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Digimon Tamers: Adventures in the Alternate Universe

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Chapter 1

When I was little, I was fascinated by Digimon and I loved to play cards with my friends. I was six years old when I got my first pack of cards. The Christmas was the coldest I had experienced in my lowly six years of experience, and I remember being huddled on my bed, with the blankets covering my body and the only source of light being my Nintendo handheld screen and looking at my cards. There was a blackagumon, a puppetmon, a floramon, mamemon, pumpkinmon, guilmon, and others I can’t remember.

School was an excruciating experience for me. I did well on my classes, especially science and history. I had a penchant for getting in trouble and calling people names, especially this girl named Suzie Wong.  Suzie was a social butterfly, and certainly liked me. She would share her lunch with me at times, and I in return would call her monkey girl and share some of my lunch as well. She also enjoyed Digimon cards as much as I did, and we would often play together. We both would often lose. But it was fun because whenever I won Suzie would cry, and I would giggle at her crying. But I would also feel guilty. I didn’t want her to cry. It was fun, but after a while it wasn’t. Because it felt bad to see someone suffer like that. I would just give her one of my cards so that she would feel better, as these were cheap anyways. They were easily obtainable in a cheap game store in Akihabara. Oftentimes I would lose in purpose just so that she wouldn’t cry. But other times I would tease her telling her I lost in purpose, which would cause her to say “you are so mean Suko! It’s not fair! Play fair!”

“What do you mean play fair, Suzie? I didn’t cheat! I followed the rules…” I would dryly say knowing damn well what she meant.

“You are just losing on purpose so that you can tease me aren’t you?” Suzie pouted.

“Nah…”

Then Suzie would stick her tongue at me and not talk to me for the entire recess, until class, when Ms. Inoue would go to the restroom. She would either apologize for calling me cheater, or would talk to me about her virtual pet, a Lopmon. Lopmon had to be fed, and it would fight other Digimon. Suzie’s brother, Henry, managed to hack the device to make it so that Lopmon could do more tricks. Henry knew everything about games and computers, and he would often repair my games when they stopped working. Suzie and I would often play pranks on Henry, as he was rather easy to tease. One day I hid Henry’s toothbrush, and he was late for class because neither Suzy nor he were able to find it. Henry assumed it was Suzy, as he spent more time with her and was more exposed to her mischievous side than to mine, and I of course denied any involvement on this. Henry was furious with Suzie, and their father, Janyu, grounded her for a week: he took away her Digimon cards and her virtual pet Lopmon. Suzy did not talk to me for that entire week, until I began to feel awful about it. Suzy was my accomplice and friend, and I didn’t want to have her be grounded, at all. Luckily, it was only two days into her punishment, and I rode in my bike to the Wong home.

I had a node on my throat. I didn’t know if Henry would try to beat me up, or if he would do something worse. I was more afraid of Henry than of their dad. Once the door opened, it was Janyu.

“Hi Suko! Are you here to visit Henry? Because Suzy is, you know…”

“Well, I wanted to talk to you about that…” I said while I was scratching my head and sweating out of nervousness. Shortly after, Henry appeared as well. “Shit…” I thought. Once I confessed my part on the mischief, Janyu sighed and shook his head, while Henry demanded an explanation.

“Why Suko? Why?” Henry seemed more concerned than angry. I wasn’t sure if I should have felt relieved, or regretful. More so than I was before embarking on this odyssey. I didn’t know what to say. I honestly didn’t know what I was thinking when I hid that toothbrush. I thought they would find it rather quickly. But I didn’t think the matter through. You see, mischief of the light-hearted kind should be done so that there isn’t much collateral damage. In this case, this rule was violated, as Suzy was grounded for a week and her toy privileges were suspended. Second, the target of mischief should just have him or her facepalming themselves at best, and at worst just running after you so that they try and beat you up. Neither of these things happened, as Henry seemed concerned about me. “Suzie was grounded for a while, and she has been acting rather differently all this time. Like she is in a gloom. Did you anticipate this happening?”

