me a second, I’ve got to go calm down the kids.”

He floated away from Fluttershy’s embrace until he was floating high above the cradle covered fields below. He pulled out his panpipes from below his hat and brought them to his mouth.

“Midnight Fantasia.”

He blew into his pipes and played a melody that sounded so soothing, one could easily mistake it for a wordless lullaby. The young digimon around him began to sway and shack, each of them becoming more and more drowsy as the song played on. They each smiled as they all in turn fell asleep to the beautiful tune. Fluttershy and Tinkermon sighed longingly as they watched him finish his song, then immediately gave him quite applauds as he touched down in front of them.

He smiled before giving them a mock bow. “Now then…” He stated rising back to his full height. “...I do believe we’re supposed to tell a story along with the lullaby.” He glanced towards Fluttershy. “Would you care to regale us, madam?”

Fluttershy brought her hands up over her mouth in order to hide her timid expression and blush. She giggled giddily as Tinkermon ground her teeth.

“It’s better to ask names before questions Petermon. We mustn't forget our manners in the presence of a lady.” Kudamon crawled out on to Petermon’s shoulder, and for the first time presented himself to Fluttershy. Her attention almost instantly shifted.

But before she could get a word out in edgewise, Tinkermon started fuming. “So what exactly does that make me, you hairy trouser snake?!”

Kudamon faked being hurt by her statement. “Tinkermon my dear, why you’re more than a lady… you’re my friend.” For a moment Tinkermon dropped her guard, actually feeling touched by this statement. “Which means you get to know the real me, not the mon forced to hide under the false pretenses of good first impressions. I only heckle you because I care.”

A large puff of steam lifted off Tinkermon’s head, before she turned her back to the weasel digimon. “Hmmf!” She expressed.

Fluttershy walked up to Petermon and cautiously lifted her hand towards Kudamon. “Hello there little guy, I’m sorry I didn’t see you earlier. My name’s Fluttershy. What’s yours?”

Kudamon looked at her hand and studied it a good few seconds. He smiled before scampering off Petermon’s shoulder and up her arm, to rest within the crook of her neck.

“My aren’t you a kind and gentle soul…” He stated with delight. “...and so well mannered. Tinkermon you could learn a thing or two from this one.”

“Go suck an egg, weasel boy.” Tinkermon responded.

“Forgive her, she’s always like this when I’m around.” He crawled out onto her shoulder so she could have an easier time looking at him. “My name is Kudamon, and it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, dear Fluttershy.”

Petermon stepped up next. “The name’s Petermon, head caretaker of the Village of Beginnings.” He pointed towards the pixie sulking away from them. “Her name’s Tinkermon. Don’t let her current attitude fool you, she’s really nice digimon when you get to know her.”

Fluttershy remembered how quick Tinkermon was to take care of that leaf digimon when she thought she had stolen its bottle. She smiled before nodding at Petermon. “I believe you.”

“Great!” He responded. “...And now that pleasantries are out of the way, I do believe you have a story to tell us. How exactly did you end up on our little island?”

For the next few minutes, Fluttershy explained the events that lead to Sunset’s discovery of Dorumon and how it lead to her and her friends’ fight with Devimon. Her listeners looked nothing less than enthralled, or in Tinkermon’s case, faking a lack of interest.

“My word… a confrontation with a Devimon, and to think that Dorumon survived. Few rookie digimon could ever make that claim. He truly was lucky that you and your friends were around to come to his aid.” Kudamon stated. “...And to think, you met a Royal Knight in person. Even fewer digimon could claim that honor.”

“I don’t believe it.” Tinkermon sourly stated.

“Come on, Tink. At least give her the benefit of the doubt?” Petermon suggested with a pleading smile.

“No way! You actually think she could be humon? Humons haven’t been seen for like a thousand years or something! Even if they did exist, they’d all be long dead by now after the war.”

Petermon was about to offer a rebuttal, hopefully something that would diffuse the situation and calm Tinkermon down. But unfortunately, his words were cut short as a loud crashed echoed from the forest some distance away.

All present turned towards the source of the sound, only widen their eyes in horror at what they saw. A monster, one that Fluttershy remembered vividly from their brief encounters in the human world, only he looked much different now. He was hunched over and snarling, like a ravenous animal searching for food. His face had become elongated, forming a reptilian muzzle with several new pairs of sharpened teeth. His shoes had been replaced with three sharpened claws, and a new pair of wings had grow just below his originals alongside a long powerful tail.

There was no mistaking it, this was the same monster that kidnapped Pinkie and tried to kill Dorumon. How he managed to survive being blown up by the portal, Fluttershy wasn’t certain, but what she was certain of was that the beast that stood before her now was vastly more terrifying than the form he had prior.

The beast snarled before lifting it nostrils and sniffing the air. He pointed his muzzle in several directions, before finally aiming his gaze directly at Fluttershy and her new friends. A deep exhale was released from the beast’s gullet, sounding somewhat like he had been holding his breath in anticipation for the moment when he’d get the chance to destroy the girls who had caused him so much misfortune.

Admittedly, the girl he was smelling was not the one he was hoping to find, but even still, she would make for a fine victim on which to release his anger. Without a second thought, he sunk his front claws into the soil of the field and began to charge on all four appendages.

Petermon stood up almost immediately. “First time I’ve ever seen a Devidramon in these parts… What about you, Tink?”

“I honestly never thought it a possibility.” Tinkermon admitted. She flew up next to Petermon’s shoulder. “But now that it’s happening, I really wish it wasn’t.”

Petermon turned towards Fluttershy. “Stay back and let us handle this!”

Tinkermon flew into her face. “And you better protect the babies if he starts getting to close! You got me?!”

Before Fluttershy could respond, both Petermon and Tinkermon flew off to engage Devidramon. “Wait! Come back!” She felt a pair of tiny paws pulling on her hair before she could chase after them.

She looked to her shoulder and saw Kudamon. “They can handle themselves, we have more pressing matters to deal with.” He turned his gaze towards the near endless amount of cradles standing behind them and the vast amount of teary-eyed infants currently cowering within them. “The smart thing for us to do right now is to start evacuating the Village of Beginnings. If even one of Devidramon’s attacks get close to the children they will not stand a chance.” A passionate glint was present in his eyes, that he could see was reflected in her own. “I personally will not allow that to happen, and judging by your demeanor I am certain you share the same sentiment.” Fluttershy’s brows furrowed as she gave the weasel digimon an affirming nod.

“Snipe Sting!”

Petermon’s sword struck quick and true as it pierced Devidramon chest in several of his most vital areas. Despite the accuracy of the attacks however, the dragon digimon seemed able to easily shrug them off, and swat the flying rouge strait out of the sky and into the dirt. Tinkermon however was a much more difficult target to hit.

She fluttered and whizzed past his swings like a dragonfly avoiding the swings of a collector’s net. She may have been a rookie-level digimon, but she still packed skills that would make older digimon wary of raising her ire, and with Petermon currently forcing himself back up after the savage blow, she had all the reason she needed to be angry.

“Nightmare Pandemic!”

She stuck the nail on her boot into the back of Devidramon claw as he took another clumsy swing at her body. Before he could realize he had been poked, his hand fell limp and lifeless from the wrist down as the poison that tipped her needles kicked in.

Devidramon jumped back in surprise upon seeing the effects of her attack. Tinkermon chuckled confidently. “Yeah that right!” She shouted as she spun her spear in front of her like a baton. She quickly grasped it in her hand before letting the tip rest proudly on her shoulder. “Don’t fuck with the fairy!”

The dragon growled, before starting to chuckle as if she had just told him a joke. Tinkermon glared at him. “What’s with you?” Devidramon didn’t respond immediately and instead only widen his eyes to meet her gaze.

“Red eye.”

A dark presence suddenly began to overtake her, as every ounce of bravado she had once boasted began to leave. The world around began to grow cold and dark, as the already massive digimon began to larger in her peripheral vision. She couldn’t move, even as the dragon stocked closer to her. She was paralyzed with fear, an ironic taste of her own medicine, and Devidramon was enjoying every minute of it.

Upon reaching her, he lifted his claw with the intent of flattening her like the insignificant bug that she was. The fact that he had raised his paralyzed claw was just to add insult to injury.

Before he could throw his attack however, he felt the bottom of Petermon’s boot connect with both of his left eyes. The blow sent him staggering, but he was able to catch himself before he fell over backwards and instead only landed on his rump, one claw was placed over his blackened eyes.

Petermon flew in front of Tinkermon and placed his hand under her to provide support. With one finger of his other hand, he tried to shake her out of her trance.

“Tinkermon! Wake up! This isn’t the time for cold feet.”

She slowly closed her eyes before shaking her head clear of any remaining influence left behind by Devidramon’s attack. “Oooh… it felt like I was staring into the eyes snake just before it was about to strike.”

Petermon used his finger to push some of her loosened hair and tuck it behind her ear. “So your okay then?”

Tinkermon began to blush, but quickly turned her head so Petermon couldn’t see. “I-I’m okay… now that your here.”

“Demonic Gale!”

The two were forced to jump away from each other as a large wave of razor sharp wind rocketed past them and sliced a tree in the distance in two. They both turned and saw Devidramon had his arm raised, his paralyzed hand having suddenly regained feeling.

Petermon shot him a blunt look. “Can’t you see were having a conversation? The least you could do is give us a moment to find our bearings.”

In response, Devidramon turned his head and spat out a tooth that was knocked loose by Petermon’s kick. He began to storm closer.

“I see…” Petermon reached his hand down in order to draw his other sword. “...Then I guess it’s time for both of us to get serious!”

Petermon charged forward with Tinkermon on his tail. Devidramon raised his claws ready to intercept them. Petermon swung his sword as Devidramon shot his hand out to grab him, only for sword and nail to meet in the middle with a mighty clang.

******
Fluttershy reached down into the cradle that held the leaf digimon she was feeding earlier. Leafmon was shaking, obviously scared like the rest of the baby digimon were when Devidramon arrived. She smiled warmly at the nervous infant, and quietly tried to reassure him.

“It’s okay, don’t be scared. It’s me, remember?” She began to sing the start to “Hush now, Quiet now” in hopes that it would jog the baby’s memory. It seemed to work, as Leafmon happily cooed as he nestled into her hands.

Without hesitation, Fluttershy lifted Leafmon out of his cradle and placed him on the grass. She pointed to the drove of other infant digimon running towards the sea and away from the ensuing battle.

“Follow your friends, little one!” Fluttershy urged. “It isn’t safe here right now.” The digimon blinked at her worriedly, before glancing at the monster Petermon and Tinkermon were fighting. Fluttershy followed his gaze.

“Don’t worry about them.” She reassured. “They’ll be right behind us as soon as they’re done dealing with that meanie over there.”

She wasn’t sure if the digimon understood what she was saying, but she could tell he knew what she wanted him to do after giving her one last frightened look. In that instant, she could tell that he trusted her, before he ran off in the opposite direction to join the other babies.

Kudamon grimaced at the exchange, before turning his head towards Fluttershy’s ear. “I think that’s the last of them. We should follow.”

“I need to see if Petermon and Tinkermon are okay first. They might still need our help.”

Kudamon didn’t respond, but still spoke of her praise within his own head. “She is a much more caring creatures then I have ever met in my lifetime.” He mused. “She has absolutely no defense against a monster like Devidramon, but yet she still feels the need to check on the well-being of my friends. And she handled those children so tenderly, like a mother caring for her own child… there is no inherent thought put into assuming the effects of her actions, just instinct and concern for those around her. How she managed to live this long with such a mentality befuddles me?”

The two turned only to see a digimon roughly Fluttershy’s size flying towards them. Fluttershy squeaked and ducked, narrowly avoiding Petermon’s body as it soared over her head and into the Leafmon’s cradle.

As the dust began to clear, Fluttershy and Kudamon could see Petermon’s body was beaten and bruised, and the scattered pieces of lumber surrounding him weren’t helping to improve this image. They heard stomping coming from behind them and turned to see Devidramon staring down at them.

He held Tinkermon within his grip as she struggled and fought to break herself free from his fingers. He glanced at Petermon, before turning his gaze back towards Fluttershy. He released a malicious cackle, before bring his free hand down to splatter the teenager against the dirt.

Fluttershy leaped out of the way of the attack, and ran behind another cradle before Devidramon could track her movements.The dragon digimon began to comb the field of cradles, deciding to forgo his sense of smell with the current aroma of baby digimon overpowering anything else within the area.

Fluttershy was breathing quickly, but other then that was not showing many other signs of panic like she did when confronted by Tinkermon. Kudamon could legitimately say he was impressed. So much so, that he was inspired to do something… something under normal circumstances he would consider the highest degree of foolishness.

“Get ready to grab Petermon and run when you get an opening!”

Kudamon scampered down her arm and around the cradle towards Devidramon’s tail. Fluttershy was immediately frothed with worry. “Wait? Where are you going? Kudamon?!”

Kudamon didn’t answer as he leaped from the grass and landed on Devidramon’s tail, his light weight helping to keep him hidden as he climbed up to the dragon’s shoulder and down his left arm.

What are you doing?!” Tinkermon whispered when she noticed Kudamon getting close.

“Ignoring my preservational instincts for once… and truthfully, I can say I’ve never felt better!”

Devidramon turned his head upon hearing Kudamon’s voice. “Run when I give you the signal. I’ll keep him distracted while you get Fluttershy and Petermon to safety!”

“Have you literally gone crazy!”

Devidramon turned his left set of eyes until he and Kudamon were staring at one another completely. “As they say my friend, being crazy is just having another state of mind. Now cover your eyes and get ready to fly!”

“Extreme Light Shock!”

A blinding flash of incredibly bright light radiated from Kudamon’s earring, blinding Devidramon and forcing him to release Tinkermon so he could cover his left eyes with his hand.

Tinkermon felt herself get launched into the air, but managed to right herself before she could plummet back towards the ground. She turned to see Kudamon struggling to keep balance on Devidramon’s arm as the monster struggled to keep himself steady after facing the full brunt of the blinding light’s glare.

“Jump! I’ll catch you!” Tinkermon shouted.

“I already told you, I’m going to keep him distracted! Do the smart thing for once and use that time to get the others to safety!”

“Smart thing?! Leaving you to die is the smart thing?!” Tinkermon couldn’t believe what she was hearing. “I don’t know what you think friends do, but they definitely don’t leave each other in the lurch like that! Now get your smug mouth out of your smug ass and jump before-”

“Arguing is getting is no-”

“LOOK OUT!” Tinkermon screamed. Kudamon was already turning by the time she had finished her cry, and was met at the precise moment to just see Devidramon’s claw as it came barreling towards him. Kudamon knew he had nowhere to run in the time given, and that the best he could do was close his eyes and accept it… and he was about to, but then something got in his way.

Two yellow hands pushed Kudamon off his perch, as their owner collided stomach first with Devidramon’s forearm. The demon dragon was not picky however, and gladly directed his attack towards his new target.

Kudamon hit the ground and watch in silence as Devidramon’s claw came down on Fluttershy and slammed her against the ground like an ant on a counter-top.

The devil digimon lifted his claw and marveled at the blood now staining his claw. He looked to the humon girl who so foolishly risked her life for the rookie he was about to swat. Unfortunately, she still seemed to be in one piece, a few broken bones, some bleeding, but nothing she wouldn’t be able to walk off in time. He’d have to fix that, but first he thought he had earned the right to enjoy this.

Kudamon watched Fluttershy, she wasn’t moving save for a few meager twitches, but he could see a pool of liquid forming around her head. Devidramon started to laugh. Fluttershy was crying… and he had the gall to laugh.

Kudamon didn’t consider himself a confrontational digimon, a fact clearly stated considering his most formidable offensive maneuver was a bright flash of light that would blind his enemies giving him enough time to run away. But this… this was a different feeling. He didn’t feel like being snarky or spouting some cockamamie quote from who knows where. He didn’t feel like the smart decision would be to collect the others and run like he did before. He didn’t see a smart decision, only one decision… a decision that ultimately ended with Devidramon laying face down and not getting back up ever again.

Kudamon began to glow, but unlike before, more than his earring was radiating with light.

“Tinkermon… get Petermon and grab Fluttershy. We’re going back to the original plan of me taking care Devidramon.” The growl in his voice made the pipe-fox sound more like he was demanding her to do something rather than asking her a favor.

“K-Kudamon..?”

“Now Tinkermon.” There was an edge to his voice that made her not want to question him further.

As she flew to grab her friend, Devidramon followed her as with his eyes. “No. Your eyes should be focused on me. I have something to tell you.” Devidramon turned his gaze back towards Kudamon. “I believe there’s a saying: ‘Bullies can always be found where there are cowards.’” Devidramon snarled. “Oh you understood that one. Good, than why don’t you prove me wrong and take on some digimon your own rage-induced blood level. Because let me tell you… I am bloody mad!”

Light exploded off Kudamon, blinding Devidramon for a second time. The dragon knew what was coming next, and refused to be humiliated again by a rookie turned champion. Clenching his eyes shut and balling his fists, Devidramon lifted his arms into the air.

Kudamon Digivolve to…

Devidramon brought down his fists against the ground, cracking the earth. As the dust and light cleared, he waited to see the newly digivolved champion laying broken after his attack.

...Reppamon.

Only to hear a new deeper voice speak from behind him, then deliver a powerful kick to the back of his head.

Devidramon was sent staggering away from Fluttershy. He heard the creature who hit him land once he finally regained his balance. Turning, he quickly took note of his newest opponent.

The digimon that now stood before him resembled an animal not bigger than an average sized fox, but unlike a fox however, this creature came with a large curved blade sticking out his rear end rather than a big bushy tail. The blade was shaped like a lightning bolt, with two painted on eyes on either side of the steel. His face and body meanwhile, were covered in garb of Japanese design that no one in the area other than Fluttershy would probably be able to describe.

The fox turned his head towards his tail, and began to whisper in a soft voice to keep Devidramon from hearing. “This is the first time we’ve met, so I understand if your a bit apprehensive. But what I do know is that your will is a part of my mind, and I digivolved with one goal to complete. I know for certain we share this goal, so until this wyrm is splattered like the worthless pest he is, what do you say we forgo the greetings and get straight to work.”

Reppamon’s tail bounced up and down vertically without the aid of the rest of his body. That told him all he needed to know, and just who he could rely on to watch his backside.

Reppamon cleared the distance between them faster than Devidramon thought possible. The dragon shot his claw towards him.

”Crimson Nail!”

Only to be met with the fox leaping over his swing and landing on the back of his hand. Before he could think to shake him off, Reppamon sprung off the demon digimon’s claw and flew towards his face with his front claws barred and at the ready.

“Beast Fang Frenzy!”

Quick and random swipes were clawed into Devidramon’s muzzle as Reppamon determinedly tore at his face. The demon beast raised his claws in an attempt to squash the smaller animal between his flattened palms, but before they could connect, the fox dove between his arms before landing on the ground between his feet.

Upon removing his claws, Devidramon was flummoxed to find his query had vanished from sight.

“You aren’t exactly well-versed in fighting fast moving targets, are you?”

Devidramon turned around, surprised to find his opponent had already built a sizable distance between them in the amount of time he was able to escape his sight.

“That’s too bad, because I’m not the only thing you won’t be able to see!”

Reppamon leaped into the air using his hind legs, and swung his tail upwards at Devidramon’s body.

“Vacuum Kamaitachi!”

Before Devidramon could realize what was going on, he felt a deep set cut suddenly appear on his arm. He grasped his now bleeding wound and stared at the seeping blood in bewilderment. He didn’t even see that attack coming, it was almost like it was invisible… all he felt was a brief gust of wind then- THE WIND!

Devidramon turned back towards his opponent with a sneer. He took his hand off his wound and raised both arms into the air before swinging them down.

“Demonic Gale!”

Large curved razors of cutting wind flew towards Reppamon, obviously more slowly than his last attack considering he could see them, but definitely still fast enough to be concerning. Reppamon leaped past the first razor before jumping back to avoid the second, he slide upon the grass when both attacks had fully passed him by. “Plagiarist move...”

Devidramon raised his arm again. “...But an effective one.” Reppamon grunted.

More demonic gales shot past Reppamon, leaving the fox digimon to do little more than jump and keep his distance. As he dodged the air in rapid succession, he quickly found his continuous jumping was getting rather sloppy. More the once he felt his paws and body get nicked by the blades of air, and he shuddered to think what would happen if he misjudged his next leap any less precisely.

He needed to think of something fast or very soon Devidramon was likely going to slice him in half. Luckily, “fast” was something he seemed to have in spades at the moment.

He whispered to his tail, but kept his eyes on Devidramon in order to keep dodging his attacks. “Lie on my back and stay like that. I have an idea.”

The blade did as it was commanded and lied on Reppamon back with the rest of its body pointed upwards like a fin. Reppamon ran towards the attacks next, and dove forwards in between two of the gales. He spun like a corkscrew, collecting air and launching it forward.

“Vacuum Kamaitachi!”

The invisible blades of air flew at Devidramon again, this time like a whirlwind of razors that spread over the entirety of his body leaving no inch of his leather-suited skin uncut. Devidramon screamed towards the sky as he felt small amounts of blood seep out of every area of his body.

Reppamon landed on his front paws and immediately began running. “They say crying makes the heart lighter!” Devidramon turned his head downwards when he noticed Reppamon flying towards his chest. “But in this case…” Reppamon curled into himself from a ball with his bladed tail still sticking out. He slammed into Devirdramon’s chest and began spinning rapidly, slicing into him with a speed rivaling that of fully-powered buzz-saw. Blood shot out on both sides of the saw like a pair of geysers, and the continuous speed eventually sent the dragon flying backwards when Reppamon’s tail finally disconnected. Devidramon soared through the air before landing on his back and sliding across the grass behind him.

“...that may be because of the blood loss. Now cool yourself off, and if your still alive and capable, get out of my sight!”

Devidramon placed his claw on the ground and lifted his head to look at Reppamon.

“Haven’t had enough?”

As if to reply, Devidramon flipped onto his stomach and began to run on all fours back towards the forest. Only to see a familiar golden shine glinting before him, forcing him to halt.

“Personally, I don’t think he’s had nearly enough. But at the same time I really done with having to deal with him.”

The golden-armored digimon lifted his claw where a ball of condensed plasma was beginning to collect. Devidramon tried as quickly as he could to turn around and run, but unfortunately not before the plasma ball could fully form.

“Plasma Shoot.”

The ball fired and connected with Devidramon back, enveloping him in a bright burning orb of pure energy that ripped his body apart like the ashes left after an explosion. Once the energy dissipated, all that was left to tell of Devidramon existence was a scorched circle of grass left in his wake.

Magnamon folded his arms and shook his head. “Hopefully this time when he comes back around he grow up to be less of a nuisance.”

The Royal Knight turned his gaze towards the blood-covered fox. “I saw your fight with Devidramon. I would’ve come to your aid sooner but with my turbines broken, flight in unobtainable, and despite my physique, I’m not the fastest digimon. Thankfully you already seemed to have the situation well in hand.”

He walked over and knelt down towards Reppamon. “It was a bit more bloody then I would have liked it, but even still, the Royal Knights could use a mon like you in our ranks. Would you like to be a part of our army?”

Before Reppamon could reply, a bright glow enveloped his body and significantly reduced his size. Much to Magnamon’s surprise, a kudamon was now standing where the warrior he was addressing once stood.

What surprised him even more was the shadow the tiny pipe fox was casting. It didn’t look like him, rather it looked like a mon Magnamon had seen in the past, someone he remembered quite fondly.

“I’m sorry sir, this is an incredible honor, I assure you. But right now there’s someone I really need to check up on.” Kudamon began to run in the opposite direction, but then remembered the story Fluttershy had told him. “Her name is Fluttershy, she’s a humon. She says she knows you Sir Magnamon.”

Magnamon’s eyes widened and he immediately rose to full height. “Show me the way.”

******
Fluttershy had to admit she was not feeling her best. Her body ached, she was feeling light-headed, and she could remember anything past jumping at Kudamon to save him from Devidramon’s claw. She eyes shot open and she sat up immediately upon realizing the thought.

“Kudamon?! A sharp twinge of pain prodded her chest the moment she shouted.

“Hey! Hey, be careful, these bandages aren’t gonna stay in place if you keep jumping around like that.”

Fluttershy turned to see Tinkermon tightening a strip of gaze that had been wrapped around her ribs. Around her she saw Petermon, Kudamon and to her surprise Magnamon sitting, each of them fixing her with their own expression of concern.

“I’ve injected you with some of my pain-killer solution using one of my clean needles. You shouldn’t feel anymore pain for a short while, but over exert yourself and it will wear off quicker.”

“But what about Devimon? And the babies? Oh, if any of them have gotten hurt, I don’t know what I’d do.”

Petermon chuckled. “I wouldn’t worry, Fluttershy. All the baby mons are safe and soundly asleep. Well... all of them, except for this one, who’d very excited to see you.” A small green digimon hopped up and down on Petermon’s lap. It flew from its and immediately crashed into Fluttershy’s chest.

“Leafmon!~” Fluttershy hugged the baby digimon like she hadn’t seen him in years. “But you never told me what happened to Devimon?”

“He’s no longer an issue. Your little friend here saw to that.” Magnamon motioned with his eyes toward Kudamon. Fluttershy stared at the weasel digimon curiously.

“You beat Devimon? All by yourself.” Fluttershy didn’t want to sound rude, but she couldn’t bring to believe something so small could beat something so big and monstrous.

“Well, like Devimon, he did need to digivolve first.” Magnamon chuckled. Kudamon meanwhile was hiding his face with paws in a bashful attempt to hid his blush.

“He did it to save you, ya know.” Tinkermon stated with a giggle. “I don’t think he could have done it otherwise if you didn’t do what you did.”

Kudamon continued to hide his face, this time by turning his back to the teen. “I-I was only doing what was considerably wise. After all, any mon worth his pride should never leave a lady in peril.”

Before he knew it, Kudamon was plucked off the ground by a pair of soft hands. Fluttershy turned him around so his side was pointed towards her and gently placed a kiss on his cheek. “Don’t sell yourself short, it was very brave you to save me like that. I wouldn’t wish to face any other monster like that again, but I be glad to have you by my side if I did.”

Tinkermon flew up and pecked Kudamon on the cheek as well. Fluttershy giggled at her friend’s deepened blush. “Yeah. You did good this time, weasel boy.”

The other digimon and Fluttershy grew silent as Magnamon rose to his feet. “Be that as it may, I feel too many events are happening in conjunction for it to be coincidence. Humon, getting you home has just become a much higher priority. We must find your friends, because if my assumptions turn out to be true, then the effects you have on the digimon of this world could make you the targets of some very dangerous beings.”

Fluttershy shuttered. “More dangerous than Devimon..?”

“I do not wish to frighten you, but incredibly so. Luckily, you won’t just be accompanied by me, but your partner Kudamon as well.”

“M-me?!” Kudamon stuttered. “B-but I can’t just leave.”

“I’m certain the other Royal Knights would like to have a word you regarding the events that have taken place today. Besides, you wouldn’t want Ms. Fluttershy here to go out into the digital world with only one chaperon would you? Especially considering all the dangerous digimon that could be out there.”

A quick “Eep!” from Fluttershy gave Kudamon all the guilt-ridden reason he needed to go along with the Knights plan. Kudamon signed. “Well, it is a far better thing I do now, then I have ever done, and it will be a far better rest I take, when it is all over.” The weasel chuckled. “Because boy am I going to be tired in the coming days.”
Magnamon bent down and grabbed Fluttershy, before turning her over to tenderly hold her to his chest. He then lowered his hand to let Kudamon climb upwards and rest in Fluttershy’s lap.

They turned towards Tinkermon and Petermon, the latter of whom was picking Leafmon, who was being to grow sleepy.

“Goodbye Kudamon, Fluttershy.” Petermon waved. “Take care of yourselves and make sure to come back as soon as you can. I’m certain the little mons of the Village of Beginnings would be more than happy to see you again.”

Tinkermon smirked and glanced at Petermon. “But don’t think you need to hurry, I’m sure business with the Royal Knights is far more important than stopping by to visit a couple glorified babysitters.”

Magnamon nodded as both Fluttershy and Kudamon waved. The knight then turned and began walking back towards the forest, leaving the two caretakers alone and in silence like when their day began.

Tinkermon smiled widely and fluttered seductively towards her sword-wielding friend. She laid down on his shoulder and quietly whispered in his ear. “So… where were we?

Some crying in the distance drew both of their attention. “...Child care.” He answered.

Tinkermon huffed and started to fly after him. “Never a moments peace. Should just call this place ‘Neverland’, because I never get what I want...” She continued to grumble as both made their way into the valley of cradles.

Unbeknownst to anyone present however, someone was watching them from above. The Hippogriffmon scratched at his ear disinterestedly, as he watched the knight walk away. He pivoted in the air and turned towards the sea.

He had some very interesting news to tell his brothers when he finally got back to the realm of demons.

The Gentlemon

View Online

Rarity was feeling quite sluggish. The last thing she could remember was being spat out by that portal some thousand feet in the air and then plummeting towards her apparent doom. She also remembered getting closer to the ground and shutting her eyes just before she impacted on a large bed of flowers. The flowers must have cushioned her fall quite significantly, because she was feeling marginally better than what she expected a fall like that would do to her body.

"Thank goodness, you are finally awake." Rarity's eyes opened as she regained some clarity over her senses. She lifted herself to sit upright, and felt a thin blanket roll down her body as she rose. She soon realized that she was laying in a rickety old bed within a small room comprised of three stone walls, a large iron gate and a small barred window raised some distance above her head. It looked like a picture-perfect prison cell if she had ever seen one... not that she had ever been to any prisons.

The voice that awoke her began to speak again, regaining her attention. "I was afraid that we might have lost you after that fall. It was fortunate that the Honeybeemon's flower garden was there to catch you." Rarity turned towards the sound of the voice and gaped in surprise at what she saw.

What floated before her could only be described as a trio of levitating gears. The large center gear had a rounded face and back and was staring back at her with two glass eyes placed within holes seemingly cut straight out of the metal. The two smaller gears floated beside the larger on both of its sides, seemingly forming appendages if the creature so had the need.

The center gear opened its mouth, somehow stretching the metal around it as if it had the same properties of human skin, finishing its statement. "Unfortunately, the Honeybeemon were not as appreciative of your safety as I am, it would seem. Quite the vicious reaction if you ask me, throwing you in here so haphazardly..."

Rarity couldn't find words to express her confusion. She had so many questions. What was going on? Where was she? What was this creature that was so fixated on her well being? Then she remembered what the digimon in the golden armor had said before saving Pinkie.

"The Digital World..?" She mumbled. "Dorumon's home?"

Rarity lifted her gaze so she could meet the eyes of the creature before her. "Excuse me. I'm sorry for interrupting, but I must ask... are you a digimon?"

The creature blinked in surprise, then started to smile apologetically at the teen. "Oh! Forgive me, it would seem that I have forgotten my manners. My name is Hagurumon, and yes, I am a digimon. A rookie level, if you wish me to be specific."

"...And I hopes that's somethin' yous keep remindin' yourself of. Ifin' ya know what's good for ya." A growling, boisterous voice called out from the hallway on the other side of the iron gate.

A pair of two small bee-like digimon with vibrating wings and golden helmets approached the gate and sneered at the two as a much larger digimon strode up behind them.

He was a large insect-like digimon with a green exoskeleton and two pairs of powerful legs. He had no eyes, but instead a group of red markings and a pair of large antennae growing out from the back of his head. He had a large open mouth full of sharp gnashing teeth, but truly the most dangerous looking thing about him were the giant pair of sickle-like claws growing out of the ends of each arm. The way he looked at both Rarity and Hagurumon made it clear he was not the kind of digimon to be messed with.

"So this is the mon who thought it was a good idea to high dive into our flower bed and ruin my personal honey farm, eh? Yous got a lot to answer for little lady."

Rarity shook her head, trying to clear some of the fuzziness from her mind. She was confused, but her captor was clearly expecting her to answer. Perhaps playing along with his wishes would be best, after all the sooner she completed making amends for her actions the sooner she might be able to leave and begin her search for her friends.

"It would seem so." Rarity agreed. "I am very sorry, sir. It was not my intention to cause you any trouble, but I promise I fully intend to..."

"Shut it!" The digimon demanded, cutting her off and causing Rarity to jump back in surprise. "If I wanted to hear yous talk, I would have told yous to start flappin' them pretty lips." The digimon brought his scythes together before pointing their sharpened tips at the girl. "Now here's what's gonna happen, we's got no flowers. Without flowers the Honeybeemon can't collect nectar, which means they can't make honey... and I likes my honey. What yous are going to do, is use them dainty little mits and rip out all the flowers yous flattened, then replace them with new seeds. Ya then are gonna water those seeds and make sure they grow right... and your gonna keep doing that for as long as I say so."

Rarity blinked, but did not respond. "Ya don't... I chop yous up like a watermelon and make yous look all red and juicy. Capiche?"

One scythe scraped along the edge of the other, producing a frightening sound and few noticeable sparks. Rarity nodded almost immediately. "Good..." The digimon turned and started walking back down the hall. The Honeybeemon followed behind him snickering like a pack of hyenas following their pack leader. "...enjoy you’s stay at, Castle de Snimon~"

Rarity and Hagurumon decided to wait a few minutes for the trio of digimon to make their way completely down the hall, and out of earshot. "Why that... of all the brutish, churlish, ill-mannered... Who does that insect think he is?!" Rarity threw off the rest of the covers and swung her legs around to place them on the floor. "That is not how you speak to a lady!"

Hagurumon placed his two smaller gears together before bowing before Rarity like a servent apologizing for his misconduct. "Again, I must apologize, Miss. You must forgive the master Snimon, he isn't really a social-minded mon."

"Even still, that is no excuse." Rarity stated with flip of her hair. "And you shouldn't be so quick to defend his boorish behavior."

Hagurumon lifted himself back up and began ring his gears together nervously. "We who serve here at the castle, find it best to remain on his good side rather than argue over petty disputes."

Rarity quirked up the corner of her mouth in a curious expression. "Now that sounds like an excuse." She stated accusingly. "Don't try to hide it, I have a little sister who does the same thing when she gets caught in the act."

Hagurumon blinked in surprise and gave her a sad smile. "You are very astute, Miss. I will admit, I am not telling you the full truth. Snimon, as you have come to know him, is the master of myself and the other Hagurumon living within the castle you currently find yourself in, but it has not always been this way. Once upon a time, this place was our home. My brethren and I had found it while searching for shelter during a terrible storm."

A forlorn sigh escaped from Hagurumon's mouth before he was able to continue. "At first, the ruins of this castle proved to be the perfect refuge for us. The largely fortified walls kept us protected from larger digimon, the lower levels kept us dry during heavy rain, and the storage rooms even held numerous barrels of oil for us to keep our clockwork parts lubricated. For several months we lived happily, until Snimon and his band happened upon us."

The holes that held Hagrurumon's eyes seemed to shrink in size until the top halves of them were angled, making it look like Hagurumon was scowling at the floor. "Snimon is an absolute beast and tyrant. He holds no care for anyone other then himself. Even his own servants, the Honeybeemon, do nothing more then feed his gluttonous appetite and act as guards for my friends!" His polite and gentle demeanor noticeably vanished for a brief moment, as he growled out his final statement. Given the emotion behind his words and the personality of the sickle-handed digimon she had met just moments prior, it didn't take long for Rarity to feel her heart ache at the poor digimon's plight.

"...And where are the rest of your friends?" Rarity asked worriedly. "Don't tell me he keeps you all locked down here like a bunch of useless parts." Upon realizing she was talking to a giant cog, she quickly went about correcting herself. "No offence, of course."

Hagurumon lightly chuckled. "None taken, Miss." He stated before giving another polite bow. "And to answer your question, no my brethren are not down here as of current. No, I'm afraid the only reason I'm down here is because I have run afoul of the master."

"What did you do?" Rarity asked. Hagurumon lifted his left gear and placed it over a smooth spot on his head. Upon closer inspection, she noticed that two teeth, that would normally be evenly spaced as they circled around the full shape of his body, were missing.

"He keeps the other Hagurumon upstairs, and uses them as cogs to lower and raise the castle's drawbridge whenever he wishes to take a trip out into the forest. Master Snimon says it makes him feel more like royalty, but really he's just using it as a way to keep us from escaping. The drawbridge has a weight on it to keep it from falling open when it’s closed. The only way to open it is by turning the clockwork machinery within the castle walls... it's mainly the reason why I'm down here."

He looked up at Rarity, and she noticed a sorrowful look in his eyes. "As you stated already... this is the place where they discard the useless parts."

"My... my word?!" Rarity gasped in shock. "That is barbaric! No creature should ever be subjected to this kind of treatment, regardless of their appearance or functionality! This will not stand!"

She lifted herself off of the bed and marched herself over towards the iron gate. "Guard! GUARD! I have a complaint!"

"Miss, what... what are you doing?!" Hagurumon asked nervously.

"Getting us out of here. Oh, and please call me Rarity. We are on a first name basis now, after all."

Hagurumon only shook his. "No, I-I couldn't! It isn't proper."

Rarity giggled slightly at the digimon's reaction. "Then I guess Miss Rarity will have to do~"

"What'zz with all the racket down here!" A bee digimon flew down the hall before stopping in front of Rarity and Hagurumon's cell. "Youzz got a complaint?"

"My what speedy service. I didn't expect you to arrive so quickly after hearing my first beck and call."

"It'zz called being polite lady." The Honeybeemon said while folding his arms. "Now here'zz me being rude. Quit yourzz quackin' or I'll give ya zomething to really complain about." He leveled his body so his abdomen was aimed at the girl. "Get my point?!"

Rarity released a mock gasp and covered her mouth with her hands. "My word... now that was intimidating. You nearly scared me out of my own designer boots. Tell me, did you come up with that line yourself? It's very clever." Rarity leaned in closer towards the bars, and batted her eyelashes at the bug digimon for good measure. As expected, he started to blush.

"Uh... yeah, I thought of it myzzelf." He confirmed with a few scratches to the back of his head. "I thought it'd make zzenze zzinze, well ya know, I got thizz zztinger and all."

"I can see that, and my, is it a big one." Rarity restated with a giggle. The sound of her laughter made the Honeybeemon's smile grow wider, and he began to ring his hands together nervously. "I bet you could even scare that brutish Snimon with such eloquent and petrifying dialogue." The Honeybeemon straitened up upon hearing her complement, causing something to jingle against his leg, which garnered Rarity's attention.

Loosely tied around his waist by a thin piece of string was a pair of large metal keys hanging from a metal ring. She couldn't believe her luck. Now she didn't need to seduce the guard into coming into her cell and bop him over the head like she had seen in the movies. Now she could get away with her deception guilt free.

She lifted her gaze until she met the Honeybeemon's, thankfully he didn't seem to notice her brief shift in attention. "You kidding? He’zz azz creative azz a deli-zlizzer. All he ever talkzz about is chopping digimon up. Honezztly, he'd benefit from putting a little bit more thought into hizz threatzz. It'd make him look like lezz of an idiot."

"We'll why don't you tell him that yourself. That is him coming down the hallway, isn't it?"

"WHAT!" The Honeybeemon twirled around as if on instinct, bowing his head and grasping his hands together begging for mercy. "Mazzter ZZnimon, I'm zorry! I wazzn't zzpeaking about you, zzpecifically." While he was turned, Rarity saw her chance. She reached through the bars and quickly plucked the keys and string off the Honeybeemon's waist and hid them behind her back.

"Wait a minute, he izzn't there?" He turned back around to look at Rarity.

"Oh I'm terribly sorry. The shadows down here must be playing tricks on me."

The Honeybeemon blinked at her, but soon nodded in acceptance. "Yeah... right. Lizzten, it'zz been nizze talking to you, but I have to get back to my dutiezz. I'll make sure to give you extra rationzz tonight for your kindnezz." He turned and began flying back down the hall.

"That is very generous of you darling." She called back to him. "Do try to actually tell that Snimon what's on your mind, it never hurts to stand up for yourself."

The Honeybeemon only mumbled in response. "You zzay that…”

Rarity pulled the keys out from behind her back and quickly began to fumble them into the lock on the other side of the door. Hagurumon meanwhile was watching the girl work in amazement. "That was quite ingenious Miss Rarity, and dare I say, professionally devious. I had no idea you were so good at manipulation."

"I wouldn't call it manipulation per say. It was simple a matter of equal exchange. As you said earlier, Snimon treats everyone in his employ horribly, so I decided to give that poor Honeybeemon something he wanted... some words of encouragement. In exchange, he unknowingly gave me something I wanted, the keys to this cell." The lock clicked, as Rarity finally managed to work the correct key into the cell's keyhole. She pushed the door open with a triumphant smirk. "It seemed like fair trade to me, don't you think?"

"Unquestionably so, Miss Rarity." The two made their way into the dungeon hallway, before stopping when Rarity felt something poke her in the side.

"Ouch!" Rarity lifted up the side of her jacket to look at the side of her blouse. A tiny tear had been sown up quite sloppily near the hem of her shirt, and the needle was still stuck near the end of the tear were the stitch would normally end. She turned her gaze towards Hagurumon who was twiddle his gears together with a bashful smile.

"I'm sort of a practitioner of garment mending. Holding delicate things like sewing needles however, tends to be difficult without the aid of opposable thumbs." He held out his gears for Rarity to inspect, as if feeling he had to prove to her he had no fingers to begin with. "I apologize if it seems more like shoddy patchwork."

Rarity smiled sweetly, and gave Hagurumon a grateful expression. "Don't be ridiculous... it doesn't look that bad." She explained tentatively as she pulled out the needle from her blouse. "Just a little tightening of the thread and you'll hardly notice it." She leaned down and placed a tender kiss on the metallic digimon's forehead. Hagurumon started to blush. "Thank you so much for taking such excellent care of me. Now please let me return the kindness by helping you save your friends. Do you know which way will lead us to the drawbridge where Snimon is holding the other captured Hagurumon?"

"The same direction that Honeybeemon just went. The other end of the hall is used only for storage." Rarity nodded and the two ran down the hallway until they reached a staircase with a medieval style wooden door sitting at the top.

After climbing the stairs, Rarity silently pulled the door inwards and peeked around the side with Hagurumon. They saw a small courtyard surrounded by four large stone brick walls, with four moderately tall lookout towers stationed at each corner. It was a rather small castle as far as Rarity could discern, especially considering the types of palaces she was known to fantasize about in dreams where she lived a life of fortune and prestige.

"Well I must say, I'm rather disappointed." Rarity complained. "This is not at all what I expected when you told me we being held in a castle's dungeon. Where are ornate hallways? The ivory pillars? The polished suits of armor? The ruggedly handsome waiting staff?~"

Hagurumon only shook his head in disgust. "You'll find none of those things here, I'm afraid." A Honeybeemon flew by the door, causing Rarity to shut it slightly on instinct. "Only marauders and hooligans come and go from this place."

Upon reopening the door, the two noticed numerous beds of flowers scattered almost randomly about the dry soil making up the courtyard, and a giant cast iron cask sitting near the front wall of the fortress. Beside it was the drawbridge, and supposedly the other captured Hagurumon.

The two watched as a Honeybeemon flew into the cask and exited with a bucket of golden liquid. They both recognized it immediately as honey. The bee digimon carried the bucket over the courtyard and towards the dilapidated ruins of an ornate throne sitting on the yard’s opposite side. Snimon, of course, was sitting upon it, tapping his scythe impatiently as the Honeybeemon took his time flying towards him.

He yanked the bucket out of the digimon's hands upon his arrival. "It's about time yous got here, ya mook!" He guzzled down the bucket and threw it to the side the second it was empty. "Get me another one!"

"But Mazzter, we've been trying to tell youzz, we don't have anymore... and the flowers you told uzz to plant aren't growing well enough to produce any more nectar."

Snimon growled, before lifting his claw and swatting the Honeybeemon to the ground in anger. "I don't care about excuses, just do what I say!" The Honeybeemon trembled on the ground and its friends likewise in the air as their master shouted. "I want more honey, and I want it now! Go find me some more flowers if these one's ain't cutting it!" He leaped from his throne and landed just above the Honeybeemon he had hit to the ground. "Do it, or so help me I'll chop yous all up so fine your own bodies are gonna fill up that vat!"

"YEZZ ZIR!" The Honeybeemon below him saluted, and took off into the air with the rest of his swarm flying behind him.

"Idiots, all of them." Snimon's wings began to buzz carrying him upwards and back onto the seat of his throne. "They wouldn't have it half as good without me. The least they can do is keep me in the honey." Snimon leaned back in his chair as a long yawn was released from his gaping maw. "At least it's quiet now.” He yawned again. “Maybe I should cut back on the sweets, all that honey is starting to make... me..."

The giant insect slumped sideways in his throne before he had could finish his statement. Rarity and Hagurumon's eyes widened in surprise. They really couldn't believe their own luck.

Hagurumon sped past Rarity through the slit in the door. "Follow me, Miss Rarity. We can't allow this opportunity to go to waste." Rarity nodded, swinging open the wooden door before rushing after the metallic digimon.

Upon reaching the drawbridge, Hagurumon turned around the left corner of the wall, revealing to Rarity that the front wall of the castle was actually hollow and that the drawbridge’s hinges were grafted to the front surface of the castle. Inside the hollowed out section of the wall, a large system of gears, both living and not, traveled upwards from the floor towards the ceiling. The miserable expressions on the other Hagurumons’ faces, immediately made Rarity's heart sink.

"You poor things, I can't imagine what it has been like for you being cooped up in here. But worry no longer, for we are going to set you free!" Rarity placed her hands on the nearest Hagurumon and began to pull.

After a few moments of struggling, the Hagurumon she was pulling on began to speak. "It won't work, this mechanism has us tight-locked into place so we can’t escape. Only removing the weight on the other side of the wall will relieve enough pressure for us to get free." Rarity and Hagurumon turned around towards another hollowed out section on the opposite side of the drawbridge. In the section, a large stone weight was suspended by a thick steel chain. "But none of us here, save for Master Snimon himself, are strong enough to even think about attempting it."

Rarity tapped her chin in thought. "...And I don't suppose Snimon would be to willing to help us escape."

Hagurumon nodded. "Definitely not... but perhaps he doesn't need to know he's helping us."

The other Hagurumon blinked at their friend's statement. “You can’t be serious. None of us have been able to control Snimon since his arrival. To even attempt it will only succeed in making him angrier.”

“But we’ve never had a chance to control him while he’s been asleep before.” Hagurumon explained. “In this state it is likely that he would be more susceptible to suggestion. I believe it is well worth the risk, even if the chance of success is rather slim.”

Hagurumon flew out of the hallowed section of wall, and back towards the throne where Snimon sat. Rarity, now both puzzled and anxious, started to follow. “Hagurumon, what are you..?”

But Hagurumon stopped her. “Please don’t follow, Miss Rarity. This could be dangerous.”

She was hesitant, but decided to accept his request. She walked backwards back into the hallowed wall as Hagurumon continued on his way towards Snimon.

Rarity turned towards the other trapped Hagurumon. “What is he planning to do, and why is it so dangerous?”

The Hagurumon were uneasy, and glanced between each other trying to see which of them could come up with the least worrisome response. Eventually one found the confidence to speak, even though he wasn’t entirely sure of his answer.

“We have an ability, that allows us to control other digimon. It’s called Darkness Gear, and though it’s very effective against digimon of our level, controlling Champion-level digimon requires almost all of our concentration. It would be very easy for Hagurumon to lose control of Master Snimon if he loses his focus for even a second. Granted he can even control him in the first place.”

Rarity’s eyes widened and her eyebrows nit into a nervous expression. She poked her head around the corner of the wall and watched as Hagurumon ascended the stairs to Snimon’s throne. He rounded around the side of Snimon throne until he was staring up at the larger digimon’s left side. He inhaled deeply, before muttering the name of his attack.

“Darkness Gear…”

A black cog shot out from the back of his maw, flying out like a dart spat out of a tube. The cog connected with the side of Snimon’s neck, causing Snimon to jolt, but fall back asleep as if only lightly pinched. Hagurumon closed his eyes and started to whisper.

“Mas… Snimon are you under my control?” The larger digimon’s head bobbed up and down, only slightly denoting a nod. “Okay. Then get up from your seat and begin walking towards the drawbridge.”

Snimon obeyed, lifting himself off of his throne and started lumbering towards the front of the castle. Rarity could barely believe what she was seeing. Hagurumon began to shudder as he felt Snimon take each individual step. A migraine began to form caused by his control of Snimon’s movement, Hagurumon finding it harder and harder to keep his focus with every step the larger digimon took.

Eventually Snimon reached the drawbridge, allowing Hagurumon to tell the bully his second order.

“Now turn to your right, and enter the wall.” Rarity found it best to take cover behind the wall as she watched the behemoth insect do as commanded. He halted just as soon as he entered the hollowed out section of the wall, just before the chain suspended weight.

Hagurumon felt his control beginning to slip. “Raise… your claw… and cut the chain.” Snimon began to lift his claw, but seemed to struggle as it reached above his head. It almost looked like he was fighting it, which issued some concern from Rarity and the other Hagurumon.

The sounds of buzzing suddenly filled the air, Rarity felt her eyes widen with dread. She peaked out from behind the wall, hoping to all higher powers that the sounds she was hearing weren’t coming from where she thought they were. Unfortunately, her assumptions were correct however, the Honeybeemon were making their return.

Her eyes drifted towards Hagurumon, who already seemed to be distracted by the sounds. In an instant, his eyes shot open and his attention turned towards the large swarm of insect digimon flying towards him. It was only afterwards that he realized what he had just done.

“Mazzter! We have found a new flower field located to the north!” The lead honeybeemon in the swarn exclaimed.

Snimon shook his head, as if only now being risen from his slumber. “What..? Where?! How did I get over?!” He turned around, finally noticing he was standing in the wall near the drawbridge. Upon turning he noticed the white-skinned teen standing across from him.

“Yous?!” Rarity stepped back as the larger beast stomped closer. “How’d yous get out of your cell?” Rarity didn’t answer as the insect now bore over her. “Ain’t talkin’ huh? No matters, I’ll just have to make sure yous can’t waltz out again.” He lifted his claw and aimed it horizontally at Rarity’s legs.

Hagurumon turned back towards his gaze back towards Rarity upon hearing the start of the confrontation. His eyes widened upon seeing Snimon raise his claw, and he shot off like a rocket.

“Hope yous enjoy life without shins! Remember, yous brought this on yousself!”

“MISS RARITY!” She heard Hagurumon call out her name, but at the moment Rarity couldn’t force herself to look away from the digimon about to slash her. He swung, and she closed her eyes, ready to accept the inevitable…

...only to hear the sounds of a blade colliding with metal.

She opened her eyes to see Hagurumon floating in front of her. One of his smaller gears was holding the tip of Snimon’s sickle in one the hole in its interior. He seemed to be struggling, but the neither the blade nor gear were able to move, even despite the obvious difference in the two digimons’ size.

Rarity brought her hand to her mouth and gaped in disbelief at her mechanical savior.

The digimon grunted as he fought back against the insect’s attack. “A gentlemon never strikes a lady!” He stated with authority.

“Yeah? Well, I ain’t no gentlemon!” Snimon replied, trying force his blade further, but made no headway in the struggle.

Snimon then raised his opposite scythe and swatted the side of Hagurumon’s body sending him flying into the close drawbridge. He slide down to the floor as Snimon stomped closer.

“I’m gonna chop yous up into tin cans!”

“You know, I think that beemon was right. You do need to work on your banter.” Snimon snarled and began to slice at the gear digimon, sending out sparks and brief flashes of light as he carved into him.

Hagurumon, no…” She couldn’t stand seeing her newest friend being beaten like this. She needed to do something, before he got too seriously hurt. She lifted her hands and attempted to create a shield in front of her protector, but for some reason her geode wouldn’t light. She needed another solution, and fast.

Seeing a sizable stone laying on the ground, she used all her strength to heft it above her head and slam it on Snimon’s back, shattering it to pieces.

“Get away from him you beast!”

Snimon immediately stopped slicing and rose to his full height. He turned towards Rarity. “Yous are not a smart girl. But if yous are so hung up becoming mulch before this useless piece, I’ll be happy to grant your wish first!”

Snimon raised his claw over his head and brought it down in an attempt to cleave the young girl in two. However, Rarity twirled out of the way before the blade could connect and ended up sinking itself into the cracked stone below their feet.

Rarity ran around Snimon as he struggled to pull himself free. “I am so glad I took those ballroom dancing classes.”

She knelt down next to Hagurumon and wrapped her arms around him. “C’mon darling, we’re getting you somewhere safe.”

Hagurumon was breathing heavy and several pieces of metal were missing from where Snimon had cut him. “I won’t leave you alone to face him.” He argued. “I can take his attacks, but I refuse to let him you even a single scratch!”
Rarity suddenly felt herself being lifted off the ground as Snimon slide his blade underneath her jacket. He turned her so she’d be facing him directly. He chuckled maliciously.

“That’s too bad, cause I’m gonna be doing a lot more than scratch her.” He brought up his other blade and tapped it’s tip against her nose. “Chop… chop…”

To both their surprise a bright glow began to shine off Hagurumon’s body. They heard him mutter something:

Hagurumon digivolve to...

An arm shot out of the glow and placed it under Rarity’s rump, gently lifting her up and off Snimon’s blade. The new digimon’s other shot out of the glow and slammed Snimon in the gut sending him staggering backwards.

The new digimon stood with Rarity nestled protectively against his chest.

...Guardromon.

The new digimon placed Rarity back on her feet, revealing himself to be a head taller than the teenager, and a match for Snimon’s brutish height. His body was comprised of a rusty iron and had the appearance of a steam-powered automaton. Rarity stepped back in order to fully see him.

“Hagurumon..?”

He did not address her, or even glance in her direction. He only kept his gaze fixated on the bladed insect standing before him. The robot digimon began walking towards Snimon.

“I believe it is time for some long overdue retribution.”

Snimon shouted and swung his blade at Guardromon only for it to get blocked on the machine digimon’s forearm, before delivering a second powerful punch to the insect digimon’s stomach. Guardromon through off Snimon’s blade, and swung a front jab directly into his opponent’s face, forcing him back.

Like a professional boxer, he continued this barrage of swings, aiming directly at the vulnerable areas of Snimon’s body, but hitting them in such a way that Snimon was unable to figure out where to defend. With one final punch, he sent Snimon falling backwards onto the steps of his throne.

“You should have never threaten Ms. Rarity. Now you’ve only given me more reason to put you down.” Guardromon lifted his fist to deliver the knockout punch.
Snimon growled. “Not before I chop you a new one, tin mon!” He lifted one of his bigger legs and kicked out Guardromon’s legs. The machine digimon fell forward and landed on his front, allowing Snimon to get back to his feet.

Snimon raised his blade...

“Sharp Edge!”

…and stuck it into the bulkier digimon’s back. Guardromon shouted and struggled to get up, but found himself unable with Snimon’s blade pinning him down. He needed to think of another way to get this insect off his back. Perhaps a surprise attack was in order.

Guardromon’s arms shot upwards and grabbed onto Snimon’s shins, getting the other digimon’s attention. The cylinders on his shoulders were now pointed upwards, directly at Snimon’s face.

“Homing Laser!”

A pair of crimson lasers shot out of the cylinders and flew upwards right into Snimon’s open mouth, sending the bug flying upwards before crashing down in the center of the fortress.

Guardromon got back to his feet about the same time Snimon did.

“God-dammit! Right in the pie-hole! Now nothin’s gonna taste right!” He turned towards Guardromon and gave him a glare that would be deadly, if he had eyes. “That’s it. This. Ends. Now!”

“Shadow Sickle!”

Snimon swung his his blades faster than Guardromon could register, sending blade shaped shockwaves through the air that bounced of the machine digimon’s armor and forced him back.

Guardromon steeled his gaze. “I couldn’t agree more.” He charged at Snimon, battling his way through the blades as he raised his fist. Once he was close enough he delivered a punch so powerful it sent Snimon flying over the floor and into the empty cask of honey sitting behind him.

He bounced off the cask making it fall over as he slide across the floor.

Guardromon raised his fist and pointed it at Snimon. “My brothers and I have had more than of being humiliated, Snimon. Consider this our resignation. We quit!”

“Destruction Grenade!”

A compartment in Guardromon’s arm opened, revealing a cartoony-looking missile with a whistle and cutesy expression. Despite the childish look of the explosive, it fired forward with an incredible amount of force, crashing into Snimon and carrying him into the cask before launching both into the sky.

The Honeybeemon who had been forced to collect flowers for their master, returned just in time to see the end of their master’s beating, and watched in disbelief as the cask was carried into the sky and exploded like a new year’s day firework. The blast sent their master flying into the distance and out of sight, but the Honeybeemon couldn’t bring themselves to follow him.

Back within the fortress, Guardromon lowered his arm, only to find needing to lift it again when Rarity surprised him with a sudden tackle hug. “Hagurumon! Dearheart, you did it! You thrashed that boar magnificently!”

If Guardromon had a mouth he would be smiling at the adulation. “Th-thank you, Ms. Rarity. But really it was nothing. Your honor and life we’re at stake, so of course I’d need to react.”

“Oh don’t belittle yourself, darling.” She nestled her head against his chest affectionately. “What you did was nothing short of gallant and heroic.”

If Guardromon could blush, his entire body would have turned redder than it already was. He cleared his throat and politely pushed himself away from the teen. “You are too kind, Ms. Rarity. But if you’ll excuse me, I have something else to take care of.”

He stepped past Rarity and headed towards the drawbridge. He turned towards his brothers. “The reign of the tyrant is over, and with the destruction of stone starts the age of your freedom!”

“Hold it right there!” Guardromon turned to see the swarm of Honeybeemon and the armfuls of flowers they were sent to collect. Guardromon raised his arm with the intent of firing another destruction grenade.

“I don’t know what your intent is, but I assure you, if wish to avenge your master, I will have no qualms with putting each and everyone of down.”

“Ztop.” The lead Honeybeemon stated. “Tell me, is Znimon gone? Really gone?” Guardromon recognized his voice as the Honeybeemon Rarity had been flattering earlier.

“It’s true.” The swarm turned to see Rarity walking towards them. The lead Honeybeemon blushed at the sight of her. “I thought you’ll ever being seeing him again after trouncing Haguru- Guardromon gave him.”

The Honeybeemon smiled, then began to laugh. “Did you hear that boys? We’re free! We’re finally free!” He shouted in elation. The rest cheered in agreement.
With nothing no longer standing in his way, Guardromon turned his arm towards the stone weight and blasted it to pieces.

“Destruction Grenade!”

The chain flew upwards with the weight gone, releasing the other captured Hagurumon. They flew out from within the front wall and joined the Honeybeemon in their cheering and celebrating.

With nothing holding it up, the drawbridge soon fell revealing the outside world to the captured Hagurumon for the first time in years. But the beautiful sight of the treeline outside the moat wasn’t the only thing they hadn’t expected to see.

“I saw the explosion in the sky and expected some digimon needed some help. But once again, it appears I’m late for the party.” Guardromon’s eyes widened as a familiar glow covered him and reverted him back to his rookie-level state. As he changed, Magnamon spotted something in the light, a reflection of something, like a memory from a dream. It sparked him to pause as if he knew the Hagurumon that just devolved in front of him.

Everymon gasped. “It’s a Royal Knight!”

“Not just any Royal Knight, that Magnamon! The Radiance of Miracles!” The digimon all spoke in awe to each other, not believing that a Royal Knight had come to help them. “Praise King Drasil, they do care!” One shouted.

Upon hearing their cheers of praise, Magnamon kneeled down placing the humon and Kudamon he had been carrying gently down in front of him.

“FLUTTERSHY!” Rarity shouted as she rushed over to her injured timid friend. “Darling what happened?”

Fluttershy gave a slight cough, “I had a little run in with Devimon.”

“Little? You took a blow from Devidramon that would have killed me.” Kudamon corrected. He turned to introduce himself to Rarity when his eyes locked with the Hagurumon that was once a Guardromon. The two froze and tilted their heads to their sides as if they thought they had seen each other from some time ago.

Hagurumon floated up next to Rarity. “I’m sorry, but do I know you?” Kudamon asked.

“I don’t believe so.” Hagurumon placed his gear in front his body and bowed in his usual polite fashion. “My name is Hagurumon. It is a pleasure to meet the both of you, sir and madam.”

Before anyone could tell him their correct name, Magnamon walked past the group and addressed the crowd. “Please, tell me what has occurred here? Are any of you injured? Is there any further assistance you require that I can provide?”

The Hagurumon and Honeybeemon told Magnamon what had occured. The Royal Knight brought his claw to his chin and began to tap it as he contemplated their story.

“And you’re certain this Snimon is absolutely vanquished?”

“We zaw him fly near halfway acrozz the island. He’zz probably landed in the net ocean by now, zo I doubt will be zeeing him for a long, long time.”

Magnamon grimaced underneath his mask. “Even still, losing sight of your enemy doesn’t permanently imply victory. I’ll be sure to send you some addition protection the moment I return to Castle Drasil.”

“That is very kind of you sir.” Magnamon turned to see Rarity’s Hagurumon flying towards him. “I couldn’t help but noticed that one of your armor pieces is in disrepair. Please allow us to fix it for you as compensation.” The other Hagurumon cheered and nodded in comparison.