“No…” I said, my voice teemed with regret and realization.

Janyu decided to call my parents and inform them about this. They decided to ground me for two weeks, and in those two weeks I was not allowed to look at my cards, play video games, or go out and play with Suzie and Henry. They were my only friends, and now I couldn’t see them. At school, Suzie would not talk to me. She would not even turn to look at me. Henry told me her punishment was revoked, but that didn’t matter, because Suzie felt betrayed. Henry would speak to me, and he seemed more relieved.

“I am sorry Henry. I will not do it again.” I said with trepidation. I didn’t know how he was going to react. “It’s ok.” Henry said while he had a mouthful of rice. “I am glad you are able to see that what you did was not ok.”

“I hope Suzie speaks to me one day.” I said while playing with my fingers.

“Just give her time Suko. That’s all people need. Time.” Henry said while smiling at me.

And the time came a few days later, when Suzie was eating her own lunch and two fat kids from the grade above us came to her. “Hey pigtails. How’s your lunch?” It was rice and squid.

“Leave me alone” Suzie frowned at them and backed away.

“Not before you give us your lunch, gaijin.” The fatter kid went after her and took her box away. Suzie fell to the ground as she tried to stop the fatter kid and scraped her knee. “Delicious” The kid said while taking a munch. “Not bad for gaijin food”. The other fat kid had a munch too. I was angry at how they were treating Suzie, so I just ran and pushed one of them. It was the not-so-fat kid, who didn’t move by much.

“Oh, look at what we have here. The sea urchin Suko has come to the rescue of his little girlfriend the gaijin.”

“Just give her the food back, or I will tell the teacher.” I looked at them defiantly.

“I bet you just want to get naked with her behind a tree and kiss” the two fat kids looked at each other and laughed uncontrollably.

“Shut up lardass.” This caused both of them to run after me, not before the one who had the box dropped it, leaving a rice mess. Once they caught me, they started punching my face and twisting my arm. “Your mom must be so fat that she probably has three more of you inside her!” I said after kicking the balls of one of them, who knelt before me as if I was some kind of king and let out an inaudible scream, which later turned into lout sobs. His face contorted into a theatre mask. This was the not-so-fat kid. I think his name was Genji. The fatter kid, Sumi, exclaimed some inaudible nonsense and went to our teacher to report me. The teacher involved the principal. Suzie was there too. Suzie told the principal everything that happened, which led to both Genji and Sumi to be suspended, while I was simply kept from attending recess for a week. What moved me the most was that Suzie did not take revenge on me. She did not lie and say I also took her lunch and spin a tall tale. She stuck to the facts. I realized what an admirable person she was for that, despite her childish demeanor.

That day, on the way more, Suzie caught up to me and told me about her new collection of cards. Her dad had bought her some more to compensate for the wrongly-imposed punishment. I apologized to Suzie for what I had made her go through, and she told me it didn’t matter. “Thank you for helping me out!” She said, and gave me a hug. “Once you aren’t grounded, can you come and visit me again?” Suzie seemed as cheerful as she had always been. “Of course!” I said, lighting up a little on my part.

Once I was at home, I went straight to my room. I didn’t have my cards with me. None. All of them were hidden somewhere on my house under lock and key. I was bored to death, as I had read all of the manga I had and I did not want to read them again. So I had to fantasize adventures. I would fantasize that I had a Digimon by my side, and that that Digimon would keep me company. Suzie and Henry were my only friends, but I had a fear on the back of my head that they would later on stop being my friends. When I was younger, other people would not want to play with me. I don’t know why. They just didn’t want to. Even at school with Suzie, she was the only person aside from Henry who spoke and was nice to me. I just wanted a real Digimon so that it would be my friend and we would go on adventures together. I imagined me and my Digimon partner would fight against Myotismon, or against Apocalymon. I was afraid I would lose people close to me, and I firmly believed a Digimon would not go away from me.