Fluttershy squeaked as a few Honeybeemon flew towards her. “And while they’re doing that, we can help you heal your injuriezz.” The speaker turned towards Rarity and gave her a smile. “Think of it azz our way of zaying zorry for giving youzz zuch a hard time.”

Rarity returned the smile and playfully patted the digimon on his head. “You are forgiven.”

The Honeybeemon gathered up Fluttershy and carried her to a place that would be more private to apply the plants they had collected. Magnamon meanwhile sat down in Snimon’s old throne while the Hagurumon began to work on his turbine.

Within a half an hour, the Royal Knight found his turbine fixed and Fluttershy found herself walking easier then she did earlier. She did however look a bit concerned, when she returned.

“Rarity..?” She whispered to her friend. “Can I tell you something... p-private.”

“Of course, daring. What is it?”

Fluttershy glanced around, thankful that neither of their digimon friends nor Magnamon had seen her comeback yet. “Well… when the Honeybeemon were placing the plants on my cuts and bruises, parts of my body turned all… pixely.”

“Pixely?”

“They said the plants were good at fixing damaged data. When the plants touched me, they turned into tiny little cubes and flew into my body. Suddenly all the cuts were gone and I was feeling better.”

Rarity brought her fingers to her lips and tapped them quizzically. “Are you feeling any different?”

“No, not really…”

“Then I suppose we shouldn’t need to worry about it, at least not yet.” Rarity placed her hand on Fluttershy’s shoulder and grasped it reassuringly. “These digimon have not shown us any ill-intent like Snimon or Devimon have. I don’t believe it’s in any of their interest to harm us, so until we have any evidence supporting otherwise, I believe we shouldn’t have any reason to mistrust them.”

Fluttershy still looked a bit timid concerning the treatment she had just been through. Rarity grasped her tighter, regaining her attention. “If it concerns you this much, I’m certain we can ask Magnamon about anything you have questions with. I do not know him as well as you, but I can already tell he is an honorable and gentle creature who’d be more than willing to help us make our stay in this world all the more comfortable.”

A small smile grew on Fluttershy’s face, and nodded in agreement. “He is very nice.”

Before they could continue any further with their conversation, Fluttershy felt something climb up her leg and onto her shoulder. “It would seem apples and laughter are not the only things that keep the doctor away. How are you feeling?”

“Much better. Thank you, Kudamon.” Much to his surprise, Fluttershy leaned her head in and nuzzled against his cheek.

“Kudamon, have you seen Hagurumon? I wish to say goodbye, before start looking for the others.”

Kudamon turned to Rarity, then pointed to the center of the fortress where her Hagurumon was talking to Magnamon, with several of his brothers surrounding him as they looked on in curiosity.

Eventually, Magnamon said something that made all the other Hagurumon start jumping excitedly. They crowded her Hagurumon and each continuously repeated something she couldn’t make out from this distance. Their proding eventually lead to Hagurumon nodding at the Royal Knight, causing a smile to form under Magnamon’s mask.

They both began to walk over towards the group, leaving the crowd of Hagurumon floating behind them. “You kids ready to go?” Magnamon asked. “The sooner we head out the sooner we’ll be able to find your friends.”

“But what about Hagurumon?” Rarity questioned. “I can’t possibly leave without saying goodbye. Such a thing would be unforgivable.”

“What do you mean, Ms. Rarity?” Hagurumon ask. “You don’t have to say goodbye. I’m coming with you.”

Rarity couldn’t help but blink in disbelief. “You are?”

“Sir Magnamon said, that my sudden digivolution would be of great interest to the other Royal Knights back at their headquarters. He said you and I apparently now have a connection that could leave you in danger if you were to go unaccompanied. As a gentleman and your friend, I can not allow that to happen. So I agreed to join you on your journey, at least until we can get you back home. I promise to not be an inconvenience to you in any-”

“DON’T YOU DARE FINISH THAT SENTENCE!~” She picked up Hagurumon and hugged him tighter then her favorite plush toy as she swung him around. “You didn’t even need to ask, of course I you can come with us! I could never push an attentive darling like yourself away.”

Hagurumon blushed. He was sharing an uncomfortably close distance with Rarity’s chest. “T-thank you, M-Ms. Rarity.”

Magnamon, Kudamon and Fluttershy all giggled in amusement at the spectacle they saw.

Each were unaware that they were being watched by a creature sitting on the castle wall. He was round like a bowling ball, with feet like a monstrous bird. A stitched cloth mask draped over the top half of his body as well as his folded up wings. He snickered to himself as he watched the display.

“I better keep an eye on these guys. The masters would probably want someone to keep them informed.”

The Scholar

View Online

It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and the temperature was perfect. The perfect weather to sit under a tree and curl up with a good book.

“Now let’s see, where was I…”

A digimon, dressed in a pointed hat and a cape with a tall collar that covered the lower half of his face, flicked through the pages of a thick hardcover novel with strange kanji symbols on the front cover. He stopped at a specific chapter that sparked his interest.

“Ah, here we go. The AncientWisemons’ theory of reflectivity…” He began to read. “The general definition of reflection refers to ‘the throwing back by a body or surface of light, heat, or sound without absorbing it’. This concept, however correct as it pertains to the physical world, can also be applied to how we perceive others in terms of personality and character. A mon with similar interests, similar fears and desires, or simply similar outlooks on different aspects life can be perceived as a reflection of one’s self. Upon the surface of this mon, one should consider a mirror, reflecting back the positive traits you see within yourself as well as the negative you and they might share. This mon is you, and you are they, and from these similarities a beautiful relationship may blossom. We all have reflections in this world, it is only a matter of noticing them.”

The digimon chuckled. “A nice thought. Everymon has a twin out there somewhere. But all in all just long-winded prattle on a page.” He shook his head in amusement. “Clearly, I am not the right mon to be reading philosophy.”

He flipped to the page to the next passage and was about to read it, when as shadow briefly flew overhead drawing his attention. Like a comet entering orbit, he saw something quite literally scream across the sky. He couldn’t make out what it was, but he was fairly certain meteorites didn’t possess vocal cords.

“This might be worrisome.” Wizardmon quickly shot to his feet and began to chase the falling object. Luckily, it seemed to be falling in arc that could easily be followed.

He ran ahead and reached the area where he believed the object would land. Unfortunately, based on his mental calculations, the place it would be landing would at the bottom of the cliff he had just reached. He looked down the cliff’s steep wall and saw no path he could use to climb down quickly. Looking to the sky, he saw the object getting closer. He’d need to act quickly if this was going to work.

He jumped back from the cliff’s edge and pointed his staff horizontal from the ground. He then waited for the object to come closer to the cliff’s edge, and just as he saw it streak by the horizon and out of his sight…

“Blink Breeze! Up-Draft!”

...A powerful flume of wind blew upwards carrying the object back above the cliff and suspended it in the air. Twilight Sparkle was shocked to find she was no longer falling and instead somehow floating in midair.

Her hands almost instinctively shot to hold her skirt down as she looked around for the cause of this strange occurrence. Her eyes met with the digimon’s and they both stared at each other in bewilderment.

“A digimon..?”

“A humon..?” The digimon was so caught up in his own confusion that he forgot to maintain his own spell. The flume of wind dissipated, causing Twilight to fall unexpectedly.

The digimon realized his mistake almost immediately. “Oh bother…”

He ran to the edge of the cliff and searched desperately for any sign of the girl he had just dropped. “Miss? Miss?!” He couldn’t see hide nor hair of her.

“Help!” Turning his gaze towards a small tree growing out the side of the cliff, the digimon noticed the girl he had dropped hanging for her life like a damsel in a tv show that was about to fade to black.

“Hold on!” Grabbing the end of his staff, the digimon lowered the more ornamental end of it for the girl to take a hold of. “Grab a hold. I’ll pull you up.”

True to his word, the digimon pulled the Twilight up the moment she was able to gain a decent hold. She sat upon her knees the moment she reached the top of the cliff. “Thank you for saving me.” She turned to address him, only to jump back in surprise when she realize how close he was to her face.

He was kneeling in front of her and eyeing her observantly. He raised his hand and grasped her chin as he mumbled to himself. “Fascinating… supple blemish-less skin, distinct clothing… possibly considered quite attractive to her own species…”

Twilight blushed at the compliment he gave. “I need to get these findings down on paper!” He stood up almost immediately and began sprinting in the opposite direction. To Twilight’s additional surprise however, he soon stopped and ran back towards her.

“Well come on, we aren’t going to get anywhere just standing here.” Twilight looked up at him in confusion. He offered her his hand, which she hesitantly took.

“Where are we going exactly?” Twilight asked as he helped her to her feet.

“Why to my home of course. Safest place I can imagine to be at the moment. Though you have never been there before, so in this context that statement might seem questionable.”

Twilight raised her brow at his words. “What do you mean safe?”

“Well you’re humon. If you’ve returned to the Digital World, then that must mean some events of grave important are soon occur. At that’s what I’m brought to believe thanks to the ancient scriptures.”

Twilight blinked at the digimon in confusion. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. My friends and I came here by mistake. Up until today, I didn’t even know this world existed.”

The digimon tapped his chin in thought. “Then it would appear I’ve jumped the gun. I am extremely sorry, you must be so confused. Please, allow to rectify this.” Launching his hand out straight, he nearly dug his finger into Twilight’s nose. She jumped back in order to avoid the hit, and again hesitantly lifted her hand to grab his own. She shook her arm wildly. “My name is Wizardmon, it is a pleasure to meet you.”

“T-Twi-Twilight S-Sparkle.” Twilight responded while being shook like a rag doll. He let go of her hand allowing her to regain her balance. She had to admit his behavior was little odd, but thankfully he seemed nice enough. He also seemed to know a generous deal about humans. She began to pondered if this knowledge could be any help in getting herself and her friends home… that is if she ever managed to find them.

Twilight glanced at Wizardmon, who had turned away from her while she was lost in thought. She wondered if there could’ve been a chance he had seen them. Twilight raised a finger poked Wizardmon on the back of his shoulder. “Wizardmon…”

Before she could ask her question, Wizardmon turned and placed his hand over her mouth. He quietly shushed her with a quick movement of his finger to his lips. He removed his hand, and with his finger no longer blocking the air from her nostrils, Twilight could now make out the sudden stench of something burning.

Wizardmon’s hand suddenly shot down and grabbed onto Twilight’s wrist. Before she could ask him what was going on, he lead her over to a thick brush of bushes with dark green leaves. He plucked one and brought it up to his nose, then immediately threw it away in revulsion once he smelled it.

“Skunk bushes… and thankfully they’re in bloom this time of year.” He turned to Twilight, who was plugging her nose to avoid wafting the strong smell. “I want you to hide here, and do not come out until I tell you.”

“What?!” Twilight stared at Wizardmon like he had just asked her to jump off that same cliff for a third time. He pushed her into the bushes before she had time to argue, then ran back to where they had been standing to face what who knew was coming.

A large feline digimon stalked it’s way out of the forest that surrounded him. Its body was covered by a coat of blazing fur that roared like a bonfire. Underneath, a clearly defined layer of solid muscle flexed with each subtle movement of the fiery beast. This was the body a cold-hearted animal. A beast that had little to no equal, and could be consider nothing less than queen of island when it came to physical strength. Wizardmon knew her well, or at least well enough to avoid starting any unnecessary brawls.

The beast sniffed the air and stomped over towards Wizardmon. “New smell. Something new was here. Something new I haven’t tasted.” She looked down at Wizardmon growled in his face.
“Where is it?”

Wizardmon stepped back and fanned the smoke billowing from the digimon away from his face. “Lynxmon, a pleasure as always to see you again. But I’m afraid I have no clue what your talking about.”

Lynxmon snarled. “Smart mon lying. I smelled it. It was here. You are here. You know!”

Wizardmon cupped his chin in his hand and began to ponder. “Oh you smelt something, hmm? I see... I see...” He looked around the cliff top as if searching for the creature Lynxmon was speaking of himself. “I can’t say I’ve seen anyone other then myself here today.” Wizardmon’s eyes widened as he remembered something. “Oh! You know what it probably was?” He unzipped a pocket on the side of his outfit and pulled out a broken glass vile before showing it to the flaming digimon. “I was practicing with alchemy again, and as you can see the result was less fruitful then I would have hoped. But that’s what you get when you try to make gold.”

Lynxmon looked confused and leaned down to sniff the bottle. Wizardmon immediately pulled it away. “Oh no, no, no! You don’t want to sniff this, toxic chemicals and all that.”

Lynxmon blinked then glared at Wizardmon. “You talk a lot. Make me forget things. I can’t remember smell now.”

“Oh really, I’m sorry to hear that.” Wizardmon stated, faking sincerity.

“I should eat you.”

“But then who will point you towards food when you can’t find it anymore?”

Lynxmon growled. “I look somewhere else. Find smell, then eat it.” The flaming digimon turned and began stomping away back into the forest. Wizardmon waited until she was completely out of sight before running back to Twilight’s hiding place.

Wizardmon expressed relief. “Pardon my friend she’s not good with new mons. She means well once you get past the ‘I want to eat you’ part.” He reached into the bush and waited for Twilight to take his hand. Upon pulling her out, Twilight gasped for air.

She coughed as she sucked in the fresh air. “You… you know her?”

“Since she was a Salamon. I was a Candlemon then, we reached our adult forms together, my current state and she became a Gatomon. She’s never been the same since we came across that pocket of digimetal. Oh yes, my cabin. We must move quickly before she picks up your sent again.” He sniffed the air, then leaned in towards Twilight. “Though currently that may not be an issue. Not to worry, I have items with which to bath yourself at my home.”

He began to lead the way with Twilight following close behind. “Wizardmon, I wanted to ask. How do you know so much about Humans? From what I heard from the other digimon I’ve met, we don’t seem to commonly occur in your world.”

“I assure you, there is an explanation for that. But it will have to wait, because we’re here.”

Twilight leaned to the left to look around Wizardmon. It surprised her it took so little time to arrive. The only issue now was that she couldn’t see where his house was.

“Umm… where is it?”

“Why right in front of you, of course.” Wizardmon walked up to a large tree and tapped his staff on the base of its trunk. A mysterious door then swung outwards from the tree as if someone had pushed it from the inside. “Welcome to my cabin.” He greeted.

“You live in a tree?” Twilight asked in confusion.

“Cabin.” He stated more bluntly. “It is my house, it is in the forest, and it is made of wood. By most general definitions it should be called a cabin.”

Twilight’s mouth narrowed into a guilty grimace. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you.”

Wizardmon inhaled then exhaled, before returning to his pleasant smile. “No I’m sorry. I tend to be a tad touchy on that subject. I call something one thing, somemon else calls it something else. It shouldn’t affect me as much as it does, and yet here we are. But where are my manners, let’s get you inside.”

Wizardmon walked in through the door. Twilight glanced at the width of the tree in uncertainty. “It seems kind of narrow.” She called to the wizard digimon.

“Trust me, it isn’t. Now just step inside.”

Despite her concerns, Twilight decided to follow him in and was shocked at what she saw. “It’s bigger on the inside!”

“Well of course it is, a magician does need space to keep his things.” He began to raffle off the things he owned on fingers. “Copious amounts of books... furniture... glass beakers and vials for brewing and chemical experiments… china for afternoon tea. Speaking of which, would you care for something to drink?”

As Wizardmon walked over towards a tea set and placed the kettle on a nearby burner, Twilight wandered the room in bewilderment. “How is any of this possible?”

“Oh, it’s just simply a matter of distancing data within an already existing space to suit my needs. Consider it like a video game. You are the playable character and find a doorway leading into a room, the room is far larger than the outside would have hinted at. In the real world, this wouldn’t be possible because your world’s physiology is dictated by matter. But our world is dictated by data, which is a much more malleable material. In fact, I’d hazard to guess someone more well-versed in program language could be able to create almost anything by re-purposing the data found within the digital world. But really there’s only one being capable of doing that.”

“Data? Programming?” Twilight questioned.

“I’ll explain it all in due time. For now, while the tea is brewing, why don’t you use the moment to clean yourself up.” He motioned with his hand toward a door on the far side of the room.

Twilight blinked at the digimon’s suggestion, before bringing the back of her hand up to her nose smell it. She pushed it away as soon as it reached her nostrils, she had forgotten how bad the bushes’ stink was.

Twilight walked over towards the door without another word. She then felt her stomach drop the moment she opened the door. The self-conscious teen was expecting to see a shower or some rural version of a bathtub. What she got instead was two wooden basins filled with water, a bar of soap, and a rag.

“Is something the matter?” Wizardmon asked.

Twilight tapped her fingers together timidly. “I-I’m more used to faucets and drains. I’ve never had to bath like this before.”

“I see...” Wizardmon gave her an understanding smile. “Well in my experience, the best way to figure things out is through trial and error.” He reached up and plucked a book off one of his shelves before meandering towards one of his chairs. “I’ll give you some time to get familiar with my washroom setup. Come out whenever your ready. I promise not to peek.”

Twilight blushed at the statement, which made Wizardmon chuckle. She was still feeling a bit hesitant, but at the same time she really wanted to get the stink off her. Finally, with a deep inhale to boost her confidence, Twilight marched into the washroom and closed the door behind her.

******
“Oooooooooooh, I’m off to see the wizard, with my new friend Guilly! He's gonna help me find my friends, he lives in a tree!~”

“Pinkie-Chan, I thought you said we’d get in trouble if we sang that song?”

“Not if we change the lyrics.” Pinkie stopped her skipping for a moment to look around the forest they were currently lost in. Despite putting up a cheerful front, Pinkie couldn’t help but be worried. All the trees were beginning to look the same, and she wasn’t sure which direction they were going anymore.

“Are you sure we’re going the right way, Guilly?” Pinkie questioned. “Everything is starting to look the same.”

“Don’t worry Pinkie-chan, I absolutely know where Wizardmon’s house is. I can smell it, and it smells like chamomile tea.” He sniffed at the air, enjoying the scent. “Yummy.~”

Pinkie giggled and hugged her new dinosaurian friend. “Say can I ride on you again?” Pinkie asked.

Guilmon though for a second, “Okay.” He practically cheered. Pinkie Pie mounted her friend producing an unexpected sound.

“We’re off to see the Wizard!” Pinkie Pie proclaimed before Guilmon started to run.

Unbeknownst to the two of them, there was another pair travelers heading down a different path that lead into their own. One could be heard boasting, while the other sat back in contented silence.

“...And did you see that part where I pile-drived Tortomon straight into the ground! I mean, I always knew I’d eventually digivolve into something awesome, but I never thought it’d be something this awesome! I guess it just goes to show there’s more to me than meets the eye.”

Rainbow Dash laughed in reply. “You have some big balls kid, but your mouth is writing checks the rest of you can’t cash.”

“You did see me become a Veedramon, right?” Veemon countered.

“I also saw you change back into this.” She motioned with her hand to emphasize his punier form. “Talk about blowing your load.” Rainbow continued to joke not seeing Guilmon and Pinkie as they bashed into her side, sending her to the ground. “What the heck?” As Rainbow Dash picked herself up, she soon felt another person’s body weight send her back to the ground as Pinkie tackled with an affectionate hug.

“DASHIE!” Pinkie squealed in delight.

“PINKIE?!” Rainbow replied back in bewilderment.

As the two shouted each others names, Guilmon turned his attention to the digimon who as of yet still remained untackled. A large smile spread across his face. “BBMON!”

Veemon turned his gaze towards Guilmon upon hearing the title. “Oh no!” He tried to run only to feel his arm getting grabbed by both Guilmon’s claws. He was subsequently then pulled into a bone-crushing hug.

Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash were pulled away from their own greetings, upon hearing the exchange between both digimon. Pinkie’s smile couldn’t grow larger if it tried. “Look Dashie, my digimon and your digimon know each other.”

Rainbow Dash smirked as she saw Veemon begin to blush. “You two seem pretty close. Care to fill us in?”

“He’s my big brother!” Guilmon explained happily.

“That’s big bro, Guilmon.” Veemon relented. “As in the guy in charge who looks after the little bro. Now let me go, I’m starting to see spots due to the air deprivation.” Guilmon released his hold, allowing Veemon to dust himself off after reaching the ground. He turned towards the girls. “Guilmon’s digiegg hatched after I went through me first digivolution. He was... small, and cute… and too dumb to realize the other digimon in the Village of Beginnings were picking on him. So I decided to watch his back…a little bit...and only because I felt bad for him.”

“And we’ve been best friends friends ever since!” Guilmon threw his arms in the air as he cheered. He went to give Veemon another hug. “Right, big bro?”

“No! No more hugs! You only get the one.” Veemon scolded. He then looked up to see tears starting to form in the corners of Guilmon’s eyes. Veemon sighed. “Alright, fine. One more.” Guilmon didn’t hesitant and grabbed Veemon like he was his favorite teddy bear.

Once Guilmon released Veemon from his hug, the hard-headed digimon suddenly felt himself being scooped up into another hug by Pinkie Pie. The side of his head was now pushed up against Pinkie’s chest, and though he said he wanted no more hugs, he couldn’t say he wasn’t enjoying the attention.

“You’ve been protecting Guilly since you were kids?!” She exclaimed. “Oh my gosh, that’s the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard! To think, I may have never met my new best dinosaur friend forever, if you didn’t keep those meanie-bo-beanies away. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!”

Rainbow snickered. “Yeah, would have thought someone as macho as you wouldn’t give a dang if someone else got roughed up. You sure proved me wrong.”

Veemon scowled at her as Pinkie swung him around. “Hey, give me some credit. I saved you, didn’t I? “

“You were trying to get in my pants before. That’s more than enough reason to make me think you had other motives for saving me.”

Pinkie suddenly looked stopped her swinging and stared down at Veeman. She was giving him a cat like smile. “Ooooo~ Veemon? Do you like Dashie?”

Guilmon raised his claw and tried to get Pinkie’s attention. “Pinkie-chan can I be swung around next?” He wasn’t paying attention to the context of the situation.

Veemon ignored Guilmon, and instead turned his gaze towards Pinkie with a flirtatious expression. “That depends, are you interested in the “V”, Hot Pink.”

Pinkie opened up her arms, causing him to clumsily fall back to the ground on his bum. Pinkie giggled. “You’re silly. Nice try though.”

“Glad you’re enjoying it.” Rainbow commented. “He been acting like that towards me all day.”

“Don’t act like you don’t love it.” Veemon pointed a finger gun towards Rainbow, before giving her a wink and click of his tongue. Rainbow groaned in annoyance.

That groan was soon overshadowed by a growl as something large and flaming tramped its way out of the trees. Lynxmon soon noticed the two girls and two digimon and began to lick her lips. “New smell. New food. Eat now.”

“Yeah right, ya fiery furball.” Veemon stated as he walked out in front of Rainbow Dash and Pinkie. “You’re really gonna find it hard to eat anything when you’re sucking on your own teeth. Let’s get her Guilmon!”

“Okay!” Guilmon charged up next to his big bro, and together they stuck a dramatic fighting pose. A few minutes soon passed, and the two were still standing in their dramatic pose with nothing much changing.

Lynxmon blinked at her prey. “Something happen?” She questioned.

Veemon and Guilmon did not give her an answer.

Rainbow Dash narrowed her brows at the hard-headed digimon. “Come on, Veemon! Do something. You’re making us look bad.”

“Yeah, Guilmon!” Pinkie agreed. “Do that thing where you turn all shiny then shout your name at the sky. Like this,” Pinkie lowered her voice and began shouting at the sky. “Pinkie Pie Digivolve to…” Pinkie placed a random party hat she just so happened to have on person on her head. “...Pinkie Pie with a hat!

Rainbow stared at her friend in utter confusion.

Again Veemon and Guilmon did not respond. Instead a very distinct sound growled out of their stomachs and echoed loudly among the close knit trees.

Rainbow’s and Pinkie’s expressions began to grow worried. “Uh… Veemon is everything alright over there. You guys can digivolve right?” Veemon didn’t respond. “Veemon?”

Veemon dropped his pose and turned back towards his human friends, a look of utter terror was etched deeply onto his face. “So I just remembered that I skipped lunch today. So… now I’m hungry… and I guess I don’t have the energy to digivolve.” He gave them both a nervous chuckle.

The same look of utter terror spread across the girls’ faces. They both soon turned to Guilmon. “Guilly..?” Pinkie asked hopefully. Guilmon dropped his pose and turned towards Pinkie, his expression seemed much more guilty then it was afraid.

“Sorry, Pinkie-chan.”

A roar from Lynxmon soon drew all their attention. The fiery digimon was clearly tired of waiting. “EAT NOW!”

Lynxmon lunged at the group as they each turned on their heels and began running in the opposite direction. Lynxmon was quick to give chase.

“Why didn’t you tell us you couldn’t digivolve!” Rainbow shouted. “That’s something you don’t keep secret, especially when we’re faced with hellfire death cat!”

“It’s not like I know how this process works, okay!” Veemon retaliated. “This kind of digivolution is new to me too. Besides, I didn’t want to give our weaknesses away to our opponent!”

“So standing around doing nothing was your plan?!”

“Fine! The next time we’re in a scrape, you can call the shots. But for now, just shut up and run!”

The group darted and ducked between trees and obstacles as Lynxmon followed close behind. The larger digimon clearly had the advantage over her prey, as her knowledge of the forest helped her in smoothly avoiding the obstructions while her prey continually tripped and bumped into everything along the way. This would be over soon, and in that time she would finally know what these new smells tasted like. She assumed the colorful one would be vanilla.

******
Twilight exited Wizardmon’s water closet feeling fresh and thankful not to stink of skunk bush anymore. She sniffed the air noticing a very pleasant scent. “Is that chamomile tea with milk?” She asked as she saw Wizardmon place a couple cups on a nearby table.

“The milk is optional. Now where we before our little run in with my….” Wizardmon trailed off and sighed.

“You’re thinking about Lynxmon, aren’t you?” Twilight took a seat across from Wizardmon on the opposite side of the table. “You don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want.”

Wizardmon remained silent for a few minutes before responding. “It’s my fault she’s like that, you know. I knew Salamons and Gatomons had the trait allowing for Armor Digivolution. She wanted to leave, but I just had to know what kind of digimetals we discovered in that pocket.” He suddenly slammed his fist on the table, causing Twilight to jump. “Because of my arrogance, I purposely put my friend through an experiment that changed her for the worse. Not a day goes by when I look into her eyes that I don’t regret my decision.”

Twilight grimaced and looked away. His story reminded her of the friendship games and how she turned into a monster through her own selfish pursuits of knowledge. “I’m sorry to hear to that. Trust me, I’m familiar with how obsessing over the things you don’t understand can bring risk to others.”

“It isn’t your place to worry… what happened is my own fault, and someday I intend to fix it. But that’s enough talking about me. I believe you had some questions?”

Twilight nodded. “You brought up earlier that humans have been to this world before, but from what I’ve gathered from the few digimon I’ve met in my world, we are an extensively rare phenomenon. So much so that you seem to mistake out name for something vaguely similar when you call us 'humons'.”

“I should have guessed that would be your first question.” Wizardmon chuckled. “It's a good thing I decided to grab this while you were washing.” He reached over the side of his chair and pulled out hardcover tome, before handing it to Twilight. “The best way I can see to answer your question is to simply say… to us your species is legend. For a thousand years, humans have been absent from the digital world, leaving the only recollection of your presence as dried ink on the pages of books like this one. It’s sad to say, but your kind has become nothing more than fairy tales to us. Only the depictions of your arrival and victories over villainous digimon exist to give us knowledge that you were ever here to begin with.”

Twilight accepted the tome and began to read it to herself at an almost breakneck pace. Wizardmon was shocked at her speed. “Interesting, she can read that fast?” He mused.

After finishing the book, Twilight closed it and placed it on the table. “So we’re like anunnaki,or Ben elohim to you.”

“I am sorry, I am not familiar with those terms.”

“They are types of quasi-divine beings that are involved in the making of humans in various Mesopotamian based creation myths.” Wizardmon only blinked a few times at her in response. “We’re kind of like Super-angels.”

“Oh.” Wizardmon said as he got the comparison.

“But my friends and I didn’t plan to come here. We got caught in an vortex made by the destruction of a portal between our worlds.” Twilight started to explain.

“What happened?” Wizardmon began to take another sip of tea.

“Well an egg appeared in our world and hatch into a purple fluff creature which evolved into our new friend Dorumon.”

Wizardmon spat his tea, but being the polite host, aimed it away from Twilight. “A Dorumon?!” Wizardmon wheezed. “There hasn’t been a Dorumon seen since the last Alphamon was alive. That was before even my time!” He clarified before Twilight could question him further.

He rushed to another corner of his home to retrieve his staff. “King Drasil must be trying to bring the Royal Knights back to full power.” He ran to another area of the room to pick up a satchel and proceeded to fill it with several books and scrolls. “This is astounding! To think I’ve lived to see the day the legends once again come true. This truly must be a crisis situation of the grimmest degree.” To Twilight’s concern he actually sounded excited about this. He then grabbed Twilight by the wrist and manically pulled her towards the door. “Come along, we must bring you to the Royal Knights fortress immediately. They’ll know what’s going on.”

They both burst through the door with reckless abandon. “What? But what about my friends?! Their still lost on this island. I can’t just leave without them.”

Wizardmon paused, then dropped her hand and brought his fingers to his chin. “You’re right!” He declared as he slammed his fist into his palm. “The fate of the digital world will have to wait. We have children to save!”

“Thermal Mane!”

An explosion of fire in the distance drew both the girl and digimon’s attention. Twilight and Wizardmon blinked at the sight. “Hazard a guess, they’re over there?” Wizardmon questioned.

“There isn’t a doubt in my mind.”

Twilight and Wizardmon broke into a sprint and followed the smoke from the recent attack, both simultaneously hoping that they were both right and wrong in thinking Twilight’s friends were there.

******
“What’s the matter? Getting tired, pussycat? Well I can keep this up all day!” Veemon taunted at the fiery digimon as he and his friends continued to run for their lives. They hadn’t made much headway in escaping, and in fact were losing ground quickly as Lynxmon grew closer.

“WHY ARE YOU TEASING HER?!” Rainbow Dash shouted. “She’s already trying to eat us, we don’t need pissed off as well!”

“I’m sorry! I fight back when I’m scared. It’s a defense mechanism!”

“Oh if we live through this, I’ll give you something to be scared of! I promise you that!”

“Hey, I see some flowers.” Pinkie pointed out.

“NOT NOW PINKIE!” Both Rainbow and her digimon shouted.

Lynxmon was growing closer, and no thanks to Veemon’s taunted, seemed more adamant then ever to catch them and snap their bones between her teeth. They’d needed to think of a plan quickly, and though it seemed unlikely, Guilmon was the one quickest to think of something when a new smell hit his nostrils.

Raising his muzzle, he sniffed the air, a familiar scent was wafting from somewhere nearby. It wasn’t the chamomile tea like he was smelling before, but he recognized it as something just as refreshing.

Without warning, he broke away from the group and began running in a different direction. Pinkie and the others were quick to follow.

“GUILLY COME BACK!” Pinkie shouted in panic.

“Don’t go off on your own, dumbass!” Veemon added.

The trio followed Guilmon until they saw him break through the treeline. There was a blinding light in front of them, but they couldn’t risk stopping or Lynxmon would catch them. They decided to take their chances.

Upon bursting out into the open clearing they saw Guilmon waiting for them, and not only that he had found them a means of escape, a sizable river flowing straight through the center of the forest.

“Quick in here!” Guilmon shouted. “Fire doesn’t like water!” He dove into the river, with the others following close behind. They bobbed to the surface as they began to ride down the channel, Lynxmon only stopping at the foot of the river to continue their chase along the riverbank.

“Guilmon, you’re a genius!” Pinkie wrapped her arms around the dinosaurian digimon’s neck, partly because she wanted to give her a digimon a loving hug, and because she needed someone's help to keep afloat while in the water.

Rainbow and Veemon shot a pair of rude gestures at Lynxmon as she struggled to keep up with the faster moving river. “I bet this just burn’s you up, don’t it Tabby!” Veemon shouted. “Hope you don’t mind fast food, because we are out of here!”

“Nice one, shrimp.” Rainbow complimented with a laugh.

Rainbow and Veemon high-fived as Pinkie noticed something that made her grow concerned. “Am I the only one who thinks that now we’re at an alarming speed?”

The sound of roaring water soon drew their attention. They turned their heads towards the sound only to finally realize were the river was heading.

“WATERFALL!” They all shouted in unison.

“I heard somebody over this way!” Wizardmon lead Twilight out of the forest and over towards riverbank, where they notice Rainbow Dash and Pinkie shooting past them and Lynxmon chasing them on the opposite side.

“Rainbow? Pinkie?!” Twilight gasped.

“They’re heading straight for the falls!” Wizardmon turned to look down the riverbank for any means to stop them from going over the edge. He noticed a dead tree leaning over their side of the river. Not much would be needed to knock it down judging by the decay, and it look large enough bridge the gap between the banks. Without any further thinking, Wizardmon raised his staff into the air.

“Thunder Cloud!”

A small grey cloud appeared in the sky directly over the tree and fired a single bolt in the trunk of the tree, knocking it over. The tree fell down and blocked the river much to the river occupants' surprise.

“That was Wizardmon’s attack!” Guilmon shouted in excitement.

“Over there!” Veemon pointed, coaxing everyone to turn in the direction of his finger. Wizardmon and Twilight were running toward the tree they just downed.

“Twilight?!” Pinkie and Rainbow shouted.

“Grab onto the tree’s limbs!” She shouted back. “Wizardmon will pull you out!”

They did as they were told upon crashing into the tree’s branches. Unfortunately, Lynxmon was still in hot pursuit and reached the fallen tree before their friends could. She stalked over slowly upon reaching them and placed her front paws on the top end of the tree. The bark on the tree began to burn.

“I eat you now.” She began to step further onto the tree causing it to creak from her weight and the heat.

“Lynxmon!” She turned her head to see Wizardmon standing on the opposite end of the tree. “Leave them alone! If you pursue them any further you’ll all be going over the falls!”

Lynxmon refused to listen. “Leave now.” She snarled. “You lied. You hid smells from me. You knew they were there!”

“Lynxmon, listen to me. These creatures are more important than you realize. Their survival could be integral to the fate of the entire digital world!”

“No!” She shouted. “You lied to me! I take what I earned now!” She climbed further on to the tree, further weakening the structure of the tree. Wizardmon’s eyes widened as the larger digimon ignored him. He turned to Twilight, but she did not look back as she was to preoccupied staring at her friends. She looked worried, probably racking her brain for any possible solutions she could use to save the her friends from this perilous situation. Despite how fast she could read, she seemed to be unable to come up with a plan with how flustered she was. What was worse, if they didn’t come up with something soon they would likely lose all their friends, both old and new.

Suddenly an idea came to him, and he jumped into the water much to Twilight and others shock. He grabbed onto the limbs next to Veemon. “Dude, what the hell are you doing?!”

Wizardmon looked up at Lynxmon who was now standing overhead. He muttered to himself a reply. “...appealing to an old friend’s sense of guilt.” He raised his hand and pointed it at Lynxmon’s face. “Forgive me, but even though this hurts, I hope it will make you remember me.”

“Terror Illusion.”

A cloud of violet smoke shot out of his open palm and covered the Lynxmon’s face. In surprise, she jumped back and landed back on her side of the river. She shook her head, clearing her senses of the smoke. When she opened her eyes again, she was surprised to see that the others were missing and only Wizardmon was left to face the brunt of the river.

She stared in confusion as the tree she had stepped upon started to crack and crumble due to the embers she had left behind. Suddenly the tree snapped and broke in half. Lynxmon’s eyes widened as both ends fell into the river, carrying the digimon she cared for with them as they went over the falls.

“NO!” She cried. Lynxmon charged towards the river, fully intent on diving in and chasing after Wizardmon when she realized the tree had returned with all the humans and digimon still clinging to it. She didn’t know what she saw, nor how that vision got into her head to begin with, but she refused to let it happen again.

She ran up to the top of the tree and wrapped her front legs around its trunk like she was giving it a bear hug. She began to pull back, raising up onto her hind legs.

“Hold on tight!” Wizardmon shouted. He turned to Twilight as the tree began to raise into the air. He reached out one of his hands. “Twilight, jump! I’ll catch you.”

Twilight looked hesitantly at the raging river before her before looking back at Wizardmon. She gulped, then stepped back and broke into a run. She jumped and grabbed his hand, just as Lynxmon turned the tree and slammed it against the ground.

The riverbank began to crumble, it having been worn down by the extra weight added to it by Lynxmon and the tree. Lynxmon fell backward and crashed into the river, releasing an enormous amount of steam.

Wizardmon was the first to notice. “LYNXMON!” Her head popped out of the river and roared in anger before going over the edge of the waterfall. Wizardmon and the others ran to the edge of the cliff to look for the fiery digimon. They only reached it in time to see her vanish into the misty cloud below with resounding splash.

Wizardmon turned to the others. “We need to go after her!” He exclaimed. “Follow me, I know a quick way to the bottom of these falls.”

******
A few minutes later, the group found themselves at the bottom of the waterfall, but Lynxmon was nowhere to be seen. The six separated into pairs and scoured the riverbank for any sign of her, but there appeared to be no evidence of her even being there in the first place.

The group reconvened after a short time of searching. They all were concerned for their used-to-be adversary's safety, but no one was showing stronger signs of this then Wizardmon. He looked downright distraught, though it was evident he was trying to not openly express it.

Twilight, more than anyone, found this the most disconcerting. The once energetic and kind digimon she had first met, was now replaced with a deeply depressed one who look on the verge of tears. She wanted to say something nice, something that would bring the cheer back to his voice, but she knew nothing she could say would replace who was currently missing. Even still, she felt the need to say something.

“Maybe she’s further down the river?” She suggested.

Wizardmon only shook his head in response. “No… we would have seen the steam rising from the river or smelt the sulfur coming off her body. I hate to say it, but I fear her body must have-”

A groan came from some nearby bushes not too far from the river. Wizardmon’s eyes widened, he recognized that voice… but it wasn’t Lynxmon’s.

It couldn’t be...” He rushed over towards the bushes and quickly pushed them apart. On the other side an unconscious cat digimon was laying on her stomach. A purple shard of glowing metal was sitting not far from where she snoozed.

The others gather around Wizardmon to see what he had found. Guilmon blinked in surprise. “It’s a Gatomon.”

Twilight shook her head. “No, that’s Lynxmon.”

Wizard’s almost infallible smile soon spread across his face once again. “Very astute Miss Sparkle, but clearly I shouldn’t expect anything less from such clever young woman.” He turned towards the other teens and their digimon. “As for you four, I can’t begin to tell you how gracious I am that you found her for me.” He turned back to Gatomon. “We need to get her back to my home immediately.” His attention soon turned towards the glowing piece of metal. His eyes narrowed as he stared at it. “But first, it's time to make sure the mistakes of the past never get repeated again.”

He dropped his satchel to the ground and reached for the piece of metal, then placed it in his bag. He felt a brief jolt of energy flow through his body as he touched it, like he had just brushed his fingers against an open electrical socket. The feeling left as soon as it came however, so he dismissed it for the moment as he turned towards his friends.

“Guilmon, Veemon, keep away from this bag and keep Gatomon away from it too. I have to make sure it can never infect another digimon again.”

“But Guilmons can’t Armor Digivolve.” Guilmon pointed out.

“Perhaps not with this type of metal, but I’d rather not chance it. Something is off about this piece of metal. Normally a digimetal of courage would be fiery red and yellow in color, and no digimetal is normally purple. Something has corrupted it. I believe it’s best we avoid contact with it as much as possible.” He turned to his new human friends. “For reasons of safety, this goes for you three as well.”

Veemon walked passed Wizardmon in order to pick Gatomon up. He knelt down to gently place his hands under her, only for Wizardmon to politely push them away before they could make contact with the cat digimon’s white fur.

“Watch your hand placement, Veemon. We’re taking care of a lady, not hoisting a sack of potatoes.” He knelt down next to Veemon and delicately pushed Gatomon onto her back. He then place his hand behind her head and the other within the crook of her legs. By the time he was standing again, Gatomon looked like a princess being carried in his arms.

“We shouldn’t dawdle. As soon as Gatomon is well and back on her feet, we will need to set out in search of your friends. If this metal is as dangerous as I think it is, then it is imperative we make haste to the Royal Knights’ fortress as quickly as possible.”

He began to lead to the way back to his home, but stopped almost abruptly when a surge of purple lightning circuited over several sections of his body.

“Wizardmon!” Twilight ran to his side, offering to help him stand, only for the sorcerer digimon to lean away from her protectively. The electricity soon dissipated, allowing Wizardmon to return his feet.

“I’m alright.” He stated reassuringly, though Twilight wasn’t at all convinced.

“What just happened to you?” Twilight asked. Wizardmon gave her an appeasing smile in reply.

“Perhaps an effect of the digimetal?” He chuckled. “I’m not entirely certain. But that isn’t are main concern right now. Come along, we need to get Gatomon somewhere warm and dry quickly before she catches cold.”

As he ran away, Twilight could tell he was avoiding her question. This worried her. She turned to her friends, who all carried similar expressions. Without even saying a word, they could all recognize what each other was thinking, and through a nod, agreed with each other to keep an eye on their jovial friend should whatever happened to him occur again.

They turned on their heels and chased after the sorcerer digimon.

******
Some time later, Gatomon awoke on a bed in a wooden room she only vaguely recognized. She blinked as she fully opened her eyes to explore the room. It was familiar, like a place she may have visited a lifetime ago. It reminded her of somemon, but it was too small and flammable to be any room she could fit into.

Realization soon struck her as she looked at her gloved paws. She was small again. Another realization struck her, she was thinking in complete sentences!

She wasn’t a feral Lynxmon anymore, but how could this be? The only other mon who knew who she was before she became that animal was…

“Ah good, you’re up. Just in time for your medicine.” The smell of incense filled the room as Gatomon turned towards the sounds of an opening door. What she saw levitate in was a waxy-looking digimon with a golden stand jutting out from his waist and a lit flame atop his head. “I was afraid I would have to use the funnel again… though I do admit I like the funnel.”

Before he could speak anymore nonsense, the cat digimon leaped off the bed and tackled him to the floor. She could recognize that incessant babbling anywhere.

“Wizardmon!” She cried into his chest. The hot tears from her eyes actually melting small holes into the digimon’s waxy body.

“Candlemon, actually. An apparent side effect of touching that digimetal after the falls knocked it out of you.” He smiled in embarrassment. “On the bright side, I do feel ten years younger.”

Gatomon smiled as she took a good long look at her friend, “Well, you were always the slower to mature.” She joked. She then looked around, “So I’m free. How did…”

“You took a nosedive off a waterfall. But to be honest, I don’t think that’s the only place you fell from.” Veemon answered with a nod, a wink and a click of his tongue. He had heard the commotion from when Gatomon first awoke, and was now leaning against the doorway with the others standing behind him.

Gatomon laughed, “You’re cute kid.” She saw a slight eye twitch come the human standing behind him. “Tell you what, if you can get to and stay as a Paildramon, DinoBeemon or AeroVeedramon, you can give me a call.” She said with a wink.

“Please don’t encourage him.” Rainbow groaned. “I’ll never hear the end of it.”

“You don’t spend a lot of time with guys, do ya hun?” Gatomon said as she looked to the others there. “The only way to get them to make themselves useful is to offer something that they want for when they prove it.”

“Not entirely true.” Candlemon countered.

“That’s because you’re already useful. You don’t need motivation.” She leaned in and licked him on the cheek, then spat out the wax that collected on her tongue after she did so. “It’s been a while since I last did that to you in this form.” She giggled.

“Was it still worth it?”

“Do you even need to ask?~” She dragged a paw against his side flirtatiously as she got back to her feet. Candlemon soon stood as well. “I can’t wait to spend time with you again, so we can get… reacquainted.”

A faint blush appeared on Candlemon’s face, and the others could swear they say the light on the top of his head grow brighter. “As nice as that sounds, I’m going to have to put that ‘time-spending’ on hold for the moment. As you can see...” He motioned to the others. “We have guests that require my assistance.”

“Right, the humons.” She sounded annoyed at first, but her pleasant smile soon returned to her lips. “I understand, if humons are in the digital world then it must be a matter of great importance. At least it should be, if those texts you forced me to read are even halfway true.”

She began to saunter towards the group watching their exchange. “Go off on your little adventure, I’ll look after the house for you… just don’t keep me waiting. I’ve been waiting for years to have an intellectual talk to you again, and I don’t intend to wait even a second longer if I don’t have to.” She suddenly turned on her heels and pointed a claw at Candlemon. “Do you understand me?!”

Candlemon smiled and nodded his head. “Like the most complex spells of Witchelny.”

“Okay then.” She turned again strutting passed the group before heading towards the front door. “Now that that’s settled, I have places to be. I’d like to see what File Island looks like not through the eyes of a savage predator.” She opened the door, then turned around one last time. “Ta-ta~”

The door closed after she waved them goodbye. The room remained silent for a few seconds before they all turned back towards Candlemon, who was already beginning to repack his satchel.

“What the heck was that?” Veemon questioned as he motioned towards the door.

“I’m certain I do not know what you mean.”

“Oh no. No you don’t! A cat girl doesn’t just throw herself all over you, and you get to dismiss it like it was nothing!”

Twilight cocked an eyebrow. “I thought you said you guys were just friends?”

“I don’t recall ever saying that.” Candlemon stated with a knowing smile. “I do believe I hinted at us having a close relationship, but never actually stated what kind of relationship it was. Perhaps that’s where the confusion came from?”

After finishing packing the satchel, Candlemon floated passed his new friends, leading them to the door. “Any-who, we have other things to worry about. Namely finding your friends and telling the Royal Knights about the strange effects of this digimetal.” He patted the satchel for emphasis.

“Do they live close?” Pinkie Pie asked.

“Across the sea actually.” Candlemon replied “Which reminds me, we’ll need to find a boat.”

“What about Magnamon?” Rainbow Dash added. “He went through the portal before we did. Doesn’t that mean he’d be on the island somewhere too?”

“Most likely...” Candlemon tapped his chin in thought. “...And if that’s the case, then it’s just as likely we could have a royal guard providing us safe passage on the way to the Royal HQ. The only problem is figuring out where to find him?”

“Maybe he’s up there?” Guilmon pointed towards the sky. The others soon turned their heads skyward just in time to catch the glint of golden armor as it flew overhead.

“He’s heading south! Quick, we need to catch up to him before he escapes our view!” The other chased after Candlemon as he lead the way to what they believed was Magnamon's direct.

******
Meanwhile, in a tree not too far from where the humans and digimons were conversing, an unconscious cowgirl was being poked at by a pair of rounded bird-like digimon.

“You sure this thing is a humon? I mean, they haven’t been seen in a thousand years, it could easily be a normal digimon faking it.”

The other bird pounded him on the head with his claw. “You nincompoop! Look at her. Colorful skin, flowing hair, weird clothing, looks like an Angewomon with no armor… It’s got to be a humon. At least, that’s what the other guy told me back at the Snimon fortress.”

The two fluttered into the air and grasped onto the humons arms and began lifting her into the air. “Now come on, the sooner we get this thing back to the Realm of Demons, the sooner we get our reward.”

The two digimon carried the girl into the sky, unaware that a pair of eyes were watching them from the branches. A rookie digimon that looked like a young jungle cat, crawled out onto one of the branches of the tree and watched curiously as the bird digimon took her away.

It would seem the day has come.” The digimon mused. “The future of the digital world hangs in the balance. It is time to rejoin my brethren in arms.” She leaped from the branch and landed in another tree, then leaped to another tree, and then another and another as she gave chase, fully intent on closing the distance.

The Hunter

View Online

She didn’t want to admit it, but the Demidevimons she was chasing were a lot faster then she first expected. She could have placed blame on the fact that they could fly while she was forced to travel by tree, but she knew that was no excuse. Her pride came from a proud lineage, and none of her ancestors ever let the advantages of other digimon get in the way of their quests. If she wanted to prove herself at all worthy of her family’s name, then she couldn’t afford to be anything less than the noble lioness she was born to be.

Even though she was a tiny thing, no bigger than the smallest cub as her father put it, she knew she was nothing less than the fastest beast on island, even being able to outrun the ferocious Lynxmon on occasion without her father’s assistance. That still didn’t mean she wasn’t immune to surprises however.

A large beast leaped from the branches directly in her path forcing her to skid to a stop as beast landed in front of her. Her golden coat and the red tuft of hair on her head stood on end as she crashed into the beast’s leg. She screamed and jumped back in surprise, only to look up and see a digimon she know far better than anyone else.

“Liollmon, your late for training.” The large digimon was a humanoid creature with a similar coat and color to Liollmon’s own. A flowing mane of blond hair circled around the digimon’s head, and framed his appropriately as it directed all focus to his piercing blue eyes. “These were the eyes of a warrior”, she remembered him saying a long time ago. “The eyes of a mon who had seen too many battles to ever care about being part of one again.” It definitely showed, his body was covered in scars, and the sword hilted on the back of his black pants showed ware in even in the hilt from previous use.

“Apologizes father, but there was an innocent in danger that drew away my focus.” The lion digimon turned to see where his daughter was looking. When he saw the Demidevimon his lips pursed in thought. “Hmm… based on the distance of your query, you seem to have been following them steadily, but are focusing too much on stealth. If you had ran at full speed they would have noticed you, but you would have been able to catch them before they could escape.”

“I’m sorry father.” Liollmon relented.

“Do not apologize, learn. Be better, and be ready for when similar situations arise. As for the situation now.” He grabbed Liollmon by the scruff of her neck, then turned back towards the Demidevimon. Reeling back, her father launched her forward like a pitched baseball. But before she passed by the side of his head, he spoke to her. “You made the choice to save that innocent, Follow through with it.”

Liollmon flew through the air like a javelin, her front and back legs pointed out in front and behind her like her father had taught when pouncing an enemy. She landed on the demidevimon grasping Applejack’s left arm. “What the…” the Demidevimon screamed. “GET IT OFF! GET IT OFF!” He released Applejack as he tried to get free from Liollmon. Seeing her chance Liollmon leapt onto Applejack, causing the one holding her right arm to let go due to the added weight. “Seriously!?” the second Demidevimon shouted at the first. “I was being attacked.” The first one whined.

“No, this is an attack.” The two heard a roar from the trees below.

They both screamed in terror. “LEOMON!”

“FIST OF THE BEAST KING!”

A ball of orange energy shaped-like a lion’s head shot out of the beast man’s fist and flew through the air right into frightened Demidevimons’ faces. What resulted was an explosion that sent the digimon flying like cannonballs into the depths of the forest.

Leomon folded his arms in front of his chest as he watched the demon digimon soar away. “Never did care for those black birds.” He searched the sky for Liollmon. When he found her, she was attached to the humon’s back and was spreading out the girl’s limbs with her own as they both back first towards the ground. They weren’t falling any slower, but thanks to their positioning, they weren’t falling any quicker with air catching on their bodies. The faintest hint of a smile appeared on Leomon’s face. “That’s my girl.”

Leomon leapt underneath where Liollmon would have landed, and caught her and the unconscious humon in his arms. Liollmon let go of the humon’s back and landed on the branch below her.

“So how’d I do, father?” She asked, a faint hint of pride present in her voice.

The corner of Leomon’s mouth turned upwards. “Your form needs some work.” He did however pat Liollmon on her head, which brought ot a smile and a laugh from the younger digimon.

******
Applejack awoke to the smell of a smoldering campfire. She groaned, “My head hurts.” She then started to stretch her arm, “Make that my everything.”

“Take it easy, you fell from a sky based portal from the Human world to the Digital world, landed in a tree,and almost got kidnapped by a pair of Demidevimons before falling into my father’s arms.” Liollmon explained as Applejack’s vision came through. She stared in confusion at digimon upon catching sight of her. “I’m sorry that my have been a little fast, I am Liollmon and what is your name, human.”

“Um… Applejack.” Applejack said as she nervously lifted her hand towards the lioness in front of her.

Liollmon could tell that Applejack was nervous, so in an attempt to comfort her, she laid upon the ground and rolled onto her back. “See I trust.” she explained.

Applejack was a bit baffled by the gesture, but she had seen her dog Winona do the thing same many time before. She wondered if Liollmon was expecting the same sort of response. Hesitantly, Applejack moved her hand and began scratching Liollmon’s belly.

Liollmon was shocked by the action. “What are you..?” She suddenly began to purr as the scratching began to feel rather nice.

Applejack couldn’t keep herself from giggling. “You like that don’t you. Who’s a good kitty? Who is? Who is?” She joked.

“I’m not interrupting anything, am I.” A stoic, yet forceful voice came from behind Applejack. She turned to see the larger lion digimon staring down at her with a steely-eyed gaze. Applejack felt like she was just caught fooling around before her prom night.

“Dadd-Father!” Liollmon corrected herself. She turned herself over in embarrassment. “I didn’t expect you back so soon. This is Applejack.”

Applejack nervously waved at the lion man. “H-Howdy, sir.”

Leomon didn’t answer, instead throwing the firewood he was carrying on to the campfire making it burn brighter. It was at this point, Applejack noticed the kettle of soup simmering over the fire. It must have been stewing for awhile because he was already spooning some into three clay bowls he had hiding by the fire. “You have been through quite the ordeal. Your body is bruised and beaten, you need to regain your strength. Eat this, Applejack.”

Applejack took the bowl as Leomon handed the second to Liollmon, who began to slurp it up readily. Applejack glanced down at the creamy broth before bring up to her mouth. She found it hard to swallow, but forced herself to do so nevertheless.

“Gee, that’s some… real tasty stew ya got there.” Leomon glared at her. She could tell he knew she was lying. She realized she couldn’t keep her opinions quite, so she decided to instead ask the question that was on her mind. “What’s in it?”

“Hunting was poor today. So we had to settle for some Kunemon and couple root vegetables we found around the forest.” Leomon explained as he guzzled his own soup.

“And a Kunemon is?” Applejack asked, afraid to hear the answer.

“A larva digimon known to electrocute or poison their prey.” Liollmon explained. “They however are incredible source of protein when other food sources are scarce. Do not be afraid to eat it. Father has mastered the art of removing the non-edible parts of the digimon.”

Applejack felt her stomach do a flip as she looked again at her soup. As politely as she could manage, she placed the bowl down beside her and away from the two digimon’s sight. “Where am I?”

“The Digital World, File Island.” Liollmon said as she got to her feet. “You fell from a portal from your world to ours.”

“Ah got that part when you said it the first time.” Applejack attempted to raise to her feet, but back onto her bum when her legs proved too weak to stand. “Ah thank ya for savin’ me. But Ah have to get movin’. My friends fell through the same portal as Ah did, and Ah don’t want to risk them runnin’ into any danger without me bein’ there to help ‘em out.”

Liollomon narrowed her brow and began to contemplate the farm girl’s words. “So your arrival does coincide with the ancient legends. This could be more serious than we thought, father.” Leomon nodded. “How many humans would you say came through the portal to the digital world with you?”

Applejack shook her head in confusion. “Uh… at most eight, Ah think? But why are you asking? Why’s us bein’ here so serious?”

Liollmon turned to Leomon, as if asking him for permission to tell Applejack their story. Leomon said nothing and rolled his wrist in response, urging Liollmon to continue. She turned back to Applejack.

“As you know me now, most would call me a common Liollmon. But centuries ago in a past life, I was known throughout the digital world as Leopardmon, the Strategist of Truth. I was one of King Drasil’s Royal Knights, and it was my job to protect the digital world, alongside my brothers in arms, from evil digimon who seeked to upturn it’s balance. A thousand years ago, the digital world was thrown into the thralls of a terrible war, that pit against each other the harmonious forces of Yggdrasil and the wicked might of Seven Great Demon Lords and their armies. The war lasted for what seemed as long as its title described. It wasn’t until humans were introduced to the fight, and offered their aid in the form of digivolving our younger troops, that my brothers and I were able to make headway towards victory.”

A forlorned sigh escaped from her lips before she continued. “I was slain in a sneak attack by a Diaboromon before I could see the end of the war. But thankfully he had missed my digicore, allowing me to recycle my data over time, until the day father discovered my digiegg resting upon the shore.”

“A channel within the net sea must have pushed her off course instead of towards the Village of Beginnings. I was reluctant, but she would not have survived if I didn’t place her under my care.” Leomon proaded the fire with a stick to move the wood around and keep it from going out.

Applejack was taken back by the story. “Your story sounds an awful lot like another story this digimon called Dorumon told me.”

Leomon barely batted an eye, while Liollmon was completely aghast. “So you’ve met a Dorumon, did you?” Leomon continued in his calm tone.

“Yeah, but he didn’t remember nearly as much as Liollmon does. All this happenin’ at the same time is a pretty rare coincidence, huh?” Applejack asked.

“There is no such thing as coincidences.” Leomon threw away his stick into the brush. He turned to Liollmon. “It would seem the day you have foretold me about has finally come true.” He raised to his feet. “Go into the forest and collect me some medical herbs, what ever verity you can find. I’ll look after our guest.”

Liollmon nodded. “Yes father.” Before rushing off.

Leomon kicked some sand onto the fire before turning towards Applejack when it was extinguished. He walked over towards Applejack. “Strip.” He commanded.

“E-Excuse me?” Normally Applejack would raise a fit if anyone told her to do that, but the way the lion man was staring at her told her if she raised her voice even the slightest pitch higher, there would be major repercussions. She decided to remain at her current tone to avoid angering him.

“You were hurt after your fall, and your ordeal with the Demidevimon did you no additional favors.” He kneeled down to look her in the eye. “I need to check your body for injuries to see what medicines I’ll need to create.”

“Ah-Ah can d-do it my-myself, you know.” Applejack explained.

Leomon pulled out his sword from the back of his belt. Applejack gulped. “Time is of the essence. If the Demidevimon know you’re here, then it’s likely powerful digimon know you are here a well. We need to seek out your friends and find shelter before we are spotted.” His eyes narrowed as he pointed the tip of the blade at her chest. “Now take off your clothes quickly. Or are you gonna force me to peel you out of them myself.”

Applejack shook her head in fear. “No sir.”

“Good answer.”

******
“Invisible Snake-eyes.”

A large digimon sitting on a throne of sharpened rock and fossilized bones uttered an attack name that caused his right eye to glow a menacing red. His voice had an eerily calm tone to it, even despite the powerfully low rumble that underlined a sense of foreboding to anyone who heard it. He was not pleased with fact that Devimon had been defeated, but it intrigued him that through his actions, humans had once again been pulled into the digital world.

The Hippogriffmon who had given him the information, suddenly changed shape until a new bipedal digimon was standing in its place. The new digimon’s words sounded meek and eager to please. Even despite being one of his top generals, the digimon was never known to start a task without being given a command. He had no ambition, but he was fiercely loyal, and that only aided in his effectiveness in performing his master’s bidding.

“It gives me no pleasure in telling you that the human and the knight have likely already left the Village of Beginnings by the time I would have arrived here.” The shape-shifting digimon spoke. “I’d hazard a guess they could be almost anywhere on the island by now, given the Radiance’s speed.”

“Ugh, whatever…” A third voice spoke, this one female. The shape-shifter digimon turned his head towards the sounds of clicking heels as they sauntered out from between the stone columns surrounding them. “It doesn’t matter where they run or hide, let’s just torch the place. It’s not like we aren’t going to have free reign to do that anyways when we’re ruling the world.”

“My, my, someone’s acting a bit hhhot-under the collar today. What’s the matter, dearie? Skip breakfast again?” A cheerful new voice came from above them. The two digimon turned their heads upwards, while the third remained transfixed in his own visions. A smiling digimon was floating upside down just above them. The female digimon growled in disdain.

“YOU WANT TO FUCKING GO CLOWN?!” She shouted at the air. “Cause I’m about three seconds away from ripping off your frickin’ face off and makin’ pizza topping!”

“Enough, both of you. Can’t you see that-”

“You shut up too, yes-mon!” She turned her rage towards the meeker digimon. “I swear to the fucking Server Tree, everytime you open your mouth the scent of boot polish on your breath just gets stronger.”

“You swear… to the Server Tree?” The smiling digimon gasped in disbelief. “Our mortal enemy?” He began to chuckle. “My word, blasphemy! And you honestly call yourself a demon lord.”

The female demon lord pulled a pair of pistols out from the holsters in her coat. “THAT’S IT!”

Before she could fire however, the first digimon spoke. “I see a pair of Demidevimon flying out of the forest. They’re on the northeast side of the island. One of you is going to go down there and search for humans. If we’re lucky, the rookie knight will be there as well.”

They turned to see the glow in his eye had faded, and that he was now staring back at them. The floating digimon chuckled again. “Well... since I’m currently not wanted, I’ll go take a look. Besides, I’ve always wondered what color humans bleed. I’ve been told it’s red in color, but you know me, can’t sate my curiosity until I see it for myself. Ta~ta! Try not to get too bored while I’m gone.” He floated upwards into the darkness above until his face vanished completely into the shade. The female digimon growled before reholstering her guns.

“I fucking hate that guy.”

******
Magnamon flew slower then his usual mock speed with Fluttershy and Rarity, as well as their digimon partners, cradled in his arms. He was flying at this slower speed to avoid dropping his new changes, but also because they seemed to have picked up a pursuant.

“Is he still following us?” Magnamon asked.