All of a sudden, I noticed something blue on the opposite corner of my room. It was next to a Frieza figurine. It was a figurine of Frieza on his first stage, with a removable armor and it could shoot a laser if you pressed a button. Really cool toy. But that blue thing, what was it? I went close to it and found out it was a card. The card had a weird aspect to it. Like it had depth to it, and inside you could see an 8-bit dinosaur with its mouth open. It would appear and disappear if you flipped the card ever so slightly. I was puzzled, as I didn’t remember having this card. Then again, I thought, I always threw away any additional instructions and focused on the Digimon cards. Perhaps this was one of those things I would dispose of. But it was here. I kept looking at it and rubbing my chin, thinking about its origins and purpose. In my boredom, I decided to swipe it on the card reader and see what happened. I was shocked when I witnessed how the card reader began glowing, and morphing into a different shape. It was a white, bright light. I had to cover my eyes and when I could see I realized I was holding a chunkier, rounder device, different than the flat and primitive-looking card reader. It was a white device, with a blue circle and a screen. My heart beat even faster, and I felt the impulse to hold the device close to me. I began to feel like someone was watching me, but not in a scary way. I was still nervous about looking, but curiosity killed the cat. When I opened my eyes I saw two long, furry paws with black claws on the floor. The rest of the legs were yellow, and had what looked like two swirling symbols. There was a white belly, and the rest of the body was yellow. I immediately looked towards this entity’s face, and it looked like that of a fox, with rounder features. The eyes had black scleras and blue irises and below the eyes there were purple markings, one on each eye. An intense feeling emanated from those eyes, and I was struck by how tall compared to myself this figure was. What struck me more was the fact that I was not scared. I felt calm, serene, and at the same time slightly intimidated. I noticed the creature was wearing two purple sleeves with ying yang symbols on them.

“Are you… some kind of g-god o-or s-something…?” I began to feel apprehensive as perhaps this god or thing was going to punish me for being a bad kid. I wondered what would this “god” would do to me, or where would I be taken.

“I… am not a god.” It spoke like a woman, a voice reminiscent of my teacher’s, who was in her late 20’s. “I am your Digimon partner.” I was in shock. At the same time, I wasn’t. After all, it was right in front of me, speaking to me. All those days of fantasizing about Digimon paid off, I thought. My. Fucking. Digimon. Partner.

“H-hi.” I waved a feeble hand wave. My brain was still in the process of making sense of this. “I am Suko Nakamura. What is your name?”

“I am Renamon.” Renamon slightly smiled, aware of how shocked I was. She really wanted to diffuse any nervousness I had. I just could not stop staring at her. It was not just the shock of having a real Digimon in front of me. She spoke to me, and she was Renamon. I didn’t know such a Digimon existed. Then I realized where I was, and ran towards the door of my room to lock the door. I turned to look at Renamon and shhhht-ed her, lest my parents hear there is someone else in my room. Renamon just stood there looking at me, and I said “I have parents, y’know. If they see you they will shit their pants and ground me even more”. Renamon just scratched her head and asked me if she could sit somewhere. After she sat on my bed, I decided to show her my cool Frieza toy and how it would produce that laser beam. She seemed intrigued and asked me to see it. Her big fingers held the figure and turned it around. It appeared as if she was interested in the figure. She rubbed the tip of one of the horns, and began speaking: “I do not fully understand why I am here, but I felt a strong urge to appear to you.” She said while fixating her gaze on me. Once she realized I was still in shock, she smiled and said “I am sure we will figure this out together, Suko. But I am just as surprised as you are.”

“Really???” I ask, surprised Renamon was also puzzled. She sure doesn’t look like the type to be easily puzzled.

“I come from the digiworld. In that place, many other Digimon exist, and live peacefully. Others are evil or aggressive, so there is often conflicts and the end result is that some Digimon absorb the information of others to become stronger and digievolve. Most are somewhere in between” Renamon sighed. “But I am not sure why I was sent here. And something tells me other Digimon are appearing in the human world.”

“Are some of them…y’know… evil?” I asked gulping. All of a sudden the idea of Digimon existing seemed unsavory and scary.