Kudamon scrambled out of Fluttershy’s arms and up to Magnamon”s back. Some distance behind them, a Demidevimon was struggling to keep up with the golden digimon’s speed. Kudamon shook his head in disapproval. “He is, and he’s not even trying to hide it anymore.”

Rarity leaned out of Magnamon’s arms to glance at their unwanted pursuer. “What even is that ghastly thing? It’s been following us since we left the Hagurumons’ castle. I can’t imagine he has good intentions for us.”

Before Magnamon could answer, something large and red leaped out of the forest canopy and snapped the Demidevimon out of the sky, like a shark catching a bird. Rarity and Kudamon blinked in surprise.

“What was that?” Rarity asked.

Magnamon halted and turned around just in time to see the blur of red fall back through the foliage below. Magnamon too blinked. “Hold on, we’re gonna go check this out.” He began to descend towards where the red creature exited the forest.

Back on the ground, Guilmon landed on his feet and shook it off as if he hadn’t just been thrown dozens of feet in the air. He spat the Demidevimon onto the ground before turning to Veemon. “That was fun, Veemon! Can we do it again?!”
“Maybe later,” Rainbow interrupted. She turned her gaze towards the dazed Demidevimon laying at their feet. “Right now we’ve more important things to take care of.” Veemon cracked his knuckles as he stepped up next to her.

Candlemon grabbed onto the Demidevimon’s head and winded back his arm as he aimed for the branches of a tree.

“Melt Wax!”

The Demidevimon awoke as he realized he was flying upwards. He screamed, just before colliding his face with the bottom portion of a thick bough. The wax thrown with him from Candlemon’s arm wrapped around the bough as he hit, and as he feel back downwards the wax stretched and slow put end to his fall. Before long, the Demidevimon found himself dangling from the top of the tall tree. The humans and their digimon were now staring at eye-level with him as he hung upside down. “Do your worst. You can’t make me talk!” the Demidevimon protested.

Rainbow smirked as she turned her gaze to Pinkie, “Hey remember that time we had Tirek cornered and Sunset insisted we get the bonus objective by making Tirek help us?”

Pinkie’s smile grew impossibly wide. The three digimon looked to Twilight with question marks over their heads. “It’s from a video game.” Twilight explained.

Pinkie pulled a comically large feather out from the depths of her hair, but before she had the chance to use it, the wind began to pick up as if a helicopter was landing nearby. They all turned to see Magnamon land and lower himself to let Rarity, Fluttershy, a gear with a face and weasel on to the ground. “RARITY! FLUTTERSHY!” Pinkie shouted as he jumped tackled the two to the ground.

“Hey Kudamon, I see you finally decided to leave the Village of Beginnings.” Veemon commented as he spotted the pipe fox, “How’s Tinkermon doing?”

“Just fine, considering you’re not there to ogle her anymore.” The weasel chuckled. “I swear you were the most leacherious baby she ever had to take care of. The only mon who was possibly more a handful than you was-”

“Kudamon!” Guilmon shouted as he rushed over.

“Oh no.” Kudamon muttered as he tried to get away. However the red raptor picked up the pipe fox and hugged him tightly. “I missed you so much.” Guilmon said as if he was reunited with a long lost friend.

“Can’t…. Breath… air… Guilmon!” Kudamon strained as he tapped on Guilmon’s arm as if trying to tap out of wrestling.

“Fascinating, five humo… sorry humans, and they each seemed to have paired with five child stage digimon.” Candlemon mused as he watched the groups introductions play on. He turned towards Twilight. “It's almost as if were seeing the fairytales play out before our very eyes.”

Just then there was a sudden silence following two very distinct groans, one from Veemon, the other from Magnamon as both shared a glance.“Oh great, it’s you.” They said in unison.

Rainbow Dash looked between the two glaring digimon, and cocked a brow in confusion. “Uh… you guys know each other or something?”

“By reputation.” Veemon explained. “I don’t know what it is, but I can tell I don’t like the guy.”

“I knew him in a past life.” Magnamon gave his own explanation. “We used to work together a thousand years ago, and even then he was still the same selfish, self-absorbed, at times lewd, braggart that he clearly is now.”

Rainbow suddenly broke out laughing, having known Veemon the longest. “Damn, do you got this guy pegged!”

Veemon growled. “Shut up!” He shouted. “I’ll show you how great I am, the future is mine, Old Mon!” Veemon challenged the Royal Knight.

“Not this again.” Magnamon groaned. All the while Rainbow was snickering at her partner’s situation.

“Gee Dashie, I kinda thought he was talking about you when he started talking about being self-absorbed and braggy.” Pinkie added.

Rainbow suddenly grew silent as Veemon began to laugh. “Shut up!” She shouted.

Magnamon folded his arms before continuing his story. “His name was Ulforceveedramon, the Herald of Fidelity, and he was one the seven Royal Knights lost in the war with the Seven Great Demon Lords.”

Candlemon narrowed his eyes in confusion. “So you’re saying that our Veemon is the reincarnated child form of a one great Royal Knight? Forgive me for saying so, but that seems highly unlikely. After all, there are far more than just one Veemon living in the Digital World. You yourself are a testament to that.”

Magnamon nodded. “That is true, but I can’t fight this feeling in my gut that whatever is going on in digital world currently has something to do with my fallen brethren. Call it a hunch, but I don’t believe of seven humans falling into our world, five of them would just so happenly come across five digimon within the evolutionary lines of the six dead Royal Knights, with another seemingly having a bond with a Dorumon. The evidence is just to strong to simply write this off as a coincidence.”

“The girls have also helped start our digivolutions too.” Guilmon said, “Pinkie-chan was in danger because of a Shellmon, and I was able to save her by digivolving.”

Pinkie then gave her dinosaur a hug, “You’re such a good boy, Guilly.”

“Kudamon evolved to save me from whatever Devimon became,” Fluttershy pointed out. Kudamon tried to dismiss it but he couldn’t help but blush.

“And Harguramon became a truly noble knight when Snimon was attempting to dispatch of me.” Rarity said as she gave the gear a kiss on his forehead which cause him to blush and twiddle his gear-hands.

Rainbow sighed. “Yeah, even Veemon saved my keister from one pissed off Tortomon.” She began to whisper so only Veemon could hear. “Though it was his fault he was pissed at us in the first place!” Veemon scratched the back of his head in embarrassment.

“But Candlemon was a Wizardmon when we first met.” Twilight made clear.

“Well you’ve always been a bit of a unique case in our friendship, Darling.” Rarity pointed out. She then held her chin in thought. “That would leave Applejack and Sunset, and since Sunset was there when Dorumon hatched, they have likely already formed a bond.”

“Which means Leopardmon’s rookie state has likely been found by your remaining friend.” Magnamon mused out loud, as the six other serendipitous meetings made the pattern unmistakable.

“HEY!” The Demidevimon shouted. “WHAT ABOUT ME?! GET ME DOWN FROM HERE! THE GREAT DEMON LORDS WILL NOT LET THIS STAND!”

“Are all of those wretched things like that?”

“Demidevimons are among the lowest level of demon type digimon. They have to have a big bark in order to survive until they mature into their adult forms.” Candlemon pointed out.

“Hold on, Child, Rookie, Adult, what’s with all these titles? Rainbow asked.

“You see Rookie and Child are alternative titles for the same stage, while Adult and Champion are the alternative titles for the next stage which comes about either by age, experience in battle, and such.” Candlemon started. “Most mons uses the terms Rookie and Champion because of the constant conflicts we digimon engage in to survive after we leave the Village of Beginnings. Child and Adult are more archaic terms.”

“YOU’LL BE AN ARCHAIC TERM SOON, WHEN I MAKE YOU HISTORY!” The Demidevimon continued to shout.

Magnamon sighed. “Cut him down. These digimon are usually sent out as scouts and spies, but given how poor he was at hiding from us, I can only assume he’s neither.” Hagurumon nodded before turning towards the wax.

“Darkness Gear!”

A cog shot from the machine digimon’s mouth slicing through the wax and sending the Demidevimon plummeting to the ground. After picking his face up off the ground he began to shake off the wax. “It’s about time!” He complained. “I swear that stuff was starting to get in my nose. You guys could have had your conversation faster, ya know!”

“Watch it.” Rainbow Dash warned. “I play soccer professionally at my school. I know how to use these feet.”

“And I’ve been practicing my head spike.” Veemon added. The two fist bumped upon realizing they were on the same wavelength.

“Just leave us.” Magnamon demanded. “And if you know the Demon Lords, keep this meeting quite. I doubt they be very pleased in knowing you we’re unable to get any prudent information while following us.”

The Demidevimon scrubbed off the rest of the wax. “Yeah, yeah, whatever… I’m going, okay.”

“Before you do, could you maybe tell us a little something about this?” Candlemon reached into his satchel and pulled out the now wrapped piece of corrupt digimetal. Magnamon’s eyes widened in shock.

“Where did you get that?” He questioned, but was unable to be heard with the Demidevimon shouting over him.

“LIKE I’M TELLING YOU SPIT!” He barked. The Demidevimon began to flap his wings, raising himself into the air. “Besides, I have better places to be...” A small smirk spread across his lips. He suddenly swooped down and grabbed Fluttershy by her wrist. “...AND GIFTS TO DELIVER!”

Before anyone could properly react, the Demidevimon lifted Fluttershy a short distance off the ground and began carrying her into the forest. The shy girl screamed.

“FLUTTERSHY!” Kudamon shouted, before quickly sprinting off after his partner. The others were quick to follow, Rainbow even being kind enough to scoop him off the ground without slowing her speed.

The extra weight and additional struggle to keep aloft did not do any favors for the Demidevimon’s speed. Within seconds the group of humans and digimon were already right on his tail, and would likely face the full brunt of their anger if he didn’t think of something fast. That was when he noticed the steep incline right in front of him.

The Demidevimon smirked. He lifted Fluttershy up higher off the ground over the edge of the incline, then let her go. “Watch yourself, that first step is a doozy!” Fluttershy landed on her feet and began rolling down the steep hill.

The Demidevimon took off into the canopy of the trees as Rainbow Dash stopped at the edge of the incline. Kudamon dove off her shoulder and after his human companion. “Fluttershy!”

Veemon soon appeared at her side. “What’s the call, boss lady?” Rainbow only shook her in response.

“You only live once.” She commented, then jumped and began sliding down the hill.

Veemon smiled like a maniac. “Yggdrasil help me. I think I love that woman.” He dove after his friend.

Pinkie grabbed onto Rarity’s wrist. “Come on Rarity, this looks like fun!”

“Pinkie, wait!” Before she could get out another word in edgewise, Pinkie pulled both of them down, causing both to bounce and collide together in large ball of tangled limbs and messy hair.

“Wait for us, Pinkie-chan!”

“I’m coming Ms. Rarity!” Both digimon leaped over the lip of the incline and crashed in dirt. They both began to roll as gravity pulled them down.

Twilight, Candlemon, and Magnamon stopped at the edge of the incline. “There are too many trees in the way, I won’t make it through.” Magnamon explained. “Follow them, I’ll find another way around.” Twilight and Candlemon nodded before jumping down the incline. Magnamon meanwhile took to the air.

******
It wasn’t long before Liollmon returned with the herbs and Leomon was able to grind them into a fine powder for use on Applejack. The girl he was planning to heal meanwhile was curled up against herself to preserve her modesty because she now was only clothed in her underwear and beloved stetson. Leomon poured some excess water he had leftover from making the stew into the powder, before using a stick to mix it into a form of sticky paste.

He got up from where he was seated and walked over towards Applejack, and motioned for her to move her arms and legs aside. Though hesitant, Applejack complied.

“This salve is made of herbs that I've learned can clear up your skin and remove minor injuries. By applying this, we should learn how battered your body has become. If you feel anything worse than the aching you feel currently after applying this salve, it is likely you are suffering from a possible internal injury, which will require a much more drastic form of healing.”

Leomon’s statement made Applejack feel uneasy. “That’s... good to hear.”

Using two fingers, Leomon scooped a small bit of the paste from the bowl it was being held in and slathered it over the bruises covering Applejack’s body. To her surprise, his touch was actually far more gentle then she was first expecting.

Applejack whistled in amazement. “My word, you could lull lambs to sleep with hands like that.”

Despite aiming the comment towards Leomon, Liollmon was the one who replied. “A warrior’s hands have more purpose then just holding a sword.”

Applejack chuckled. “You come up with that yourself?”

“It was a lesson from father. He worded it differently, but I find it easily to remember in this turn of phrase.” Applejack turned to Leomon as if silently asking for confirmation. An affirming nod was all that she received in reply.

Applejack couldn’t help but start chuckling again, and it wasn’t just because Leomon was starting to tickle her while applying the salve. She found it funny how stoic Leomon was, and how eager Liollmon was to please him. It reminded her of Apple Bloom when she was little, and how she would always attempt to help Big Mac with his chores despite being far to small for his work load. Thinking of that reminded her of herself when she was a youngin’, and eager she was to… help her dad.

It had been years since she last thought about him… no, that wasn’t entirely true. Not a day had gone by where her parents weren’t far from her mind. She loved them both dearly when they were alive. Her father strict but fair when it came to running the farm and dealing out punishment. Her mother the opposite, always kind and loving, and always wanting to hear your side of the story. Granny Smith may have been her legal guardian, and she had done a damn good job raising both her and her two siblings, but it was Applejack’s mom and dad who taught her to be the girl she was today through their sayings and beliefs. Funnily enough, she believed their deaths was what actually cemented their lessons into her mind. In respect to them, she had to… wouldn’t be, anything less than the strong, hardy, family-loving girl they expected to be, and whom she was certain they could be proud of, wherever they may be.

It wasn’t until she instinctively sniffled that Applejack realized her eyes were starting to water. Both Leomon and Liollmon noticed this.

“Are you feeling any additional pain?" Leomon asked. His gruff tone never left his voice, but Applejack could tell he was concerned nevertheless.

Applejack shook her head. “No… No… I was just reminded of someone. That’s all.” She wiped her eyes, earning a sympathetic look from Liollmon as she turned towards her father. He glanced back towards her, and with a wordless stare told her not to pry. Liollmon complied.

Silence filled the area as Leomon applied more of the salve, it wasn’t till a sudden burst of screaming hit all three’s ears that they shot to their feet breaking the silence.

“Fluttershy?” Applejack asked. She rushed over towards her clothes and began rapidly dressing. Leomon and Liollmon were quick to follow when Applejack started running towards the source of the screaming.

“Care to fill us in?” Leomon questioned. “Your behavior suddenly seems much more erratic.”

“I know that voice.” Applejack explained. “It belongs to one of my friends. Her name’s Fluttershy and she’s a timid thing, but she hardly screams at anythin’ unless she’s spooked or in real danger.”

The trio reached a small clearing surrounded where the screams sounded like they were coming from. The three turned towards a raised ledge roughly standing a foot taller than Leomon’s head and was connected to the bottom of a steep incline. Without warning, a yellow-skinned girl with pink hair flew off the ledge and landed upon the unsuspecting cowgirl. Both were promptly then dog-piled on by a menagerie of other colorfully skinned girls as they flew off the ledge behind her.

Liollmon was almost to rush over and help the human she had just met, when a group of five unexpected digimon shot off the cliff as well and landed on her in much the same way. Leomon stood in stoic confusion as he upturned an eyebrow at the strange occurrence.

“Huh.” He stated flatly.

The girls were quick to pick themselves up and almost immediately recognized their dazed friend as they got off the ground. “APPLEJACK!” They all shouted, before pulling her up and forcing her into a bone-crushing group hug.

The digimon meanwhile were picking themselves up as well, but were being nowhere near as affectionate. Some of them were apologizing for landing on Liollmon while others groaning after taking their fall. Veemon was to only one left to get off the ground as he was the first to land on Liollmon, making him and her the bottom of the pile.

He placed his hands on the cub digimon’s shoulders as he lifted himself up, giving the two digimon their first good look at each other. Liollmon was blushing due to the close proximity they were sharing, but Veemon, though embarrassed at first, quickly adapted his trademarked flirtatious expression.

“Hey~” He expressed, his voice growing a pitches lower as if to sound more suave then he actually was. Liollmon was having none of it.

She placed her back legs on Veemon’s stomach and pushed upwards and sent him flying into the air, before coming back down and crashing on his head. Liollmon rolled onto her feet and stuck her nose upwards in a high-and-mighty expression, “Hmmph.” Before sauntering over toward Leomon.

Guilmon was quick to rush over and help Veemon to his feet. “I think she likes you, Big Bro.”
He stated with confidence.

Veemon only grumbled in reply. “Thank’s Guilmon, I never would have figured that out on my own.” Veemon muttered sarcastically. Guilmon had a closed-eye smile and gave himself an applause, Veemon could only shake his head.

Rarity was the last to release Applejack from their group’s embrace. “Applejack, I cannot tell you how relieving it is to have found you. We were all beginning to fear the worst.”

“Tweren’t no issue.” Applejack explained, trying her best to relieve her friends of their worry. “The moment the I landed, these two found me and patched me right up.” She motioned her hand towards the two lions. “This here is Leomon and his daughter Liollmon.”

Veemon and Guilmon lead the digimon over towards the rest of the group. Veemon mumbled under his breath. “She’s that mon’s kid.” He rubbed some sweat off the back of his neck. “Sure dodged a bullet with her not liking me.”

Applejack turned her gaze towards group of digimon who were separating and finding a place right next to each of her friends. “Looks like you girls found some new friends as well. Ah’ve gonna guess you all got some pretty crazy stories to tell.”

“...And them some.” Rainbow Dash replied.

“They’re the Royal Knights, I’m sure of it.” Liollmon strode up next to Applejack before taking a seat. She bowed her head. “Greetings Dynasmon, Craniamon, Gallantmon, Kentaurosmon…” Her brows began to furrow as she glared at Veemon. “...Ulforceveedramon.” She addressed him with disdain like she was speaking to a common delinquent.

However as Veemon dipped his head, Applejack noticed something on Liollmon’s face, a slight smile. Applejack had seen that same smile before on Apple Bloom, Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle’s faces when they got into talks about a boy or two, namely that Rumble kid.

“Okay, now Ah’m really confused.” Applejack stated. “These guys can’t be the Royal Knights you told me about, Liollmon. They look nothin’ like knights, especially ones that could help win a thousand year war.” The few annoyed glares she got from her friends’ digimon made Applejack smile apologetically. “No offence.”

“I can give her the rundown if you think we have the time.” Candlemon asked to Twilight. “I am the one most educated in this field of study after all.” Twilight smiled and gave him a nod.

“Alright. But make it quick.” Candlemon nodded back at her in reply before flying over towards Applejack. He raised his hand to offer her a handshake, which Applejack took without hesitation.

“Greetings Applejack. My name is Candlemon, I am apparently the reincarnated child-form of the great Wyvern of Witchelny, or as you may already know him, the Royal Knight Dynasmon.”

Applejack’s eyes became half-lidded as she fixed the waxy digimon with a contemplative expression. “You like to talk a lot, don’t you?” She asked while placing her hands on her hips.

“It’s getting him to shut up that’s the real trick!” Veemon mocked. A quick slap to the back of his head from Rainbow Dash however shut him up before could start laughing.

To Candlemon’s credit, he was able to ignore Veemon’s jeering and kept his focus on the Applejack the entire time. “Miss, I would like to give a brief history of the Digital World to help get you get up to speed with the rest of our cavalcade. If that would be alright, of course.”

Seeing she had no other alternative, Applejack sat down on the ground and prepared herself for what she assumed would be a “Twilight-Sparkle-Length” lecture. “Lay it on me.”

Candlemon clapped joyously. “Excellent! Then let us begin. It all started more than a thousand years ago, when the Digital World was still very young…”

******
The shriek of a giant bird with body made of black fire cried out towards the shores of File Island as the creature made its final approach. Perched on its head, a digimon with a long black cape like a pair of leathery bat wings stood casually with his hands rested on the butts of his hilted swords. He couldn’t help but laugh at how quickly the trip the been since he left the Realm of Demons. The island and it’s much larger continental neighbor weren’t that far in terms distance, roughly only one or two days travel by boat, and even faster if you could fly. Not that he tended to do his own flying in most cases, he was a cut above the average Demon Man digimon after all.

The bird began to sag in the air as they both grew closer towards beach. It was about to land in the surf, when digimon on its head began to speak. “It’s only fair to warn you, if my feet get even a little bit wet, I will not hesitate to eviscerate you.”

The flaming digimon’s eyes grew wide as it flew away from the water without hesitation. It promptly soared towards the beach and landed on the sand, far away from the receding tide. As it lowered its head the digimon perched there chuckled. “Good Saberdramon, and who says dumb animals can’t be taught.”

He hopped off the Saberdramon’s head and began to search his surroundings. “Now if I was a powerless non-digital, where would I hide?” He turned towards his Saberdramon. “Keep your nose clean, I may need you to sniff them out.” Despite his command, the Saberdramon had no experience sniffing out anything, and assumed its master just wanted to see it stick its nose in the soil to fruitlessly look for smells it didn’t recognize. This gave him reason to mock and punish the bird for its failures, so it greatly hoped they find a clue leading to the humans relatively quickly.

No sooner was its request sent, did its prayers get answered. The two heard a fight coming from the brush nearby. Judging by sounds of sniveling and complaining, the digimon that were speaking were ones the leader had an extensive amount of experience working with. Though simply having to state that fact did not brighten the head digimon’s mood, despite him being of a naturally chipper disposition.

The sword-wielding digimon motion for the Saberdramon to follow as he walked towards the brush. As they got closer they soon were able to make out what was being said between the quarreling digimon.

“I can’t believe you two lost her!” The unmistakable of voice of a Demidevimon shouted. “If you idiots could have just managed to hold on to her until you reached the Realm of Demons, we would have been swimming in anything we wanted!” There was a distinct tone of deep disappointment on his voice. “Money, womon, food, any vice we could have imagined, and you two screwed it up it up!”

“Oh like you can complain!” Another Demidevimon shot back. “We were the ones who were attacked while doing our part. You at least got to run away when the going got tough. We got Beast-King Fisted right in the face!”

“I WAS OUTNUMBERED! MAGNAMON WAS THERE!”

“WE WERE ATTACKED BY A PAIR OF LIONS!”

“AND I DON’T KNOW WHAT WE’RE ALL YELLING ABOUT!” The Demidevimon grew silent as a new voice joined their conversation. They turned to look up at the new digimon and shrunk back upon figuring out who was speaking.

The digimon they saw was tall and dressed in an outfit that resembled a clown from a gypsy festival. He wore a metal mask over his face that connected to a cowl the closed his outfit completely up, hiding away every inch of his body save for his eyes and chin. Two elongated skeletal arms stuck out the shoulder blades of his back, and hoisted the cloth of his cape upwards like a pair of demonic wings, which only scared the Demidevimon further.

“D-De-Demon L-Lord Boltboutamon.” The first Demidevimon shuttered.

“In the code and flouncy outfit...” The Demon Lord replied with a sinister smirk. He drew his sword and pointed it at the Demidevimon. “...But I don’t believe that answers my question.”

******
Magnamon hated File Island, even though he did see it as a necessary evil. The trees, among other things, made it an excellent shelter for young digimon as they journeyed out of the Village of Beginnings. Over time, they would eventually reach their champion forms and make their way towards the mainland to begin new adult lives, but the limited space always made things difficult for some mon like him… in other words, he was just too big to live here.

However, he did sometimes miss the early years in his life when he was there as a fresh digimon. The day he hatch he could never forget, Tickermon’s breasts were so…

“No! I’m not Ulforceveedramon.” He shouted, slapping himself for even thinking such a thing. Though in truth, he knew there was more to it. He was a lot more like Veemon then he would ever want to admit. He was only separated from the rookie-stage of his life by the fact that he came across the Digimetal of Miracles as in-training mon, from then on he was trained by the already existing Knights in the arts of etiquette and chivalry. That being said, he was still a digimon in the Veemon evolutionary line, and as such was still prone to behaviors common of his species. It still confused him to this day why the ancient creators would make such a brash, hard-headed race of creatures, that would more likely headbutt another digimon in greeting rather then just shake their hand. He didn’t hate where he came from, he just hated what they were known for.

However, he always did see something more in Ulforceveedramon. When he first met him he was only a Veemon with same kind of temper, but always had this fire in his stomach that no other digimon in his line could ever meet. At the time, Magnamon even imagined that he could have been the digimon who would replace the late Imperialdramon, the founder of the Royal Knights and ender of the dispute between the Five Sovereigns, the Three Great Celestials, and Shakamon over how King Drasil’s will was to be acted on and understood, among other feats.

But as he watched the Veemon grow up, those dreams were shattered, first when Ulforceveedramon didn’t evolve into a Exveemon, second when he refuse to de-digivolve, and third when he never made an attempt to bond with a Stingmon. But even then Magnamon still saw only potential, even though Ulforceveedramon never tried to reach it. He wasn’t the only one either. Back in the day, Leopardmon used to force Ulforceveedramon into training sessions no matter what he was doing, and often at random times of the day too. It made him chuckle how much of a drill sergeant she used to be, but that thought then made him wonder how much she could have changed over the last millennium.

Magnamon sighed, he couldn’t dwell on it that much longer he had to get through the canopy and double back towards the others. Oh, and lest he forgot he still needed to find Dorumon and Sunset and get them all back to the castle. And on top of that, there was the piece of corrupted courage digimetal that Candlemon still had in his bag. Its presence on caused him to ponder. “How did Black Digitron get on File Island? Let alone inside a deposit of courage digimetal.”

Magnamon searched the canopy from above until he saw an opening in the branches he believed was large enough for him to descend through. He paused upon hearing a couple voices through the vegetation. He slowed his engines to a low hum, allowing himself to keep aloft, but would require no further sudden movement to avoid the reving up the noise in his engines again.

“I swear I just one down a hill and rest of them went after her, that all I know!” It sounded like the Demidevimon he had met early was being interrogated.

“How interesting… you forgot to add the part about directions.” He knew that voice, and if his memory served him correctly, his snowballing situation was going to become much worse.

“I flew south immediately after I dropped her. I promise you, I didn’t turn once.”

Judging by the mirth present in the other digimon’s voice he was happy to receive the news. “Excellent, you boys did a fine job scouting out the humans for us. I will see you get handsomely rewarded for this.”

Demidevimons’ voices grew more hopefully. “Really? W-What do we get?”

“A promotion of course. You three are now officially the new caterers to the Demon Lords’ army, and lucky you I’ve got your first hungry patron right here. Poor Saberdramon has eaten since this morning.”

Magnamon could only imagine the scene that unfolded as the screams of the terrified Demidevimon hit his ears. Within seconds their voices went silent as a sickening crunch of bones and flesh arose from the forest. Magnamon heard all he needed to, and shot off in the direction of where he knew the humans would be.

A thin smirk spread across Boltboutamon’s face. “I hope your tummy’s full now, Saberdramon, because it seems a new player has just joined the game.”

******
“And then during the Battle of Recycle Valley…” Candlemon continued to speak as he drew some more diagrams on the chalkboard Pinkie Pie had provided him. It was then that he heard the one sound he hated more than anything, snores of boredom. He looked away from the chalkboard to see that the only one still awake was Leomon. “Every time I try to teach.” Candlemon grumbles.

“Well, Wizardmon you elected to go this route.” Leomon said as he patted Liollmon, who was fast asleep in his lap. He didn’t pat her hard enough to wake her, but it did cause her to stir slightly. Before Candlemon could ask how Leomon was able to so quickly identify him, the lion digimon beat him to the punch. “You’re the only mon on the island who would use Dynasmon’s title.”

Candlemon sighed, “How do you do it?” He asked.

“Simple, I don’t.” Leomon state bluntly which caused Candlemon to sigh again. Leomon then looked down to Liollmon. “Liollmon seems to remember her last cycle through and she’s the only one I ever tried to teach.” He began to pet her, gaining a low purr from his adopted daughter. “It’s hard to believe all those dreams she had of knighthood are all becoming true. To think, I played surrogate father to a Royal Knight. If I told anyone about this now, they’d probably scoff at me.”

Candlemon chuckled. “Well if it's any consolation, I never once thought I’d ever become a Royal Knight myself, and yet here we both are. What we thought impossible is becoming fact, and all because these humans fell into our lives.”

Leomon turn his disinterested gaze towards the snoozing cowgirl laying next him. A low grumble came out from his throat as he stared at her. He knew the legends well. He knew what powers the humans could give the digimon around him. He couldn’t help but be worried. With ability to digivolve came the possibility of stronger opponents to fight. Liollmon would no doubt be thrust into such situations, especially since she’d be traveling with a assembly of Royal Knights in-training. It made him wonder if she was ready for this? If he had trained her enough to be prepared for this journey? He began to ponder if it wouldn’t be better for him to tag along. After all nothing was stopping him.

He would have continued this thought, but it was then that Magnamon saw it fit to burst from the treetops and land powerfully against soil. Everyone who had been sleeping suddenly jumped up in shock and alarm.

“We need to find Dorumon and Sunset and evacuate the island, NOW!” Magnamon ordered. “Leomon get to the Village of Beginnings, and tell Petermon Magnamon said ‘2319’!”

“Why?” Candlemon asked. “What’s going on Magnamon?” Before he could receive an answer, an explosion erupted some distance away in another part of the forest. The cry of a digimon’s attack boomed from of the sky.

“Meteor Wing!”

More explosions were heard from random areas around the island as giant blazing balls of black fire streaked across the sky like flaming artillery being launched from a catapult. Another digimon could be heard shouting over the barrage of flames as they flew towards the ground.

“OH MAGNAMON! COME OUT AND PLAAAYYYY!”

Magnamon turned his gaze towards the sky and sneered under his helmet. “That maniac is willing to decimate the entire island just to goad me out.” He turned his gaze towards the girls. “He must have realized I was planning to move the girls before he could have a chance of finding them. With my luck, he’s probably planning to ransom the island in order to make me hand them over.”

His eyes turned towards Leomon. “Leomon, forget those orders. Grab everyone here and lead them towards the-”

Another explosion erupted, far closer this time causing several of the girls to scream in fear. Leomon grit his teeth and turned towards the where the explosion collided. “You don’t even need to say it.” Without a second thought, he turned to face the group of humans and their digimon and motioned for them to follow. Magnamon released a sigh of relief as they bolted into the forest. He turned back around to face the sky, and muttered under his breath as he shot into the air. “This is not going to be fun.”

In the sky, Boltboutamon stood atop the head of his fire bird mount with his main set of arms folded. He began to smirk as he saw the glint of golden armor as his enemy rose into the stratosphere to meet him.

“So the literal golden boy finally decides to present himself.” The mad demon gave the knight a mock bow in greeting as he continued his spiel. “Saluti, my garish adversary. It’s been far to long.”

“In my opinion, it’ll never be long enough before meet another Demon Lord wannabe.”