“Perhaps.” And again, sensing how scared I was beginning to feel, Renamon left the figurine aside and closed her eyes and said “No matter what happens, I will protect you. All that I know is that… you were chosen as my tamer. We are to fight together if any bad Digimon appears here. I just do not understand why all of this is happening now.” I felt a sense of relief after hearing this, and my excitement for a digimon adventure revived. “Yes and yes and yes!” I exclaimed loudly. Then realizing I might have been heard by my parents, I put my hands over my mouth, and then whispered “yes yes and yes!” which made Renamon giggle.

“How am I going to hide you?” I asked thinking.

“Hide me?” Renamon inquired.

“Yes, you know, from mom and dad. If they see you they will shit their pants and they will ground me for all of eternity.”

“Don’t worry about that. I can come and go at will. I can disappear, like a ghost. But there are limits to this skill.”

“Really?? That’s so cool!!” Then I covered my mouth again and frowned at myself. All of a sudden Renamon and I heard my mother call me. Renamon said she would see me tomorrow, and vanished just as she described: like a ghost or apparition. My mom knocked, I rapidly hid the weird device, and opened.

“Who were you talking to?” She inquired confused, looking to see if anyone was there. But there was no one. “I wasn’t talking…” I said.

“I clearly heard a voice, young man, and I think I heard a female voice as well, but I was not completely sure.” Mom sounded sterner, which was concerning. “Who were you talking to?”

                Resigned, I answered her question.

“Nobody, mom. I was just, you know, talking to an imaginary friend I made up! Her name is Renamon” I was glad to be six, and not, say, 10 or 11, as that defense would have landed me with a psychologist. I was still mildly embarrassed to say I was talking to a made-up friend, even if this wasn’t true at all.

“Oh really. Why did you choose that name for your friend?” Mom asked, relieved.

“It just sounds cool, y’know.” I said scratching my head. My mom asks too many questions.

“Well, I hope you do not think of sneaking the phone in here to call Suzie or anyone. Ok?”

“Yes mom. Good night!”

I was just hoping the new day would begin, so that I would see Renamon again. Something told me this was the beginning of a new era, and I was excited.

                Next morning, I had to go to school again. I rode my bicycle to school and did not see Renamon again during the interval between home and school. Although I remember feeling that sensation of being watched by a benevolent force again, so Renamon was probably around and I just didn’t see her.

                The day went by uneventfully, especially as I wanted to regain my recess privileges. Once it was time for recess, I stayed on the classroom by myself. I was told by the teacher that I was not to get out of the classroom unless I wanted to go to the restroom. If I wanted to go to the restroom, I had to wait until the class was back. That meant I had to time my lunch activities correctly so that I did not feel like going during a time when it was still recess and class time was far away. So I took out a notebook and began doodling. Many of the things I doodled were people from my class. Koichi was a kid whose face tapered off at the bottom, so I drew his face as a slice of pizza. Sometimes I would show those drawings to my classmates and announce to them “Hey! This is you!” by pointing to the doodle with my pen or pencil. I would be drawn by some of my other classmates. In fact, most of the boys drew each other. What made me different is that I would draw on the margins of my notes or the textbook, to the consternation of my teacher. It just felt right to do it. It would keep me calm and focused on the class.

                “Why aren’t you with the other kids?” Renamon appeared from behind me. It spooked me for a fraction of a second. I told Renamon about everything that happened, from the toothbrush incident until the kick in the balls. “I see now” Renamon nodded as if she realized what happened. “I am sorry you are stuck here and not playing. But you need to be nicer with others next time Suko.” As she was speaking I just uh-hued and kept on doodling. It was some kind of vortex, with one side saying “our world” and the other “opposites world”. Renamon noticed I was doodling and asked me to see. I was slightly embarrassed to show her, especially as there was a pizza-head kid on there with the name “Koichi” next to it. But she did not pay any heed to that, at least not that I could tell. She asked me about the vortex stuff.

                “Ah… that’s some crazy idea I have based on what I have read on black holes.”

                “Black holes?” Renamon seemed interested.

                “Yeah, those things that don’t let anything else escape from their gravitational pull. Not even light! That’s why they are called black holes. And some people say that these holes can lead to other dimensions or universes, even places where time flows backwards. Imagine I was born like a geezer and grow to be a child, until I die as a baby in my mother’s womb. It’s crazy stuff. Or there could be an exact copy of our world, but only a few things change.”. Renamon just looked at me intently, calm.

                “Sounds dangerous”. Renamon turned towards the drawing again.

                “It is. You can turn into human spaghetti if you aren’t careful! The gravity is so strong that even other stars get eaten. Planets full of other beings can be eaten by the black hole if they come too close”.

                “And how do you know all of these things?” Renamon’s voice had a slight tone of intrigue, contrasting with her typical dispassionate tone.

                “I read it on books. We have lots of them at my house and my grandparents’ house. I like to read a lot and look at photos of new and interesting things. Like the planets and other galaxies. It would be awesome if we could travel to another planet one day!” Renamon smiled at me and just said “wow”. It seemed like she was really liking me and like we were getting along. I asked her if she wanted some of my lunch. “But… don’t you need to eat? You are still growing up.”

                “I am not that hungry; I would rather just eat half of my sandwich and then devour these cookies.”

                “Alright. I will take half of that.” And I handed Renamon the other half of my sandwich. “Thank you, Suko.” Renamon said while bowing her head and having her eyes closed. I thought it was odd this 6 foot tall Digimon who looked really powerful would be so respectful towards me, a little kid. I just decided to roll with it and not question it.

All of a sudden, Renamon changed. Her fur stood up and she looked like a wild animal. There was a change in the atmosphere. It became tense and there was an oppressive feeling pervading the entire classroom. Then a strange gray fog began covering the room. “Renamon….? What is… going…on??” I was scared to death. “Suko.” Renamon said sternly. “There is another Digimon in this room, and it does not have good intentions. We will have to fight.”

“Fight???” I was shaking. I began sweating and my breathing got heavier. “Let’s get the hell out of here now!” I began wailing.

“No. We can’t” Renamon said, as a weird winged ball began to appear from within the fog. It seemed to be holding a spear. “Well, why not?!” I asked.

“It will not let us, Suko. We have to fight. There is no other way.” Renamon sounded stern. I was scared and she was not helping either.

“But I-I am s-scared, R-renamon.” I began to stutter, and I felt a node on my throat. Renamon turned towards me and knelt down to be more at my height. She hugged me tightly. She felt warm, and I felt more secure when I was embraced by her arms. They seemed slender and feminine but they also projected strength and protection. “Don’t be scared. I am here with you. I will protect you with my life. Ok?”

“But… I-I d-don’t want anyone t-to d-DIE!”

“We can die if we don’t fight.” Fuck me, I thought. I had to resign, and accept that my wish had come true. Be careful what you wish for, they say. Whoever they are, they deserve a Nobel prize after this. The Digimon was completely materialized. It was a pink ball of fur with a cat-like face. It was winged, and was holding a spear with one of its two long, human-like arms. All of a sudden the fear was gone, as this critter, or Digimon, was rather tame-looking (see what I did there?).

“Wait… that is the menace we were worried about?” I asked Renamon while pointing at the Digimon. “All we need to use is the fly swatter in the wall and squeeze this bug!” I grabbed the hand-shaped fly swatter. “Suko don’t attack it.” Renamon stopped me.

“Human… cursed human. You dared disrespect the great and powerful Piximon, Pi!” Piximon then threw a spear in my direction, but Renamon caught it and broke it in half. Piximon giggled and a new spear popped in her hand. “KOYOUSETSU!” Renamon’s voice resounded through the room and a group of shiny diamond shaped shiny leaves flew towards Piximon. Piximon took the damage, but it was minimal. Some of the desks caught damage. Piximon then produced a bomb, which was directed at Renamon. I was tempted to attack Piximon, but I decided to obey Renamon. The bomb was avoided and it destroyed one of the bookshelves.