“Now, now, ‘Wrath’ is my vice.” The clown-like digimon mocked, disarming the Knight with a sinister smile.

“You think because you managed to fuse a Myotismon with yourself, that makes you anything like Daemon... the Hellfire of Chaos himself? That’s unsurprisingly presumptuous of you Piedmon.” Magnamon stated calmly, as if he was fully bathed in patience. This caused Boltboutamon to growl at the challenge, and that Magnamon didn’t call him by his appropriate name.

Boltboutamon lift his skeletal arms and leaped off Saberdramons head. He began to float as he drew his swords from their hilts. “Never underestimate me, you golden goon. Others have lost their lives for far less.” His eye shifted down towards the forest, before shooting back up to meet the knight’s. His malicious smile returned before he decided to speak. “You obviously know what I’m after. Why don’t we cut this little charade short, and you hand over the humans. I’ll leave and even take Saberdramon with me. File Island will never have to lay eyes on my flashy self ever again. Well… if and when the Lord of Pride tells me to come back, of course.”

“And that is why you will never exceed Daemon.” Magnamon replied calmly as if he was commenting on the shapes of clouds. “You take orders. Daemon was independent even when he was allied with the other Demon Lords. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I actually prefer fighting him. At least he had backbone. He didn’t need the help of any other digimon to become a threat, he did it all himself.”

Boltboutamon couldn’t tell what irked him more, what Magnamon was saying or the calmness in which he said it. It didn’t matter, Magnamon was going to pay.

Magnamon turned his gaze towards the clown digimon as if noticing he was there for the first time. “What’s the matter? Am I making you mad?”

That was the straw that broke the camel's back. Boltboutamon glared at the Royal Knight with more hatred then Magnamon had ever seen on any other digimon’s face before. “I am going to peel you out of that armor like fish from a sardine can, AND SKEWER YOUR BLOODY CHUCKS ON MY SWORDS LIKE SHISH KEBABS!”

“Good luck with that.” Missiles started to pop out of holes in his armor as if he were battleship getting ready to decimate an enemy vessel.

“Plasma Shoot!”

The barrage of explosives shot in all directions before circling back in on Boltboutamon and Saberdramon. Boltboutamon’s arms dropped to his sides for a second in disbelief before a playful smirk suddenly spread across his face. “Hmm… pretty.”

The missles collided with both digimon, blanketing them in a fog of black smoke and fire. Magnamon relaxed for a second as he eyed the scene. He was certain he had garnered the Demon Lord’s attention, and with luck he would keep it long enough for Leomon to evacuate the humans and young knights at the Village of Beginnings. He broke back into a battle ready stance when he thought he saw something move within the cloud of black ash.

Surprisingly, something shot out of the bottom of the cloud and flew towards the forest below. Saberdramon released a monsterous cry as it dived towards the canopy. There was no doubt in Magnamon’s mind that Boltboutamon sent him to retrieve the humans. Despite knowing there was a much stronger opponent hiding somewhere nearby, Magnamon could help but dive at the giant bird.

“Your not getting away!” He shouted, before feeling a long serpentine-like tail with sickle blade at its tip wrapping around his neck. Two feet collided with his back, sending the Royal Knight careening through the sky as the tail holding him in place released its grasp. Magnamon righted himself, before turning to look back into the sky to see Boltboutamon flying above him.

“You’re focusing on the wrong bird you know?!” The Demon Lord raised his arm and turn his blade horizontal as his middle finger suddenly shot up. “You’re flocked now, golden boy! "Welcome to Hell!”

Magnamon glowered. “You know nothing of Hell.”

******
Leomon lead the others as they all charged through the forest towards Village of Beginnings. He turned his head to look over his shoulder to make sure everyone was still together before turning back to face the path ahead. “Once we reach the Village of Beginnings, everyone will need to do their part to make sure the infant digimon get off the island safely! They may cry, they may scream, they may attack you, but do not let that hinder your efforts to get them all off the island! At this point their comfort doesn’t matter, all that is important is evacuating all innocents immediately! Is that understood?!”

“WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!” Rainbow Dash shouted. “Why are we all running?!”

Before Leomon could give an answer a giant, black firebird crashed down in front of them and cried into the sky.

“Ah think that answers yer question, Dash.” Applejack trembled as the Saberdramon glared down at them. Leomon stepped out in front of the group and brandished his sword.

“Everyone behind me. Now!”

Saberdramon lashed forwarded trying to snap Leomon up in its powerful jaws, only for the lion digimon to knock its head back by parrying his sword against firebird’s tooth. It screeched and dove in for another attack, but was faced with the same result as Leomon effortlessly knocked it back again.

“Do any of you know how to get to the Village of Beginnings?” Leomon barked as he stood his ground against the attacking bird.

“Fluttershy and Kudamon do. They told us they came from the part of the island.” Hagurumon replied.

“Then they’ll lead the way, I’ll keep Saberdramon occupied while you all run for safety.”

“I’m not leaving you to fight alone!” Liollmon protested.

Saberdramon lunged forward and bit down on the blade of Leomon’s sword. He began to push the lion digimon, only for Leomon to push back with equal force leaving them at a stalemate.

“I can handle this!” He grunted in exertion. “Right now the humans need your help far more than I do! Protect them as would a Knight for their kingdom, I promise we’ll see each other soon.”

Father…” Liollmon whispered.

Saberdramon’s eyes shifted upon hearing the cub’s admittance. Without a second thought it shifted its neck and tossed Leomon to the side, before shooting its sharp talons at Liollmon.

“Black Saber!”

“Liollmon!” Applejack shouted. Leomon had already made it back to his feet. In a move almost too quick for the eye, he appeared in front of his daughter and swung his sword deflecting the blow.

“No!” He shouted, only to start screaming in pain as Saberdramon’s head sudden shot outwards and wrapped its jaws around Leomon’s torso.

Liollmon’s eyes widened. “FATHER!” The firebird began to rise into the air carrying it’s captured prey, extremely pleased with itself that its ruse worked out so perfectly. Liollmon wasn’t about to let the beast get away however, and bolted towards Saberdramon’s leg before it had completely left the ground. She latched onto its scaley shin just as Saberdramon left the ground, Applejack gasped as she started to climb up the bird.

“Liollmon! Come back!” Applejack charged the bird and did much the same as the lion cub currently clinging to the giant bird. Her shouted her name and tried to follow, but Saberdramon had already flow to high for them to reach and was already starting to leave the canopy. Once the giant bird had broken through the foliage and left the groups area of vision, everyone began to worry.

“We’ll never be able to see happening to them from here.” Rarity commented. Kudamon then suddenly spoke up.

“The Village of Beginnings isn’t far from here and it’s mostly open fields. We should be able to see what’s going on from there.” The others nodded, accepting that at the plan before all racing towards the Village with Fluttershy and Kudamon in the lead.

******
Saberdramon shot high into the air as Leomon struggled to break free from its jaws. His arms were pinned, and the its maw proved to be long enough that kicking the beast would not be an option. He refrained from turning his head. He had seen Liollmon and Applejack jump onto Saberdramon’s legs as it was taking off, was thankful to find that bird hadn’t noticed them yet.

He was sure they were climbing upwards in an attempt to rescue him, but he dare give them the satisfaction of acknowledging their efforts for fear Saberdramon would see them and begin trying to throw them off. His only hope now was to wait and believe his daughter could manage the rescue attempt without his assistance. He felt himself grow calmer, but continued to struggle to keep up appearances. He knew Liollmon could manage this. She had allows shown potential, promise, and determination to achieve her goals. He knew she loved him dearly, and that nothing would get in her way should she ever needed to save him. Leomon couldn’t help but feel a warm sense of pride welling in his chest. Suddenly all those worries he was having in the past were starting to leave him. They didn’t seem as world-ending as the once were.

Below, Liollmon was climbing up Saberdramon’s leg like exhaustion and overexertion weren’t words in her vocabulary. The stratosphere's high winds were pushing at her, but she refused to be blown off. She had a mission to complete, a digimon to save… the most important digimon in her life right now. Assuming that…

Her eyes immediately shot open when she realized Applejack was desperately clinging to Saberdramon’s opposite leg. “What are you doing up here?!” Liollmon questioned. She wanted to shout at the foolhardy human, but at the same time didn’t want to goad Saberdramon’s attention.

“Ah’m not lettin’ you fight this blazin’ turkey alone!” She quietly shouted back. “This thin’ nearly squashed you back on the ground. You stand even less of a chance up here in its element.”

Liollmon felt her brows furrow at the very idea of being challenge. “Saberdramon is holding my father captive. He is my family. My responsibility! MY DIGIMON TO FIGHT FOR! Following me into battle isn’t only foolish, it is an insult to my pride that you think I couldn’t save the most important mon in the world to me!”

Applejack’s brows suddenly began to furrow. Liollmon’s expression began softened. “Don’t you dare start talkin’ about bein’ stubborn and frame it like a badge of pride!” Applejack shouted back. “Ah am stubborn. Ah often go off on my own because Ah don’t think anyone is better suited for a job than me, and more often than not, Ah regret it. You may talk all high-and-mighty, but we both know you’re just chargin’ at a ragin’ bull to prove you’re not scared.” Liollmon blinked in surprise, she somehow got that analogy. “You go up there alone, you’re goin’ to die. Let me have your back, so we can at least have twice the chance of gettin’ back to the ground safely again.”

Liollmon’s ears laid flat on her head as she contemplated Applejack’s words. She couldn’t tell why but tears were starting to form in the corners of her eyes. “Why are you helping me?”

“Because I know what it’s like to lose someone important too.” Applejack replied. Liollmon looked at her utterly dumbfounded. “Mah pa died in a farming accident when Ah was little, there was nothing Ah could do. But this time there is something Ah can do.” Applejack tapped on her gem and with all her might tried to twist the bird’s leg so that it would break, forcing it to let go of Leomon and fall. But it did nothing. “What?!” She shouted in surprise, causing the giant black bird to stop and look down at its legs. “Well buck my apple tree.” Applejack groaned as she saw that the jig was up.

The bird digimon tried to shake Applejack off, failing to see Liollmon was on the other talon. Liollmon’s eyes froze, her mind then started to turn several miles a minute. She pictured several scenarios, none would have save both Applejack and her father. If only she was… Suddenly she felt something like a tingle in her spine, but it didn’t originate in her. No, the feeling wasn’t coming from her body, it was coming from Applejack as the farm girl refused to let go. Suddenly the tingle felt like the unlocking of a door. She was…

“Liollmon digivolve to…”

The area was soon filled with light, causing Saberdramon to turn its head to avoid the glare.

“Liamon!”

Liollmon was now about the size of a tiger, the tuff on her head became a mane, and she had grown a second tail.

“THUNDER OF THE KING!”

Liamon roared as her mane began to glow, an arc of electricity then shooting outwards from her hair, shocking the bird. Saberdramon screamed in pain and opened its mouth, releasing Leomon from its hold before finally kicking off Applejack before the electricity could reach her.

Leomon dove for the farm girl upon feeling the open air, and upon catching, bound her tightly to his chest as they both fell into the foliage below. Once she saw that her father and friend had landed safely in the treetops, Liamon reached out and flexed her claws.

“CRITICAL STRIKE!”

She roarded and slit the underbelly of the giant bird open. Saberdramon’s screams grew silent as it eyes rolled back into it head. Both digimon began to fall as Saberdramon dissolved into data. Liamon leaped onto the canopy, and watched as the firebird came crashing to the ground.

Liamon snarled. The battle was over, but she still felt tense thanks to the adrenaline pumping through her veins. This was her first taste actual battle since her last cycle as Leopardmon. She could tell she didn’t enjoy it. It made her feel anxious and paranoid, but she assumed it would get easier the more she became accustomed to it.

She jumped a little bit upon feeling a hand slap down on her shoulder. Liamon turned to see Leomon standing beside her. Liamon’s eyes started to water as she saw all the open wounds now on his body. If he was feeling them he chose not to show it, but despite the intense pain he might have been feeling, she saw something on his face she never expected, a full and honest, unmistakable smile. No words were spoken, she knew what that smile meant. Her father couldn’t not have been prouder of her in this moment. She never wanted to see that smile go away, and was intent on seeing it grow wider if it were even possible.

“I now know what you have to do, and you are ready, Liamon.” Leomon stated. “You will make a truly righteous knight someday, and an even better warrior.”

Liamon couldn’t hold in her emotions any longer and tackled her father like a partially tamed lion would it’s trainer. Tears welled from her eyes as she nuzzled him. “I love you daddy.”

“I can’t recall the last time you called me that.” Leomon chuckled as he returned the embrace. The two soon parted and returned to their feet, before turning back towards Applejack. Liamon smiled wide and run towards the cowgirl, nuzzling her upon reaching her much like her father.

“Thank you.” She expressed. “None of this would have been possible if you hadn’t come to our aid.”

Applejack returned the embrace. “You don’t need to take things on alone. Remember that. Ah’ll be there for you and Ah’m certain the others will be too. That’s what friends are for.”

Leomon shook his head in amusement. “Truer words could not be said. Now come along the others are no doubt wait for us. Hopefully with Magnamon amongst their numbers.”

The other two nodded as Applejack climbed onto Liamon’s back. The two lions and human girl then broke through the branches of the canopy and charged for the Village of Beginnings.

The Leader

View Online

Magnamon felt the air rush past him as Boltboutamon delivered another kick to his chest. He had to give the wannabe demon lord credit, he was a lot faster than his predecessor. But that was about it. Every attack the Royal Knight tried to deliver, Boltboutamon seemed to avoid without falter, and every attack the Demon Lord managed to land on Magnamon either bounced off the plating of his armor or produced minor injury on the open areas of his skin.

It was becoming abundantly clear that despite the bravado he had shown before the fight, Boltboutamon was far too evenly matched with Magnamon's own capabilities for either of them to make any sort of decisive headway in their battle. At best, his greatest chance at obtaining victory would be to hope the Demon Lord grew tired far before he did. But considering Boltboutamon’s naturally energetic and clownish demeanor, coupled with the now rampant blood loss the knight was currently facing, that outcome seemed largely unlikely.

Magnamon raised his arm as another glowing orb of plasma appeared in his palm.

“Plasma Shoot!”

Magnamon’s arm fell and his breathing grew heavy as the orb flew at Boltboutamon. The clown vanished and reappeared again behind the orb with yet another mocking noise. “Woop!”

Magnamon’s face was now mere inches away from Boltboutamon’s own. The close proximity between the two was something Magnamon was not about to allow. He raised his fist and swung it at the clown.

“Magnum Punch!”

Boltboutamon disappeared before the the blow could connect.

“Yoo-hoo!~” The Demon Lord’s voice called out from behind the Royal Knight. Magnamon turned, intent on delivering a spin kick right into the side of Boltboutamon’s stomach.

“Magnum Kick!”

The clown was already gone before Magnamon could completely turn around. The knight was shocked, and before he could even consider his next move, one of Boltboutamon’s skeletal fist collided with the back of Magnamon’s skull. “Bolt Punch! The Demon Lord shouted. Magnamon turned after clearing his head from that last punch, only to be met with Boltboutamon’s heel colliding with the top of his head, sending flying downwards. “Bout Kick!” Boltboutamon continued to shout. “See, I can put my name into my attacks too! You aren’t so special!”

Magnamon activated his engines and halted himself in the air before he could break through the forest canopy. He turned his gaze upwards and glared at his opponent, only to immediately turn it seconds later, when a large crash resounded from a different part of the forest.

The knight began to hear Boltboutamon laughing.

“That's what the Royal Rompicoglionis get for sending the runt.” The demon clown mocked. Magnamon was about to leave to check out the noise, but was stabbed in his back before he could make it too far. “Fight’s still going on here.” Magnamon turned as the Demon Lord chuckled again. He was surprised to see Boltboutamon was still the same distance away and was still holding his swords. “They should have sent Omnimon. Unlike the rest of you, he can actually multitask. There's a reason Alphamon considered him his Omega and acting successor.” He turned his gaze towards Magnamon and gave him a maniacal grin. “But returning to the here and now...”

“Palazzi Valzer!”

Six glowing sabers made of strange blue energy appeared around Boltboutamon’s body like planets orbiting the sun. They all turned to point at Magnamon as Boltboutamon aimed his own swords. “...shall we continue?~”

******
Sunset groaned as she began to move. The last thing she recalled was telling Flash to let her and Dorumon go before they were sucked into the same vortex as the rest of their friends. She sat up and began to massage her head, but as she placed her other hand down to support her weight she felt something underneath it like the crunch of snow.

She lifted her hand in confusion... it was snow, but she didn't feel cold? This was odd, and it wasn't just because there was a purple furred behemoth laying next to her. She turned to address him. “Dorumon?” She asked. The purple-haired dinosaur began to stir.

“Ouch.” He groaned. His voice had grown much deeper, sounding as comparable to his old voice as a dancer’s did to a gruff action star’s. Dorumon slowly came to and looked around until he saw a reflection of himself in some nearby ice. “Well I’ll be damned… I am a Dorugamon now. I must have evolved in the fall.” Dorugamon remarked.

“And you have wings, you're just full of surprises. So any ideas where we are?”

“Normally, digimon would respawn at The Village of Beginnings. All the data that came from the human world to make up our world arrives there first.” Dorugamon stood up to his full height, to Sunset he looked to be as big as that giant dinosaur skeleton in the Canterlot museum. In the distance he could see a pleasant green pasture near the sea. “We're on File Island on top of Mt. Byte. The mountain next to us is Mt. Infinity. We’ll want to go down hill, but first we'll need to reorient ourselves. Since File Island is located on the Equator we just need to figure out which way is West and which is East. The Village of Beginnings is along the western part of the island and is the farthest part from the mainland. We find West we find the village.”

Sunset blinked and stared at Dorugamon in confusion. “Why do you sound like you’re narrating a video game walkthrough?”

Dorugamon paused for a second. “I am unfamiliar with that term. But it would seem we have a few minor objectives to complete before reaching our main goal. I will take the lead.”

Sunset was growing concerned. “You really must have hit your head after we went through the portal. Come here, I want to take a look make sure you’re not hurt.”

Without another word, Dorugamon complied and wandered over to her before laying down in the snow. The way he followed her request reminded Sunset of how dogs would lazily follow commands. Sunset couldn’t help but imagine Dorugamon as a giant lumbering saint bernard giving his increase in size, and she found herself unable to hold back a chuckle. She got onto her knees and began running her hands through his thick fur. His body was warm, which was pleasing, but more importantly she couldn’t feel any wounds or bleeding cuts under his coat. She sighed in relief. “You’re all good. Now let's get back to figuring out how to get down from this mountain top.”

“Understood.” Dorugamon replied. He turned his muzzle to speak with her only to accidentally bump it against Sunset’s geode. Her eyes grew wide as the telltale signs of her powers kicked in.

In less then a second, she found her in a new location, a grassy plain being overlooked by a medieval castle. Unlike how her powers usually worked, she was not looking at a scene that had already played out in the past, but instead was looking through the eyes of another being entirely. She was being pinned down, a digimon with a giant claw and a blazing crimson eye was bearing down on her with what looked like a purple dagger in his opposite hand. She couldn’t make out the digimon's specific details, the being’s vision was blurry, possibly from being dazed. She however did hear cries coming from the distance. She assumed they were pointed at her.

Alphamon!”

Was that this digimon’s name? She didn’t get a chance to reply, as the digimon above her suddenly stabbed her in the chest with the glowing dagger. She screamed and instinctively closed her eyes. When she reopened them, she found herself back on the mountain top, seemingly having been pushed away by Dorugamon after using her powers. His hair was standing on end and he looked about ready to tear anything in half that looked so much as glanced at. It soon dawned on her that he must of seen what she had seen, and it was having a more prominent effect on his emotions then it did her own.

“Take it easy big guy.” Sunset softly whispered as she kept her hands out and arms wide open. She had to make herself look non threatening, or risk becoming the subject of Dorugamon’s ire.

Doragumon roared like an animal that had just been shot. He tried to reach for his head with arms in an attempt to alleviate his headache. He suddenly buried his face in the snow, and after almost a minute reemerged with a slightly calmer attitude. “That was my last life. I am Alphamon.”

“You were about to stab someone?” Sunset asked.

Dorugamon gave a low growl. “Yes, but I wasn't the one holding the dagger you saw.” Dorugamon walked past Sunset before stopping at the edge of the mountain’s peak. “Come now, we have places to be.”

“I won’t argue with ya there.” She walked toward edge as well, but unlike her digimon who carried a determined look, she felt more apprehensive upon seeing the steep stone wall heading down the mountain’s peak. “But how are we supposed to get down from here.”

“I do believe I grew these for a reason.” Dorugamon flexed his new wings as if presenting them like trophies. Sunset grew fearful. “You do remember how to use those things right?” Dorugamon laid down in the snow inviting Sunset to climb onto his back. He didn't reply to her question until she was comfortably seated on the back of his neck.

“I remember you using a rather fitting statement to describe a situation like this when you were playing your video game back in the human world.” He stood up and backed away from the edge.

“...And what would that be?” Sunset asked neverously.

“Leap of Faith.” He charged forward before Sunset could begin shouting at him, and leaped off the edge of mountain, diving face first for the forested floor below. Before Sunset could scream, Dorugamon started to beat his wings and took to the air. “Up and down. The trick is getting them to beat simultaneously, and with that you have the flight achievement.” Dorugamon stated. “Now we just need to follow the ridgeline down hill and the sun as it heads west.”

Sunset fear slowly turned to adrenaline-fueled elation once she realized Dorugamon was in control. She grasped onto his fur for security, but still couldn’t resist the urge to thrust her fist in the air and scream into the sky. “WOOHOO!” She was beginning to feel the cold as the air brushed by her, but she didn’t care, she was enjoying the feeling of the wind blowing through her hair too much.

“I somehow knew you’d love this!” Dorugamon proclaimed. He began to spiral around the mountain, adding more velocity to their decent, before shooting out over the forest like a airplane leveling out.

“This feels amazing!” Sunset shouted.

“The data making up your body must have finished configuring!” Dorugamon replied. “Everything here should now feel as real as anything in the human world!”

“I was wondering why I wasn’t freezing over up there!” She saw the green pasture Dorugamon spotted earlier coming up quickly. “Is that where we’re heading?!”

“Yes! The Village of Beginnings, the starting place of everything in the Digital World!” Dorugamon cocked a brow in confusion upon seeing a large group of digimon gathering in the center of the pasture. “There seems to be a commotion going on down there.”

Sunset looked down as well, noticing the unmistakable skin-colors of her friends. Several digimon were standing among their group. “Dorugamon, those are my friends! We need to get down there!”

“Twilight and the others?!” Dorugamon questioned. “I’ll begin descent immediately! Hold on tight, we’re going in!” Dorugamon dove towards the ground, releasing a roar that no doubt all the creatures on the ground would hear. After making the noise, he silently hoped the humans and digimon took it as a sign of greeting rather than a promise of attack.

******
A short while earlier, Applejack, Liamon, and Leomon broke through the treeline bordering the forest in order to catch up with their friends. “How far are we from the Village?” Applejack asked.

“Not that far.” Leomon said. “Only a few more meters.” After a few more seconds they arrived in a pasture. “Behold the Village of Beginnings.” Leomon informed before they started to hear the cries of various babies and the tongue lashing of one ticked off Tinkermon.

“You Humons are all alike, you come bulldozing into whatever place you like and demand mons to obey your every command!” Tickermon berated.

“Now, Tink...” Petermon started.

“I don’t care what Magnamon said, the Royal Knights haven’t done anything for File Island and especially not the Village of Beginnings. Nothing except increasing the current number of babies restarting their lives here and keeping that number high!”

“...And Leomon was worried about the babies?” Veemon commented.

“And don’t get me started with you, you… PERVERT!!!” Tinkermon then slapped Veemon. “You Veemons are all the same, be you Chichomons, DemiVeemons, ExVeemons, pr whatever else! All of you are always staring at my bosom, trying to take a peek down my shirt or up my skirt, even sometimes trying to cop a feel, and you were always the worst of the lot.”

“Hey now, leave Big Bro alone!” Guilmon protested as he tried to come to Veemon’s aid.

“Shall I list off your cooking disasters, Guilmon!” Tinkermon turned her ire to the red raptor. Guilmon dipped his head and tried to hide behind Veemon.

“FIST OF THE BEAST KING!”

Leomon roared as he sent his attack into the air scaring Tinkermon silent. “We don’t have time for this, Tinkermon. If Magnamon’s fears are well-founded, we need to get the babies and ourselves off the island as soon as possible. If he happens to be wrong, it’s still better to be safe than sorry.”

Petermon folded his arms and turned his gaze toward the ground. “Sorry Tinkermon. But if even Leomon is worried about our safety, I think whatever’s going on is a major reason for concern. I’m going to find the captain, and start loading up the boat. Feel free to do what you want, but I’m not taking any chances.” Petermon flew into the air took off towards the shore, leaving Tinkermon to float by herself in a state of utter disbelief.

“Petermon wait! GRRRR!!! Fine! We’ll do as you say for now. But if I find out this is some sort of prank… I don’t care how old any of you have gotten, I’m putting all of you over my knee!” She launched into the air and shot after Petermon. A familiar red hue followed her as she bolted away.

Veemon scratched the back of his head and Pinkie gave Guilmon a hug to make him feel better after his scolding. As they watched her fly away, Veemon couldn’t help but comment. “It’s never occurred to me before now, but we had one badass nanny back in the day, didn’t we?” All the girl’s partner digimon nodded in agreement.

Pinkie Pie suddenly noticed that Applejack was dismounting Liamon. “APPLEJACK!” She rushed over towards her friend and pulled her into a tight hug the moment she touched the ground. “I’m happy that giant bird didn’t eat you! Who’s your friend?”

“I am Liamon, the champion state of Liollmon. As for the black buzzard, that Saberdramon didn't get the chance after I split it in twine.” Liamon declared.

“War stories later, we got these babies to take care of.” Rainbow cut the lion off before she went to a crib. She then turned back, “What do I do?” She asked.

Rarity and Applejack groaned, “Honestly Rainbow, step aside and let the professionals take care of this.” Rarity stepped over towards the crib Rainbow was looking into, and almost immediately felt all the confidence she was carrying leave her upon seeing its occupant.

Inside the crib was a pale green digimon with black doll-like eyes and a yellow pacifier in its mouth. Its body looked like it had the viscosity of mucus and bubbles were appearing and popping all across its form like a giant glob of melted cheese. Rarity didn’t want to say anything rude about the creature, but she could not bring herself to pick it up or even look at it without feeling a knot form in the pit of her stomach.

Hagurumon appeared at her side and looked into the crib as well. His expression was far more gleeful at sight of the infant however. “Why, Miss Rarity, you found a Pabumon. Oh I haven’t seen one of these mons since I was an infant.” He lowered one of his gear and began to massage the Pabumon’s head. It began to coo in appreciation. “Hello little one. My name’s Hagurumon. It’s very nice to meet you.”

Just then they all heard a roar that sounded like it could fill the skies. They all turned to see a purple-furred, allosaurus-sized creature that looked like a larger winged version of a Dorumon, and on its back a human girl was riding it.

Of all the digimon present, Liamon was the quickest to recognize their once glorious comrade, and was even quicker to greet him. “Hail Alphamon!” She proclaimed. “So time has turned back on you as well, it would seem?”

Dorugamon lowered himself to the ground, allowing Sunset to dismount and be glomped by her gaggle of worried friends. While that was going on, he decided to greet the other digimon, starting with lion who had asked him a question. “You’ll be happy to know that I am who you think I am. However, I am sorry to tell you, I do not recognize any of you.”

“Well that isn’t too terribly uncommon.” Dorugamon turned his gaze to see Candlemon floating towards him. “Most digimon who go through regeneration don’t tend to have memories of their past lives. Liamon here being a rather rare example the opposite, of course.”

Dorugamon turned gaze towards the other digimon surrounding him. “Who are you digimon?”

“We’re like you, Royal Knights.” Liamon replied. “Leopardmon, Dynasmon, Kentaurosmon, Craniamon, Gallantmon, and UlforceVeedramon.” As she raffled off their names, she motioned her claws towards each digimon each knights’ name pertained to. She repeated the motion as she told him their current names. “But as the situation is currently, you may call us Candlemon, Kudamon, Hagurumon, Guilmon, and Veemon. Once I revert back to my rookie stage, you may also begin calling me Liollmon.”

Dorugamon scratched his head in confusion. “I don’t think my memory is in at all go enough condition to remember all that. But I’ll try. Let’s see… Veemon, the rookie state of UlforceVeedramon, the Herald of Fidelity; Guilmon, the rookie state of Gallantmon, the Lancer of Gaiety; Hagurumon, the rookie state of Craniamon, the Shield of Munificence; Kudamon, the rookie state of Kentaurosmon, the Bowmon of Benevolence; Candlemon, the rookie state of Dynasmon, the Wyvern of Witchelny; and Liollmon, currently Liamon, the champion state of Leopardmon, the Strategist of Truth.”

The digimon cocked a brow at how completely Dorugamon was able to recall who they were, despite claiming to be an amnesiac. “Uh… thanks for the rundown, big guy. You sure you don’t remember anything?” Veemon asked.

“It’s just the way I speak.” Dorugamon stated in embarrassment. “Sunset says I explain things like a digimon who walks others through video games.”

“Ah, you tend to over explain things, hmm?” Candlemon gave an understanding smile. “Don’t worry about it, I am actually very much the same.”

Veemon leaned closer to Guilmon and whispered so he could only hear. “Greaat… now we got two intellectuals in the team. I swear it’s going to be nonstop nerd chatter from here on out.”

Guilmon scratched at the top his head. “But I don’t speak nerd, Veemon.” Veemon sighed in annoyance.

Before anymore conversations could occur, another explosion was heard in the sky some distance away from the Village. As if on instinct, Dorugamon began to grow tense. “What was that?”

“Magnamon is in the middle of a battle with a powerful digimon.” Dorugamon looked upwards to see Kudamon had somehow climbed up onto the top of his head without him noticing. “He wanted us to evacuate the Village of Beginnings while he kept it distracted. But judging by the sounds of it, he isn’t making any headway into turning the battle in his favor.”

Dorugamon glared in the direction of the sounds. “A fellow knight, I recognize the name. He needs our help!”

“Woah, woah, who died and made you leader?” Veemon argued.

“If my fragmented memory is something I can go by, me, technically speaking.” Dorugamon answered.

Veemon facepalmed. “Listen, I like a good scrap as much as the next digital monster, but when Magnamon came crashing down to warn us, he was sounding pretty freaked out. Whoever Magnamon is fighting out there is clearly no joke.”

“At best, you and I would mostly likely stand the greatest chance of surviving the fight at Magnamon’s side. But with us only being champions, that’s greatly debatable.” Liamon explained. “We’d need a much greater number of warriors to insure victory. But as of right now, none of us know how to incite our digivolutions without the help of our human companions.”

Dorugamon’s brows furrowed. “Then I won’t ask to do anymore than you already have. But I can’t just stand by and let another creature fight a losing battle. I’m going.” He stated matter-of-factly. “Tell Sunset I will be back as soon as this threat is taken care of.”

Before they could voice anymore of their concerns, Dorugamon broke off into the forest leaving the other digimon watch in his wake as vanished into the trees. They saw Kudamon running towards them after he jumped off Dorugamon’s head. “This isn’t a wise decision.” He stated as he skidded to a halt in front of them. “We need to tell the girls, before Dorugamon does something he might regret.”

Back among the girls, Sunset had just finished hearing her friends tales of adventure while she had been asleep. “Looks like I am not the only one to have made a new friend, am I girls?” Sunset joked.

“Well if we don’t do something soon, you’re going to find our party one friend shorter.” The girls turned to see their digimon rushing towards them, Dorugamon not among their numbers. Kudamon continued to rush forward when the rest of his group had stopped, scrambling up Fluttershy’s leg before reaching her shoulder so he could speak at eye level with the rest of the teens. “Dorugamon has entered the forest, and is currently in search of Magnamon.”

“WHAT!” The girls shouted, of them only Sunset was the only one confused.

“What’s the matter? Why do you all sound so scared?” A familiar feeling of dread was welling in Sunset’s stomach like during the drive they took when Devimon had kidnapped Dorumon and Pinkie.

“Magnamon ordered us to run here immediately and start evacuating the children here while he dealt with some new digimon in the sky.” Twilight explained. “He never gave us a full explanation why, but judging by how anxious he was when he found us, the creature he’s fighting must be extremely powerful.”

Kudamon shook his head. “There is a fine line between bravery and stupidity.” Kudamon quoted. “And I fear if Magnamon is afraid of this digimon, then Dorugamon is worryingly close to crossing it.”

After hearing all this, there was no doubt in Sunset’s mind what she needed to do. “I’m going after.”

“No way!” Rainbow rushed in front of her with her stretched out wide. “You stand even less of a chance out there if this guy is even half as bad as everyone says.” As if following her example, Veemon rushed to Rainbow’s side and copied her blocking stance.

“I can help him digivolve!” Sunset deduced. “You saw what happened with Devimon. If I’m in danger, it will likely help Dorumon digivolve farther and-”

“That isn’t wise.” Kudamon objected. Fluttershy nodded.

“You rushing in there alone only increased the chances of you getting…” The timid girl found herself unable to say the word. “...you know. That wouldn’t help Dorumon in the slightest.”

Applejack clenched her fist and began to growl. She kicked a loose rock on the grown in rage. “This is bullhockey! If we just knew how this damned digivolvin’ thin’ worked, we could be doin’ somethin’! Instead of just standin’ around worryin’ our asses off!” Liamon walked over and began to nuzzle her side in an attempt to calm her down. It seemed to work as Applejack began to scratch her head.

Sunset began to rack her brain for any form of solution they could use for this problem. When she found nothing, her eyes fell downwards where she noticed her necklace hanging loosely around her neck. An idea suddenly sparked inside her brain.

“But maybe we do know...” Sunset muttered. The others turned their gazes towards her curiously. She turned to them. “Did any of you try using your powers when those other digimon were trying to attack you?”

The girls looked to each other before turning back, all nodding. “Trying activating your powers again.”

Pinkie lifted her hand and placed it on her geode. “You mean like this?” She grasped it, and suddenly a bright flash of pink light was shining from between her fingers. All of sudden, Guilmon began to glow brightly as he was enveloped in white light. The girls all stepped back in surprise upon seeing the once human-sized dinosaur replaced by a much larger version of himself with white mohawk.

Guilmon looked around in confusion, utterly perplexed by his new change in height and perspective. He saw smoke billowing from a tree in the distance. “Hey, I can see Candlemon’s house from here!”

Sunset blinked in bewilderment. “I didn’t honestly think that would work.”

“Well it’s a damn good thing it did!” Rainbow Dash proclaimed. “Because I’m sick of just sitting around too.” She grasped her necklace, and suddenly Veedramon was standing at her side.

“Yeah! Who’s the big mon on the island, now!” Veedramon was about to laugh until he took another look at Growlmon and noticed that his little bro was still much larger than him. “Oh come on!”

Rarity, Fluttershy and Twilight smiled and began doing the same, turning Candlemon back into Wizardmon, Hagurumon into Guardromon, and Kudamon into Reppamon.

“Well that was unexpected... but very advantageous for us.” Wizardmon stated with a twirl of his staff.

Applejack mounted Liamon. “Come on, girls, we gotta stop Dorumon from gettin’ himself killed.”

“Sorry Father, but our friend requires our assistance. We’re leaving you in charge of the children while we’re away. I’m certain you can handle it, good bye.” Liamon shouted at Leomon as she ran in the direction Dorugamon had gone. The girls and other digimon followed close behind, with Growlmon acting as the mount for most of the human party.

Leomon was about to shout back in protest, but then he heard one of the babies starting to cry. He sighed, “I thought I got away from this when Liollmon first started digivolving.” He grumbled, complaining to no one. He did his best to put on a cheerful smile. “Who wants to hear the story of The Ten Elemental Warriors?” He asked.

******
Dorugamon probably should have flown, but right now all he could focus on was rushing to Magnamon’s aid. He had to help him, it felt like an instinct in his code, and maybe if he did, he’d get some more of his memories back. He had to know or rather remember who he was... Who he is? He just had to! If he didn’t remember himself, it would be just as likely that he wouldn’t recognize someone or something else important, and that just could not happen. Magnamon was the only clue to his past that he knew he had, losing him meant… Dorugamon didn’t want to think about it.

Unfortunately, not thinking lead to not observing, which caused the large digimon to trip over a log sticking out across his path. He fell with a crash, bounced with a thud, and finally landed with a thump.

“If you go the forest route, you might to keep your focus on what's around you.” He grumbled as he went about picking himself up.

Once he righted himself he looked around, “Also maybe get more specific directions.” He added. Just then he looked behind him and spotted a Growlmon, a Veedramon, a Reppamon ,a Guardromon and a Liamon with Sunset, the other girls, and a Wizardmon riding on them. They were all heading straight towards him.

After a few seconds, everyone was together. Dorugamon was about to speak, but Sunset was quick to cut him off.

“Friends don't leave each other hanging.” She stated as Growlmon moved closer, allowing her to climb on to her digimon. “Especially when they're about to do something stupid.” She added as she gave the brute a nuggie. “Next time don't go charging in without us or a plan.”

“Especially the plan.” Wizardmon added. The mage digimon seemed to hold his chin for a few seconds and then snapped with his other hand. “I got an idea.”

***
“Valor, a knight is to valor.” Magnamon recalled out of nowhere. He couldn’t deny it was a pleasant thought, but it was amazing how little personal dogmas meant in actual battle when one is being cut and slashed to pieces by their foe.

Magnamon had to admit, he was really beginning to regret egging Boltboutamon on back during the start of their battle. Maybe if he was at top condition, not warned down by the previous battles and frantic searches for the humans, he would have stood a better chance of defeating his enemy. But as it stood currently, he was too tired and too badly wounded to continue putting up a decent defense.

The mad clown laughed as he watched the six magic swords he conjured buzz around the Royal Knight like flies circling a fresh carcass. “You’re going to be nothing more than a pile of blue and gold ribbons when I get done with you, Golden boy.” Boltboutamon joked. “I think I might even use them as decoration when I find those new human friends of yours. I’ll tie ‘em all up in a big pretty bow, and send them to the other Demon Lords as a present. Now doesn’t that sound nice of me?~”

Magnamon wanted to throw back a threat of his own, but found himself unable as he continued to protect the more vital parts of his body from the onslaught of the swords. He only grunted in reply, causing Boltboutamon’s smirk to grow exceptionally wider.

“Power Metal!”

The Demon Lord turned upon hearing the utterance of an attack, and only nearly was able to get out of the way when a cannonball the size of his entire body flew near his person. Before it could get out reach of his arm span however, his skeletal hands grasped the cannonball and stopped it in its tracks. “Alright, who has the balls?!” He briefly glanced at the cannonball he was holding, before turning back to where the cannonball was fired from. “Or to be more accurate… WHO’S TOSSING ‘EM?!”

Not receiving a reply, Boltboutamon tossed the cannonball over his shoulder and began to fly closer towards the forest. He turned to Magnamon as he flew. “I gonna to go check on something, don’t go away now. I want to see my flashy swords gut like a game hen, before I start human hunting.”

The swords kept Magnamon at bay, keeping him from replying. Four more swords appeared around The mad clown’s body, as he drew closer to the canopy.

“Thunder Cloud!”

Lighting suddenly struck from the heavens despite there being only one foreseeable cloud in the sky. Boltboutamon easily avoided it. “So there’s more than one of you down there. No worries, I’m an equal opportunity psychopath. No matter the sex, creed, or number of victims, I will make sure everymon gets their turn to be slaughtered.”

“EXHAUST FLAME!”

“V-BREATH ARROW!

A scorching ball of fire and an arrow of blueish-white heat shot out of the forest canopy from perpendicular directions, making it hard for the clown to dodge both. ”Well aren’t you all just bold mess of champions!” Boltboutamon giggled. “You probably heard a Royal Knight was in danger, and figuring since you just digivolved, thought you’d be tough enough to rush to his aid and trounce his enemy, right?” He received no reply, but shook his head anyway as if somemon was denying his claim to be true. “Well I’m sorry to tell you this, bambinos, but you’re well overheads on this one. You can’t hope to match up to my power, so why don’t all just run back home and go suckle on Tinkermon’s teat for a little while longer, while the mega-level digimon conclude their business.”

He searched the branches for any signs of movement, and kept his ears open in case his attackers decided to flee. The world grew silent, he heard nothing but the soothing sounds of nature and the satisfying sounds of Magnamon’s grunts and screams. He turned, starting to fly upwards…

“Destruction Grenade!”

Vacuum Kamaitachi!”

The cartoony missile was cleaved in half by Boltboutamon’s sword the moment he turned around, and the blade of wind that immediately followed it was just as easily deflected with a twirl of the other sword in his opposite hand. Boltboutamon smirked. “At least six kids gonna die tonight!” He shot downwards and landed on the top branches of the trees. Below, Growlmon, Wizardmon, and Dorugamon were hiding.

“He’s right above us.” Wizardmon warned. Growlmon looked upwards, not fully grasping the warning.

“Don’t worry. I’ll get him, Wizardmon-sama!” Growlmon began rise up to his full height, until his head was able to break through the top of trees and look over the forest. He spotted Boltboutamon.

“Growlmon, no!” The dinosaur digimon didn’t hear him however, and instead roared as he tried to bite down on the demonic clown. Boltboutamon jumped back upon seeing Growlmon rushing towards and floated into the sky.

“Tree shark!” He shouted in amusement. “”Everybody out of the foliage!”

Wizardmon removed his hat and ran his fingers through his hair anxiously. “Our cover’s been blown. Growlmon, this wasn’t part of the plan!”

“You bambinos are making this way to easy.” A blue sword flew in front of Boltboutamon’s face and aimed its sharp tip for the center of Growlmon’s head. “If this wasn't so pathetic it might even be…” the clown demon suddenly grew silent when he felt his body get pierced in the back by one of his own blade. He then felt that pain occur again and again, until each blade he had conjured to attack Magnamon was sticking through him. He stared at the glowing swords in disbelief, before turning his gaze back towards the sky.

Magnamon was panting, blood was trickling from several deep cuts scattered across multiple areas of his body. His hand especially were bleeding profusely, suggesting he grabbed the swords that had been attacking him by their sharpest ends before tossing them at the mad clown. “I thought you were smarter than that, Boutamon. Never turn your back on an opponent during a battle.”

“Well excuse me if I assumed stabbing another mon in the back would go against the Royal Knights’ code of standards. Aren’t you guys supposed to be all about chivalry, honor during battle, and all that other nonsense.” He heard the leaves rustling and turned to find that Growlmon had gone back into hiding while he had been distracted. “You made me lose my big catch.” He snapped the fingers of one of his skeletal claws, causing more magic swords to appear. “I expect recompense.”

“You’re outnumbered.” Magnamon threatened. “Leave now, and I promise I won’t come after you.”

Boltboutamon released a quick laugh. “Are you serious?! Look at you, you’re on your last legs as we speak, and do you honestly think I can’t snuff out a group of wannabe knights with only fraction of my power?” Magnamon’s eye widened under his helmet. He attempted to hide it, but he could tell Boltboutamon could see through him. The clown chuckled. “Don’t look so surprised. I recognized those attacks, and it’s not exactly uncommon knowledge which digimon digivolve into the members of your order. Do you really want to risk their safety?” Magnamon clenched his fists in contempt. “Face it, you have fight me alone if you want everyone else to survive.”

“He's not alone.” Came two new voices. One sounded robotic in tone, the other like the growl of a dragon. Just then a humanoid reptile dressed in yellow armor and two massive claw-like gauntlet jumped out of the forest and landed on top the trees. He was hefting a massive sword and looked about ready to cleave the demon lord in two for his insolence. The other digimon soon appeared and landed on dragon digimon’s right. He had the appearance of a metallic wolf, with a body covered in an array of spikes and missiles, but what stood out the most was the massive cannon sticking out his back.

VictoryGreymon... ZeedGarurumon.” Magnamon mouthed in disbelief.

“THIS IS SACRED GROUNDS!” The two new digimon shouted as they readied to attack the demon. “AND BY OUR CHARGE AS FILE ISLAND’S GUARDIANS, WE WILL NOT SUFFER YOUR PRESENCE ANY LONGER!”

Boltboutamon looked at the two new digimon, then took a calculator out from under his hat and began computing some numbers. After almost a good minute, “Well, gentlemon it’s been fun, but I am gonna have to take a rain check on this fight.” He then bolted into the sky. “THIS ISN'T OVER, MAGNAMON!!!” He began to laugh like a mad mon, but then started to cough violently as he flew back the way he came.

“I can't believe that worked.” Guardromon stated as the illusion Wizardmon created of Victorygreymon and Zeedgarurumon dissipated, leaving only him and Liamon in their place. He tossed the log he was using as his sword away as everyone else joined them on top of the canopy.

“Even with Growlmon’s misstep.” Liamon added before everyone let out a laugh of cheer and relief. This was cut short by a growl from Magnamon.

Every looked to see Magnamon starting to breath heavy. “I told you all to get the babies and yourselves off the Island.” He scolded them. He floated down towards them to stand on the tree branches, but ended up falling through leaves and onto his rear. The humans and their digimon rushed down to help him, it was then that the knight saw Dorugamon. He smiled at him underneath his helmet. “Well at least you're closer to what you were, old friend. It’s great to see you again, Dorugamon.”

As Magnamon tried three times to get back up, Rainbow Dash turned to Veedramon. “If you are the Ulforceveedramon he knew, maybe being the first to turn the other cheek might smooth things out between you two.” Rainbow suggested.

Veedramon groaned and the offered Magnamon his right hand. “Need a lift?” Magnamon accepted it and ended up using Veedramon as a living crutch as they headed to the Village of Beginnings.

******
A few minutes later as the group reentered the Village of Beginnings. “And just as all seemed lost, Agunimon took up the discarded blade of Lobomon, and throwing all of himself into his swing, cleaved Lucemon in two. And so ended the reign of the false prophet.” Leomon had all the babies enthralled with a story.

“Ah mon I can't believe I missed you telling the story of The Ten Elemental Warriors, it's my favorite.” Liamon pouted as she got closer towards Leomon.

Leomon chuckled. “You run off, you miss the story.” Leomon told her. Liamon frowned in annoyance. Leomon could not help but laugh at the sight. It was then that he saw Magnamon. “I hope the other mon looks worse than you do.”

Magnamon coughed as he gave a sardonic chuckle. “There's a reason we appointed you as overseer of the Island.” Magnamon said. "It helps to have an informant in case crazy digimon like that ever get any ideas.”

Liamon cocked a brow in surprise. “You never told me that.”

Magnamon laughed. “What, you never heard of Saberleomon? The Guardian of File Island and the Village of Beginnings?”

“A story for another time.” Leomon said. “We’ve got company.” He pointed towards the shore where Petermon and Tinkermon were coming from. While Petermon seemed to be laughing, Tickermon looked about ready to explode in anger. Magnamon placed his head in his hand and began to sigh. “Best of luck to you, Magnamon.” Leomon turned back towards the children. “So who wants to hear another story.” The babies,all seemed to babble an answer that sounded like ‘yes’.

Magnamon begrudgingly walked up to Tinkermon. “Alright Tinkermon, let me have it.” He said. The fairy digimon was all too happy to start chewing his ears off.

The girls’ digimon, Dorugamon included, began to glow as the time-limit for their digivolutions suddenly ended. Now back in their rookie forms, the group were forced to find something to distract themselves with while Magnamon received his ear-full. Offhandedly, Hagurumon turned his gaze towards some of the cribs in the pasture, causing him to ponder. “I wonder...”

He shot out in the pasture and began looking through several of the cribs, before finally finding the one he seemed to be searching for. “Aha!” He exclaimed his excitement in a voice no louder than a whisper as to not upset the child. Rarity raised her brows in confusion and began saunter over to his side. He turned towards her as she began to approach. “Miss Rarity, I’d like for you to meet someone.” He was holding the new baby digimon in his smaller gears, and presented it to Rarity like a newborn at the hospital. “This is MetalKoromon. He’s… well me, back when I was very young.”

A chrome-covered digimon, that looked similar in appearance to a computer mouse, looked up at her from Hagurumon hands with a pair of red lens-like eyes. One of his antenna flicked in curiosity as it stared at her. Unlike the Pagumon, from before, Rarity found she couldn’t keep her eyes off this digimon. She hesitantly raised her hands and picked up the baby. To her delight, he didn’t fuss in the slightest while in her grasp. “My word Hagurumon, he’s an absolute darling.” She nestled him into her chest and cuddled him like she would her cat Opalescence when she picked her up. The end of the chrome digimon’s tail began to spark like an open circuit.

“That light means he’s happy. He must like you.” Hagurumon explained. Rarity smiled and began to pet the MetalKoromon like she knew her favorite kitty back home enjoyed.

Upon seeing this, the other girls and digimon began searching through the other cribs in hopes of finding the other prior forms of their new digital friends. Of the six of them, only Twilight, Fluttershy, and Applejack were successful.

Candlemon’s infant form was a small creature that had a body entirely made of smoke. It was small and wispy, and looked so delicate that a simple breeze could blow it away. It wasn’t particularly cute in the traditional sense, but Twilight still considered it partially adorable… in a way. Candlemon could tell Twilight was feeling conflicted about lying about her feelings. He chuckled and decided to reassure her. “Don’t worry, I know he’s not much to look at. This is a Mokumon, a digimon who’s digi-core, that is to say the Mokumons soul, is born bare to the world upon hatching. In order to protect itself it willingly ignites it’s core and turns it into a thick fog of smoke that makes it invulnerable to most attacks.”

Upon hearing his explanation, Twilight couldn’t help but smile. “Fascinating, I never knew you digimon had such varying complex physiologies. It’s embarrassing to say, but after seeing you guys take part in those battles before, I was beginning to see you more as characters in a video game rather than sentient creatures.”

Candlemon grinned. “It feels nice to have someone you can talk intellectually with doesn’t it.”

Twilight nodded. “My friends aren’t dumb by any means, but it does feel sometimes like I have to tone down my vernacular just so they can understand what I’m saying.”

“Bah!” The two turned to see the Mukomon was staring up at them. He looked rather annoyed.

Candlemon broke in a fit of laughter. “Seems someone doesn’t like that he’s being ignored. Perhaps you should oblige him?” Twilight nodded without hesitation, and the two went about playing peek-a-boo and other such games to make sure the child was entertained.

Fluttershy and Kudamon found a small furry digimon that looked to be almost as transparent as a ghost. Kudamon smiled. “Fluttershy, meet Pafumon.”

“Oh, he’s so cute.” Fluttershy smiled at the Pafumon as she held out her open palm. Pafumon slowly crept to the hand and then hopped into it. “I think he likes me.”

“Actually, that’s a she.” Kudamon corrected. “...And yes she does.” Fluttershy was surprised to find the tiny digimon weighed next to nothing, almost like she was lifting a bubble rather then a hamster-sized creature. She scratched the Pafumon on the head, earning a pleasant mew from the appreciative infant. Kudamon looked a little less then pleased to see this.

“Aw, somemon's jealous.” Fluttershy said as she looked at her partner. “I think he's just grumpy that he evolved twice in the same day and is still a child.” She whispered in the Pafumon’s ear. The baby babbled in delight.

“Jealousy is just love and hate at the same time.” Kudamon quoted. “I can assure you I feel neither of those emotions in excess at the moment.” Fluttershy and Pafumon couldn’t help but giggle at pipefox’s sour attitude.

When Applejack found the crib holding Liollmon’s infant state, she was surprised to find a digimon that didn’t look at all like she expected. Liollmon hopped up next to her and took note of her confused expression. “You seem perplexed, Applejack.”

“So you’re tellin’ me you used ta look like this thing?” Applejack asked.

“Yes.” Liollmon answered.

“But it’s a plant. A fuzzy seed with eyes. You look nothing like this digimon.”

Liollmon only shrugged in reply. “Digivolution isn’t always a straightforward process. Often digimon who look nothing like each other will share an evolutionary line. As is the case with Popomon here.”

Applejack placed her hands on her hips and cocked a brow at the baby digimon. It seemed to be afraid her, as it backed away from the walls and hid in the back corners of its bed. Applejack smirked. “Well Ah guess it’s only fittin’. Ah am a farm girl born and raised. I should know how to handle plants.”

Applejack reached outwards and began to scratch the sunflower-like digimon on the head. It’s hair felt like she was sticking fingers into a large tuff of tall grass. Popomon seemed to enjoy it and used its tail to lift herself into Applejack’s fingers.

“She’s affectionate.” Liollmon commented. “This one will likely digivolve into a Wanyamon when the time comes. I here other digimon tend to keep them as pets due to their playful behavior.”

“Unlike you, Ah assume.” Applejack chuckled.

“Are you kidding? If what my father tells me is true, then I was a regular spitfire when I was baby. Apparently the first thing I did when I hatched from my egg was tackle my father and hit him with an attack called ‘Hair Mist’.” Both Applejack and Liollmon laughed at the metal image.

Pinkie Pie and Guilmon watched their friends happily play with the infant forms of their digimon, and neither could say they weren’t feeling a little bit jealous. “Where’s the baby you, Guilmon?”

Guilmon shook his head sadly. “I don’t know Pinkie-chan.”

“Yeah, we aren’t having that much luck either.” Veemon stated as he lead Rainbow, Sunset, and Dorumon towards them.

“Perhaps the beach will prove to be a better search location. If I remember correctly, digieggs are known to spawn there.”

“It’s as good a place as any.” Sunset commented. “Lead the way, Dorumon.”

Dorumon nodded. “Now we’re going to want to head towards where sun is setting, that way we’ll be able to get there in the quickest amount of time.”

******
“Now I understand might be angry, but let’s all remember, I’m the demon lord of wrath here.”

“Really? Because considering you ran away, I thought the demon lord of cowardice would be a more fitting title.” An obnoxious voice berated him. The speaker looked like a light brown dragon who had refused to leave his digiegg since he had hatched. “Quite the unenviable position you got yourself into, my friend.”

Boltboutamon rolled his eyes as he kneeled down before the throne of his leader. Great, my credibility has actually fallen so low, I’m being made fun of by the green egg.” He muttered in annoyance. You are going to pay for this, Magnamon. Through the heart and the stomach.”

“You were supposed to find the humans, not get into a dick measuring contest with a royal knight you FLOUNCY FUCKTARD!” The gun-toting female digimon looked about five seconds away from shooting him, even though she wasn’t holding her guns at the moment, and that prospect scared him slightly.

“It’s what we get for sending the fool, rather then someone more capable.” A condescending voice spoke from off Boltboutamon’s other side. A large machine digimon was standing with arms folded and a proud sneer spread across his face. “I would never let what I desire escape my grasp. Not even the Royal Knights would keep me from obtaining it.”

Boltboutamon slammed one of his skeletal hands against the ground to regain his master’s attention then placed an actual hand over his chest in a subservient manner. “Master, this wasn’t my fault! I had Magnamon on the ropes when Victorygreymon and Zeedgarurumon showed up!”

“You are an idiot.” The digimon on the most grand throne spoke, the bearded leader of the Demon Lords, causing everyone to turn towards him. “First, VictoryGreymon and ZeedGarurumon haven't left their posts to our north. They wait with baited breath for a reason to come upon us. And Second, they aren't the megas that have been left to guard File island, that is SaberLeomon.” He the got up from his throne and slapped Boltboutamon across the face with the back of his left hand. “You, clown, fell for a last minute illusion spell casted by a recently evolved Wizardmon.” The digimon said as he took his throne again.

“But… but I…” Boltboutamon started to protest but could think of nothing to say.

“Maybe next time, dumbass. Well since going after the humans was a bust, I'm up.” The gun-wielding female digimon gloated as she left the room, she wasn't even trying to hide her laughter.

The female arrived in the lower levels of the fortress where a couple of Devimons were walking, “Lady BelleStarmon!” The two devimons said in as they bowed before the Demon Lord in a cross of respect and terror.

“Get my mount ready.” She ordered. “Time for a little family reunion.” She said as they flew to one of the cells and started to open it. “Daddy, you'd just love this.” She whispered as the cage started to open showing a massive glowing red eye flowed but a guttural roar which should have shaken the very foundation of the castle. “Yes indeed.”

Leaving the Island

View Online

Along the western coast of File Island, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Sunset, Dorumon, Veemon, and Guilmon arrived to see a handful of what looked to be red and blue rabbit-like creatures with peacock-like tail feathers on their rears. They were collecting digieggs that had been washed ashore. “Hey, Elecmons.” Veemon shouted at the lot. “Any new eggs?”

One of the Elecmon turned towards the group of visitors. “Actually only three today. Tinkermon is going to be so happy. Say can you deliver these for us, we still need to do a final check to make sure no late arrivals get left behind.”

Before they could answer, another Elecmon scoffed. “You’re gonna trust that Veemon and Guilmon? That dynamite duo is more liable to break the eggs then deliver ‘em.” His comment spurred a few laugh from some of the other Elecmons.

“Leave Guilly alone, you meanies! He's a big lovable softy.” Pinkie countered.

“Oh he’s a softy alright, a really soft skull, especially for such a thick head.” Another Elecmon joked. Said Elecmon was then sent flying into the Net Sea after Veemon delivered a powerful headbutt right into his stomach.

Rainbow Dash was standing right behind her digimon. “Any of you other carrot-suckers got anything else to say?” She asked. The Elecmon clamped their mouths shut upon seeing their friend land in the sea, now swimming awkwardly back to shore, and handed over the eggs without hesitation.

“We know you’ll take good care of them.” The Elecmon then ran as far down the beach as they could while still being able to look for any digieggs washing ashore.

“Yeah, you better run!” Veemon added.

“Not to rain on the parade, but you technically assaulted them.” Dorumon pointed out. “Not the smartest way to collect digieggs.”

“You mess with Guilmon, you mess with me.” Veemon stated, only to be tackled and hugged by Pinkie.

“Cool to see you weren't lying about looking after Guilmon.” Rainbow remarked. “Now let's get these eggs back to the Vill… why are these two shaking?”

“A couple of early bloomers.” Veemon remarked as two of the eggs hatched. One of the babies was red, with a pair of black doll-eyes and ears that resembled elongated versions of Guilmon’s. “Well would ya look at that, a Jyarimon.” Veemon smirked.

“That's my baby form, Pinkie-chan!” Guilmon exclaimed as he clapped his hands in excitement.

“Aw. He's the cutest thing ever!” Pinkie cheered as she dropped Veemon and picked up the baby. It babbled happily at the attention it was receiving. “I could just eat you up. But I won't, you're just so precious.”

As for the other egg, it revealed a blue digimon of similar size and shape, but instead ears it had a strange tail like protrusion growing out of the top of its head. “And that's Big Bro's baby form, Chicomon.” Guilmon informed.

Chicomon stared at all of them silently. Rainbow Dash’s mouth formed a wiry smirk. “He doesn't seem all that bad. I mean, he's definitely not like you, Veemon.”

“I wouldn't be too sure about that, he's been awfully quiet for a newly hatched mon.” Dorumon stated. He stocked closer to inspect the infant digimon. “Be calm little one, I’m not going to hurt you.” He reached down to gently grasp the Chicomon with his mouth, only to have the tiny digimon suddenly bite down on his bottom lip.

“AAAAHHH!” Dorumon screamed and tried to pry the baby digimon off with his hands.

Sunset’s hand shot over her mouth as if she could feel the digimon’s pain, and Pinkie and Guilmon’s faces immediately grew concerned. Rainbow Dash and Veemon on the other hand were laughing their asses off.

“Hah! How’s it feel, furball.” Rainbow Dash mocked. “Karma's a bitch, isn't it!”

“Dashie!” Pinkie exclaimed as she placed her hands over Jyarimon’s ears. “You can’t use that kind of language here, there are children present! How do you expect Jyarimon to grow up into a respectful member of society and find a well-paying job listening to pottymouth like that?!”

Sunset fixed Pinkie with a flat expression. “We’re not taking him off this island, Pinkie. You shouldn’t need to worry.”

“That's no excuse for the use of, as my daddy would put it, ‘vile words’.” Pinkie retorted.

Before Sunset could give a response beyond an expression of shock on her face, Dorumon suddenly threw his head upwards finally freeing himself from Chicomon’s bite. The baby digimon was sent into the air like a fumbled football. All the people and digimon suddenly grew silent as they turned their gazes towards the sky. They all soon realized they had just unintentionally put a newborn child’s life in danger.

“DON’T JUST STAND THERE! CATCH HIM!” Sunset shouted at Rainbow.

“Wha?!” Rainbow responded.

“You’re the fastest and most agile, and I trust you the most to not drop a ball when playing a sport! NOW MOVE!” Rainbow didn’t waste anymore time by asking another question, she bolted towards Chicomon as he got closer to the ground. She dove and placed her hands just below him, catching him mere inches before the baby could impact the dirt.

Rainbow somersaulted forward until she came to a stop on her bum a few feet away. The others ran over to check on her, and were relieved to see that she and Chicomon were alright. Rainbow however wasn’t looking too pleased. “You remember what I said about this guy not being like Veemon… I take it back.”

The others leaned in closer to see Chicomon nuzzling into Rainbow’s chest after being caught and pressed into her body. Rainbow blushed in embarrassment. Veemon meanwhile brushed away a single proud tear.

That’s my boi.” He whispered.

Rainbow stood up and slapped Chicomon into Veemon’s hands. “You carry him.” Chicomon clearly didn’t like this and began to scream in anger. Everyone covered their ears to avoid having to deal with the full brunt of the sound, but that proved to be only a partial fix to the problem.

Veemon stuck one finger in his ear and held Chicomon out towards Rainbow Dash. “TAKE HIM BACK!” He shouted.

“NO WAY! HAND HIM TO SUNSET!” Rainbow shouted back in reply.

“I THINK HE LIKES YOU BEST!” Veemon pleaded. “NOW PLEASE JUST TAKE HIM BACK BEFORE ALL OUR BRAINS START BLEEDING OUT THROUGH OUR EARS!”

“FINE!” Rainbow Dash complied, taking Chicomon out of Veemon’s hand to cradle him in her own. The ear-splitting sound almost immediately stopped upon completing the exchange. “But if this little brat decides he wants to start nursing, I’m going to drop him here and never look back.”

To Chicomon’s credit, he was acting far less crudely then he was a minute again. Right now, he seemed content to just nuzzle into Rainbow’s hand and enjoy her warmth. Rainbow couldn’t help but smile at this. Despite their shaky initial meeting, she had to admit the baby digimon was still very cute.

Sunset walked back over towards the beach and picked up the last unhatched digiegg. It was pink near the top, but slowly grew more purple as her eyes moved down the body. It’s color and the fact she was able to hold it reminded Sunset of how their adventure had started. She foolishly thought she was caring for an unhatched dragon when in actuality she was helping a knight in his latest rebirth. She turned towards Dorumon who was rubbing at his lip to clean the wound left behind by Chicomon’s bite. She chuckled silently. “Come here you big baby.”

“Well technically speaking I did only hatch yesterday.” Dorumon conceded as he showed his face to Sunset.

She knelt down and looked at his lip, she was thankful to find it was just bruised and not bleeding. “You’re going to be just fine. It will heal up soon.” She place her hand on Dorumon’s head and began to pet him, which Dorumon quickly leaned into. “We should had back towards the Vill-”

“AHOY DOWN THERE!” Sunset’s voice was cut off as new voice cried out to them. The girls and digimon turned their gazes upwards to see a large galleon heading towards the shore. Upon the bow, staring back at them was humanoid digimon dressed in a pirate captain’s clothing and was hefting a giant anchor in his left hand. He had silver hair, and a scar and eye patch adorning his face, but his most distinguishing feature was the revolver-like false leg he had replacing his right shin. His gun foot was propped up on the railing of the ship as he stared down at them. “Petermon and Tinkermon said there be humons on File Island that require me help. I didn’t believe it at first, but now that I’m seeing ye with me own eye, I can’t believe I ever doubted ‘em.” Once the ship docked on the shore of the island, the pirate leaped off the railing and onto the beach.

“Allow me to introduce meself, I be Captain James P. Hookmon. But ye lasses and you’re mates can call me Captainhookmon, based on the reason those other two names be fake.”

“Wow! A really real pirate!” Pinkie Pie proclaimed as she appeared at Sunset’s side. “Oh?! Do you spend all day on the high seas swashbuckling, sword fighting, and singing songs about pirate booty?”

“Yes to all three, lass. But the last one tends to not happen so much in the presence of polite company.”

Veemon squinted at the pirate captain until his widen in realization. “Wait, I know you. You’re the guy who ferries the champion digimon to the main land once they get old enough. What are you doing here?”

“Well, I was told me ship would be needed for an evacuation, but that doesn’t seem to be the plan anymore. That being said, me ship is all ready to set sail, but has no heading.” Captainhookmon scratched his chin in thought. He smiled. “You lads and lasses, wouldn’t be needing a vessel to get off the island, would ye?”

“Actually yes, but we need to take these babies and this egg to Tinkermon and Petermon and get our friends first.” Sunset informed.

“Or we could try calling them on our phones.” Rainbow suggested after pulling said phone out of her skirt pocket.

Pinkie blinked and reached her hand into her hair, soon after pulling out her own pink-cased smartphone. “Oopsy, I completely forgot we had these. They sure would have been a major help back when we were looking for each other.” Her pleasant smile suddenly turned into into a annoyed scowl. “*Hint* *Hint* Mr. Authors.”

Sunset pulled her phone out of her own skirt pocket and eyed it skeptically. “Are they even going to work? I mean, we are an entire universe away from the nearest cell tower.”

Rainbow turned on her phone and was amazed to find that not only was the signal strong, but her battery was fully charged. This was odd because her phone was near to dead back in the human world. “Well I’ve got full bars.” She began to move her phone around. “My god, this is the best reception I’ve ever had!”

Sunset turned on her phone and was equally surprised to find it was acting the same. “All my apps have been disabled, except for my contacts list. What about you guys?”

“Same here.” Rainbow replied.

“Samesies.” Pinkie added.

They each opened their contacts, and saw the usual list of names. It seemed, for now at least, that their phones could only remember their most recent calls from earlier today and some of last night. Sunset noticed Flash’s name within her list, causing her to grimace slightly. She decided to file her thought about him away for later when other matters weren’t more pressing.

She heard Rainbow groan and slap her phone hand into her face, a gesture that made the Chicomon in her other hand giggle in amusement. “What’s the matter?” Sunset asked.

“Zephyr is stuck in my contact list.” She complained. “He tried calling me last night, which I obviously decided to ignore.”

Hearing the annoyance in her voice, Veemon furrowed his brows. “What’s a Zephyr?” The digimon asked. “It sounds punchable, and like something you don’t like. Do I need to punch this Zephyr?”

“I’m gonna put a rain check on that.” Rainbow said as she moved her finger across the screen, accidentally calling Zephyr back. She didn’t realize her mistake until the phone started to ring.

“Well, Hello my double Rainbow.” Came Zephyr’s best attempt at being suave. Rainbow hung up on him almost immediately. Her friends began to giggle before she could hide her blushing face.

“Not one word!” She ordered.

Sunset quieted her laughter as she began to dial Applejack’s phone. She could have dialed Twilight's, but AJ was the one more likely to get things done quickly.

******
Back at the village, Applejack was giving Popomon raspberries on its belly like she did for her little sister when she was a baby. She paused and laughed with the baby digimon. “I haven't done this in so long. Thanks, Sugarcube.” The baby babbled happily and the looked at Liollmon as if wanting to be with it's own ‘big sister’.

“Looks like the little one wants you to hold em.” Applejack then placed Popomon on Liollmon's head. It was so cute she just had to take a picture of it. She took out her cell phone and took a photo of the grumpy cub with the happiest sunflower ever on her head. Just as she was about to put the phone away, it began to chime the ringtone Applejack had programmed for when Sunset called*. “Will Ah'll be.” She said as it dawned on her that her phone could receive calls here. She answered it. “Well, butter my biscuit, our phones work.” she stated.

“Great it went through. Listen Applejack, I need you grab the others, Magnamon too, and get them down to the coast. We’ve found a ship that can get us off the island.” Sunset said.

“Be there lickity-split Sugarcube.” Applejack hung up, then turned to the baby digimon. “Sorry Sugarcube, but we’ve got to get going.” She plucked up the little one and placed it back into its crib. “Now we might be gone for a long while, but we’ll be back.” Just as the baby was about to cry, clearly not wanting Applejack to leave, Applejack began to hum and than sing softly.

“Hush now, little one
You’re loved by all you know
You’ll never lose their friendship
No matter where you go.
There ain’t no call to worry
So don’t you cry or fret
Digivolving won’t change you
Whatever form you get.”

There was a collective yawn from all the baby digimons who heard her as they all fell asleep peacefully. Even the rookies all drifted off a little bit as they listened to her melodious voice.

“You really have quite the way with children, Applejack.” Twilight commented as she placed the sleeping Mokumon back in his crib.

“Looks likes it time to go.” Rarity sighed as she placed Metalkoromon back into its crib. “Sleep well, darling.” She whispered and gave the chrome baby a kiss on its forehead. A brief spark appeared at the end of Metalkoromon’s tail, but the digimon remained undisturbed in its slumber.

Fluttershy placed Pafumon back in her crib in much the same way before walking over towards her friends. “What’s going on?” She noticed Kudamon was beginning to nod on her shoulder, so rubbed her finger under his chin to wake him up.

Kudamon shook his head as his eyes opened. “I beginning to think you girls are Angewomons in disguise, because your singing voices are nothing less than heavenly.”

Applejack took off her hat and gave a mock bow. “Thank ya kindly.” She boasted. “Sunset just gave me a call, she said she and the others found a boat, and that we should grab Magnamon and meet them at the coast.” The girls and their digimon turned towards the Royal Knight. Tinkermon seemed to be wrapping up her rant, but by this point, Magnamon had heard more than enough. He was seated on the ground with his legs crossed and his chin planted firmly in his palm. A listless expression was present in his eyes as he continued to listen to the pixie digimon’s complaints.

“And finally you let them put the babies to sleep without a fuss…” Tinkermon paused as she realized what she just said. The babies were all asleep and were put to bed without a fuss.

Petermon chuckled. “It looks like you might of judged our guests a bit too earlier, Tink. I’ve been trying to tell you they mean no harm.”

Tinkermon frowned at co-caretaker. She folded her arms before puffing her cheeks out in frustration. “Yeah well, he still made us do all that work for nothing.”

“Remind me, who was one that risked his life to make sure Boltboutamon didn’t come after you and the children.” Magnamon stated as rose back to his feet, fully ready to let his inner Veemon sass out in retaliation. But then he remembered a knight was meant to be civil.

“I apologize for giving you false information, but with a Demon Lord on the island, I couldn’t afford to take any chances in case I lost. In fact, I would have if it weren’t for that group of remarkable girls and their digimon. So the least you could do is show them the bare minimum amount of respect, if your not going to show it to me.”

Tinkermon growled. “He’s right, Tink.” Petermon agreed. “We didn’t even need to ask for their help. They just up and faced the danger, without any concern for their own safety I might add. If that isn’t worth at least some praise, I don’t know what is.”

“Fine!” Tinkermon finally admitted. She noticed the girls and the rookie digimon walking towards them. She released a sigh. “You kids did an alright job protecting the babies.” She begrudgingly professed. “And thank you for saving Magnamon. Yggdrasil knows where the digital world would be if we lost another Royal Knight.”

“That’s the best we’re gonna get from her, I think.” Kudamon said with a chuckle. “We might as well head off to the coast, maybe see what new eggs have arrived.”

Petermon stepped up. “I’ll go with you. Leomon, will you keep an eye on Tink?” He asked as they started to head to the coast.

Magnamon held off following them and turned towards Leomon. “I’m afraid it’s time, Leomon.” Magnamon said to the lion digimon. Leomon sighed but seemed to have accepted what the Royal Knight was implying.

“It's been a long time since I’ve seen that face, milord.” Leomon replied. “I”m rusty. I don’t know if SaberLeomon will be awe inspiring behemoth you make him out to be this time around.”

Magnamon smiled under his mask. “You have heart and dedication, more so than any other mon I’ve seen in King Drasil’s army. If anyone is worthy of the praise I bestow, it’s you. Besides...” His gaze motioned towards Liollmon, which Leomon quickly followed. “...You’ve trained a Royal Knight to be one hell of a soldier. If your capable of that, you capable of almost anything.” Magnamon reached into his chest armor and placed something in Leomon’s hand. Upon opening it, Leomon saw a jagged uncut piece of crystal blue digimetal. Unlike others, this one did not have a name, and was simply referred to as digimetal, because it had the ability to allow digivolution regardless of the type of digimon who held it. Leomon starred up at Magnamon as the Royal Knight gave him a wink. “Think it over.”

Magnamon turned and began following the humans and their digimon towards the shore, leaving the old lion to stew in his thoughts. Tinkermon flew over to him. “So what did he give you?” The fairy digimon asked.

Leomon pursed his lips in a contemplative expression. “An inner piece of the server tree.” He looked to the Royal Knight, then back towards the shard of crystal in his hand. After a few moment of thought, he then grasped it tightly in his hand and became enveloped in a glowing flash of white blinding light.

He refused to turn and address the spectacle behind him, but as he walked away, Magnamon smiled.

******
It didn’t take long for the group to arrive, allowing Petermon to take the increasingly fussy infant from Rainbow and the digiegg from Sunset. Pinkie Pie however was far more reluctant to give up Jyarimon.

“No!” Pinkie shouted before hugging the squishy red blob closer to her chest.

“I told you Pinkie, we can’t take him with us.” Sunset explained. “Now give him back to Petermon so we can get sailing already!”

“NO!” Pinkie shouted again. “He’s my mushy little jellybean and I’m going to call him Squishy!”

“Pinkie…” Sunset started only for Pinkie to cut off.

“And he shall be mine!” She stated defiantly. “Because he is my Squishy.” She brought Jyarimon up to her face and began to rub her nose again his own. “Aren’t you..?~ You’re my little Squishy!~ Yes, my little Squishy!~ My little Squishy Wishy Poo!~” The baby digimon giggled as Pinkie continued to coddle him.

“I think I’m going to be sicky wicky poo…”Veemon muttered, earning a snicker and a fist bump from Rainbow Dash.

“Besides he needs to come with us!” Pinkie whined. She placed Jyarimon on Guilmon’s head before pointing at both of the for emphasis. “How do you expect Jyarimon to survive in this world without a wiser big brother to show him the ropes?!”

Much to her surprise Guilmon walked away from her as she was talking and motioned his head towards Petermon. Jyarimon jumped off Guilmon’s head an into Petermon’s awaiting arms. Guilmon smiled at the baby digimon. “Goodbye little me. You be good, okay?” He waved at the little mon, prompting the baby to wave back with one of it’s ears.

“Bye-bye.”

Guilmon walked back over to a rather distraught looking Pinkie Pie. She turned to him with waterfalls gushing down her cheeks. “Guilly… why?”

“It isn’t safe out there Pinkie-chan. Jyarimon could get hurt, and a good big brother makes sure there little brothers don’t get hurt.” He turned his head towards Veemon. “Right, Big Bro?”

Veemon chuckled. “Yeah Guilmon, you’re right.”

Pinkie didn’t like the answer, but she couldn’t argue that Guilmon was right. “I guess there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s probably for the best, I’d be super-duper distracted with two Guillies around.” She knelt down and hugged the red dinosaur. “And I’d never want my Guilly-Wheely to think I love anybody else more than him.”

“But I thought you loved everything, Pinkie-chan?”

“I do love everything, but I especially love you.” She then tapped him Guilmon on nose. “Boop.”

By this point Rainbow Dash had had enough. “Okay I’m about three seconds from throwing up thanks to all this sentiment, so I’m just gonna get on the boat.” Veemon was quick to follow.

“Right behind you, boss lady.” After giving their thanks and good byes to Petermon, the others soon boarded, leaving only Sunset and Dorumon to stare at galleon from the beach. A hesitant expression spread across Dorumon’s muzzle as moved his gaze up the gangplank and towards the deck of the ship.

Sunset was quick to pick up on how he was feeling. “You ok?”

Dorumon shook his head. “I should remember this, I should still be Alphamon.” He stated.

“And somewhere deep down you do remember. You are Alphamon.” Dorumon looked back to see Magnamon standing above him. A caring look was present in his eyes. “Let the memories come as they do, and don’t try to force it. An old friend once told me: Don't go searching for all the answers, they will always manage to find you when your pants are down, all you can do is learn how to pull them back up quickly." Those words sounded familiar and comforting. Dorumon nodded and got on board followed by Sunset and finally Magnamon himself.

Once Magnamon reached the deck he turned back towards the beach. Petermon was calling out to them. “Take care you all, and come back as soon as you can!” Petermon waved before he took the two babies and egg back to the village.

As the boat departed from the shore, Candlemon began to tap his chin in thought. “I wonder who the mon was that gave Magnamon that advice.” Candlemon mused. The other rookies began to scrunch their brows in thought. Liollmon looked on in disbelief.

“Oh for King Drasil’s roots, Alphamon was the one to say that.” Liollmon stated bluntly.

A round of “Ohs” and “That makes sense” came from her fellow digimon, earning an annoyed groan from the young cub. “Guh… boys.”

She heard a soft chuckle from behind her and turned to find Applejack walking in her direction. The farm girl kneeled down and whispered so the other digimon wouldn’t hear. “Don’t let ‘em get to ya none. Ah have a lot of younger and a few older cousins who act the same way. Just give ‘em time, they’ll grow out of it eventually.”

Liollmon turned her gaze back towards the other digimon. They had disbanded within the time she had been talking to Applejack, seemingly to search for their own humans to spend time with while on the voyage to their next destination. Candlemon was more than likely looking for Twilight to start up some kind of long winded conversation; Veemon was going to find Rainbow Dash for some reason to show off; Guilmon was undoubtedly going to play a game with Pinkie; Hagurumon would cater to Rarity’s every whim; and Kudamon would just want to relax alongside Fluttershy; Even Magnamon seemed to be settling down as sat down against the mast of the ship for a nap. Liollmon couldn’t help but smile as she imagined how the others would spend their time.

“No.” She replied. “They are exactly how I remember them right now. They’ll grow up and be knights someday, but for now I just want enjoy them as I knew them, as my friends and allies.”

Applejack grinned and rubbed her knuckle against Liollmon’s cheek. “Sounds ta me like you’ve been doing all the growin' up for the mess of ’em.”

Liollmon smirked. “Well I wasn’t the Strategist of Truth for nothing. It was my job to make sure the other knights remained on task and had a plan to follow.”

Applejack nodded. “Trust me, Ah know the feelin’.”

******
In the center of a hexagonal room made of stone bricks, a holographic visage appeared over a wooden table placed in between six wooden thrones.

Five of the seats were holding an occupant, each a powerfully large digimon adorned in their own custom armor. As the visage slowly changed to reveal the deck of Captianhookmon’s ship, the figures observing the scene gradually leaned in closer.

“It would appear Magnamon has finally decided to nod off.” A humanoid digimon with crimson hair and a white jacket slung over his shoulders commented. He folded his arms as he took note of what was happening in the scene. “It’s about time, I was beginning to grow curious as to who these humans were.” Applejack and Liollmon walked into the center of the image, before turning towards the stern of the ship. “Oh, she’s cute.” The Royal Knight spoke like he was pointing out a single puppy from a litter. “I like that one.”

“Would it kill you to take the situation seriously for once, Gankoomon?” Another Royal Knight exclaimed. This one was far larger than rest of his companions, and sported the appearance of crimson-scaled dragon rather than a knight in shining armor. “These humans are supposed to be the warriors of legend! Beings who could effortlessly bestow the powers of digivolution on entire armies of digimon! But instead we get this gaggle of rainbow-skinned children… what hope do they have against the might of the Demon Lords.”

“Calm yourself, Examon.” The knight in the largest throne stated. He wore a three horned helmet and a pair of gauntlets that resembled the heads of two other digimon. “Magnamon may have been unable to grant us vision, but his reconnaissance skills are clearly still unmatched. From what we have heard, it is fair to assume that these humans are caring and courageous individuals. Both were important attributes needed by the humans who aided us in the war a thousand years ago.”

“Not to place too fine a point on this issue, Omnimon. But these humans also managed to find our fallen brethren within a matter of hours, where as it took us well over a millennium to even discover the hiding place of Alphamon’s digiegg. The likelihood of such events occurring in the same day as humans arriving in the Digital World is astronomically minuet.” Another draconic knight added.

A knight in pink armor released a dreamy sigh. “Jesmon has a point… but the other hand, the human’s digimon act and sound so much like our friends did all those years ago. This can’t be a coincidence.” Despite her face being covered by the helmet she chose to wear, her eyes still wandered towards Liollmon as she walked away. “It must be fate at work. If one remembers correctly, Leopardmon’s heart used to yearn for an Ulforceveedramon that could reach his fullest potential. Alas, it was not meant to be for the two mons in their previous life.” A single rose appeared in the yellow shielded hand of the pink digimon. “Perhaps this time, Ulforceveedramon will learn how to offer his animus at the altar of Leopardmon's anima, and finally make right on those unknown feelings that had plagued his stalwart companion.”

“Love isn’t the concern here, Crusadermon.” Examon growled. “The concern is us placing our faith in a group of visitors who have never seen the Digital World before! They are not warriors, they are not ever of age to be trained to fight! Again I ask you, what chance do they stand in defeating the Demon Lords and restoring order?!” His clenched claw slammed down against the table, briefly drawing the other Royal Knight’s gaze away from the image.

“You seem to have forgotten a key element of the tales, milord. The humans who arrived before were just children just as lost in our world. If anything these girls are almost too old to help us.” Jesmon countered.

“You shouldn’t believe everything you read, whelp.”

“Then what of my personal experience, Examon? Do you also doubt me and the tales of my cycles?” Omnimon’s brow furrowed, but his voice refused to rise any higher than its current level tone. Examon growled as if being challenged.

“Your memory is nothing to go by. You've split yourself into WarGreymon and MetalGarurumon and reemerged so many times who knows how fragmented your mind has become.”

“And what of my memories, my faithful knight?” Another voice came. This one sounded ancient and yet soft, firm yet fair, like thick roots and new leaves all at the same time.

All the knights got out of their thrones and kneeled, well as best they could given some of their anatomies. “King Drasil, you must under-” Examon started.

“Be still, for I speak!” The voice almost shouted, a brief moment of silence followed soon after. “I already know of your doubts and understand. I too have underestimated humans and viewed them as threats, to my unforgettable shame, but I am not the sapling I was then. These girls are the key to restoring harmony to this world.”

The room fell silent once again as if a great gale just past through. “I think we have had these fruitless debates for long enough, we need to act and bring our brethren into the fold and up to speed. And looking at Magnamon, it's clear these new Demon Lords are deadly serious about taking the mantels of the old.” Omnimon said as they all got back to their feet.

“I shall go to where Captainhookmon docks, and aid Magnamon in getting them here.” Crusadermon offered. The knights however grimaced at her statement.

“You sure you’re up to that?” Gankoomon asked. “A Candlemon is among their party.”

Omnimon stood up, suddenly ending the conversation before it could start. “This meeting has reached the end of its usefulness. We are adjourned.” He stated as he brought up his right fist, which resembled a humanoid dragon’s head with three horns. The other knights nodded and started to leave, no one questioned Omnimon. After most of them left, only Crusadermon and Omnimon remained.

Crusadermon turned her gaze towards Omnimon as she folded her arms. If he could see her face, he’d have known she was shooting him a bemused expression. “I know you’re a knight, but that doesn’t make me some damsel you need to rescue.” She stated bluntly.

“I know.” He stoically replied. “It’s just that I tend to be more tactful than the others in situations like this.” His expression changed slightly into a more protective gaze. “You do know that while he may be the reincarnation of Dynasmon, his life is now very different. He isn’t the same digimon you remember.”

Crusadermon looked at the rose in her hand, and clenched it before speaking. “I am not some floozy homewrecker.” She scoffed at the statement. “The past is the past and it’s best to not dwell on a road that cannot be travel. I owe it to the Dynasmon I loved to see that his reincarnation returns to the arms of the Gatomon that waits for him, or at the least die trying.” As she spoke a single tear trickled down her cheek. For once she was thankful that her helmet concealed her face.

Omnimon sighed. “I trust you. Just don’t let your emotions get the better of you. We can’t risk pushing any of them away in these dire times.” He turned to leave the room, leaving Crusadermon alone to stew in her thoughts.

She stared at her rose again, a last memento of a time long passed. “If only I had been there.” She whispered. "Then we could have been together… in one way or another. But you’re back now, and though it may hurt like a hot iron placed against my heart, I must accept that you have a new life that does not have me playing a major role. Know I will always love you, my Wyvern of Burning Passion, even if we cannot be lovers in this cycle.” She placed the rose against her heart before walking towards the door.

“I wonder if I have time to write that down in my journal before leaving?”** As she left the meeting hall headed down the hallway towards her room, she failed to notice Omnimon was standing not to far away. He was standing alone in the hallway and was staring at a large landscape painting depicting him, his fellow knights, the fallen knights, and even their original leader, Imperialdramon.

His eyes drifted towards the mighty paladin standing behind the rest of his brethren in the center of the image with Omnimon to the paladin’s left and warrior in black armor, Alphamon, on paladin’s right. “I really wish you were still here, old friend. You and Alphamon were a far better leaders than I could ever hope to be. I truly fear for the fate of the Digital World with our numbers so drastically dwindled like this.” His gaze turned to Alphamon. “Hopefully with your return, we finally have a chance of changing that.” He let out a sigh before turning back down the hallway, he had other duties that required his attention.

He wasn’t sure what the future would hold for him and his companions, but as he left he became certain of one thing… a grand new chapter in the Digital World's history was about to unfold.

******
Back on the ship, Magnamon was soon roused from his slumber when an irritating squeaking sound began to assault his ears. Upon opening his eyes, he found Veemon balancing atop his knee with an uncapped marker in his hand. After glancing at the rookie digimon, his eyes soon turned towards the party of three standing behind him. Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, and Guilmon all looked about as guilty as Veemon did now that they were caught in the act.

His gaze turned back towards Veemon. The rookie gulped anxiously. Magnamon released a quick sigh before deciding to speak. “I warn you, if there is anything more offensive than a mustache drawn on my helmet right now, I am going to chuck you in the ocean.”

Veemon jumped from his leg and Magnamon began to rise to his feet. His current appearance must have been a sight to behold, because the moment he was standing again the other humans and their digimon started walking towards him. Upon reaching, Rarity was the first to voice her opinion.

“Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, honestly?!” She motioned her hand towards Magnamon’s helmet to further denote her disapproval.

“We didn’t do it! Veemon was the one holding the marker!”

Veemon scoffed in disbelief. “What?! You were the one who dared me to do it! I didn’t even know what I was supposed to be drawing till Pinkie gave me the design!”

“You could have said no!”

“You could have not told him to do it.” Applejack asserted.

“She’s right Rainbow, you’re the instigator in the situation.” Rarity added.

“So is Pinkie! Why aren’t you grilling her?”

“I’d prefer not to get in the middle.” Pinkie expressed, trying her best to deflect the blame.

“Stop!” Magnamon shouted, regaining the crowd's attention. “Before we start going at each other with pitchforks and torches, why don’t you let me see what they drew so I can determine if you should be angry or not.” Without thinking, he reached for his helmet and removed it from his head. Everyone gasped upon seeing his face as he turned the helmet over in his hands.

A pair of black ovals with slices taken out of them had been drawn on the helmet’s forehead, and half of an oval outline had been drawn in the center just above hole where Magnamon would see out of. Altogether the drawings and the eye hole created rather cartoony but loveable face. Magnamon actually found himself laughing at the site of it. “You know what, this is actually pretty good… I'm not even-”

He grew silent upon seeing the shocked looks on both the humans’ and digimons’ faces. “What are you… Oh, right. The scar.” He ran his finger over a long diagonal scar that ran from the top of his right brow to the bottom of his left cheek. “Sometimes I forget I have this. Guess you kids now know why I prefer to wear a mask.” He chuckled, but it sounded half-hearted.

For a full minute no one was able to speak, and when one of them finally did, they found the could only ask the most blatant of questions.

Twilight was anxiously wrung her hands together before she spoke. “H-How… How did you get such a defined scar?”

Magnamon turned towards her before simply shrugging his shoulders in response. “It’s not from anything special, if that’s what you're thinking.” He stated in a bored voice. “A Skullknightmon snuck up on me during a battle in the war a thousand years ago. I was young and impetulant, and I wasn’t paying attention. As soon as he got close enough he swatted my helmet clean off my face and slice me with his lance. Now I carry this scar as a memento, a reminder of how foolish I had been in the past and to help me strive to be better.”

Liollmon crinkled her nose before staring at the deck in confusion. “Father always told me battle scars were the pride of a warrior. But after hearing your story, it sounds like that scar holds no particular value to you.”

Again Magnamon shrugged. “Sometimes they don’t. That’s because this is what it actually looks like when you’ve fought in war. It’s not glorious, it’s not beautiful, hell, it’s not even heroic. It’s just doing what’s right, and doing it again and again, even if it means someday you walk away looking like this, assuming you can walk away at all.”

The air once again grew silent as the teens and digimon contemplated Magnamon’s statement. It was at that point, after seeing the concerned and uneasy expressions on the group's faces, that Royal Knight realized the weight of his own words. He didn’t consider it at first, but these humans who were prophesied to save the Digital World, were still just children. They were older then the humans described in the legends, but even still they likely didn’t have any experience in the danger and sacrifice that came with war. Even the digimon, whom he once called friends and considered the greatest warriors he’d ever known, were now only inexperienced rookies with little to no memory of the incredible feats they accomplished within their previous lives.

He regretted dropping such a heavy life lesson on them this earlier in their quest. They didn’t have much longer to enjoy their carefree lives before they reached the Castle of the Royal Knights. He walked over towards the starboard and dunked his helmet into the water to clean it. As he rubbed the face of the helmet with the back of his hand, he turned back to the gaggle of young warriors.

The silence was deafening, but thankfully was drowned out by the sound of their captain calling out from the helm of the ship. “The continent of Folder be on the horizon! The ship’ll be docking in less than an hour.”

Magnamon exhaled out his nostrils before placing the helmet back on his head. He glanced at the teens and their digimon, judging by their turning heads they had also heard their captain’s words. Their faces still looked more than a little dejected, but these were expressions the Royal Knight decided would not last for much longer.

He sat down in front of the others and gave them the most sympathetic expression he could purvey with his helmet still on. “I’m sorry. This is obviously a lot to digest, considering this may be the first trip any of you have taken off File Island. But you don’t need to feel concerned. When the time comes, we will train you and make you strong. So strong that no digimon will be able to hurt you or anyone you care about.” The slightly more hopeful expressions appearing on their faces made Magnamon’s chest grow warm. “Till then, you have a whole new world to see, and I promise to show you all its splendors along the way before we meet with the other Royal Knights.”

No one replied immediately, but the small smiles present on their faces told Magnamon their moods had just brightened considerably. He began to motion them away with his hand. “Now go on, find something on the ship to occupy yourselves. We’ll be docking shortly, and once we do, we can finally begin on our journey.” To his surprise, the teens and digimon actually remained silent despite his request and continued to smile at him.

Dorumon was the first to speak. “We were actually thinking… could you maybe tell us about the others? The other Royal Knights, I mean. As legendary as their names are, some of us are still unfamiliar with the lore behind them.” The teens and digimon all nodded in agreement as if they were little kids lining up for storytime.

Magnamon scratched the back of his head in embarrassment. Not since he first became a Royal Knight had he ever been this popular. He chuckled wholeheartedly. “Well, how can I say no to excited faces like that.” He cupped his chin as he began to think. “Now where should I start? Heh, Probably with the most splendid of them all. Let’s me tell you about Omnimon…”