“Digimon that hang around with human beings are traitors, pi! They need to be punished for their mistake! Pi!” Renamon ignored those remarks, and delivered a series of kicks in a rapid succession, significantly weakening Piximon. “Koyousetsu!” Renamon then produced those shiny razor leaves which ended up finishing the Piximon. Renamon then positioned herself with her arms wide open, her head slung backwards, and some dust-like stuff that used to be Piximon got absorbed into Renamon. The fog disappeared little by little, until there was the classroom as before, except with some damaged property.

“That was… something else…” I said.

“Are you ok?” Renamon turned towards me, sighing of relief.

“Are YOU ok? I am fine. You did all the work!”

“I am fine.” Renamon ruffled my hair. I heard multiple steps coming towards the room and Renamon disappeared. “We will talk later.” Was the last thing I heard before she was completely vanished. Then the teacher and all my other classmates entered. They were shaken. They had seen the cloud enveloping this part of the school building. The teacher ran towards me and hugged me. Suzie too. “I am glad you are alive Suko!” She was crying.

“What happened?” The teacher was also crying. I didn’t think they would really worry that much about me. I am just a student here and the teacher gets paid. Suzy could get another friend too. I didn’t understand why they were so worried about me. “Ah… I…” I was at a loss of words, because the firemen and police came into the room as well. I thought I was in trouble again. Real, serious trouble. But they just questioned me regarding any weird devices, and how did I put out the fire when the extinguisher was unused. Lucky for me, the teacher interpreted my silence as shock. “The poor child is shocked by such a strange event.” The policewoman said. She handed me a teddy bear and that shocked me even more. It was like they were fisting me through the mouth and stealing any words that could potentially be uttered by my mouth. And they were merciless. Not only was I given a teddy bear for comfort, but the teacher revoked my punishment, for fear something like this could happen and I could die. Be careful what you wish for, they said. Yeah right. I revoke that Nobel prize.

On the way home, I decided to stop at the park for some time. I walked by these stone stairs which led to a stone house with some metal fence on the way to the entrance. I just sat there, and said to myself that I hope Renamon came. She did come, to my surprise. I told her everything that happened and she seemed relieved that they would now allow me to play with the rest of the kids, and that they didn’t blame me for anything. “You were awesome Renamon!” I was excited to see what would happen next, what else could Renamon do. She sat next to me and we both looked at the sky. It was so peaceful.

“So tell me, why do you find it strange that your friends were worried about you? They are your friends.” Renamon asked me.

“I don’t know if they are my friends. Sometimes I feel like I annoy people and that they just tolerate me. I guess Suzie really likes me, but sometimes I wonder if she likes me enough so that she will remain my friend. I think one day she will stop talking to me, like the others have.” I decided to rest my head on Renamon’s arm, which slowly slid to her legs. I took a deep breath as I didn’t necessarily enjoy talking about these things, but I felt like I had to speak to Renamon about it. “I mean, people come and go. They meet you, play around, and leave once they are satisfied. With me, people leave because they either think I am boring, or too annoying. I like to joke a lot, but I don’t know why. A lot of times I do things and then I think ‘Oh, shoot, I shouldn’t have done that, that’s wrong.’ But by then it is too late. My parents were giving me some medicine that would, somehow, make other kids be my friends again. But then things would go back to the same old way, and they would have to give me more medicine. And then things would get back to normal. It never ends.”

“Why would they give you medicine?”

“My dad says it is medicine that will help me be a nicer kid. And it works.”

“Have you taken it recently?”

“No. They stopped giving it to me. My parents didn’t like how I was. They said I was like a zombie.” Then I began making dumb zombie noises.

“Well, I am glad they stopped giving you that stuff.”

“Why?”

“I just, don’t know. You are a good kid. You gave me food, didn’t you? You also apologized to Henry and Suzie for the mischief you did. I don’t think a bad kid would have done that. Do you?”

“No. I guess not.” The wind blew and there was a small drop of water that fell on my hand. The clouds were beginning to get together, and from our view, a large part of the metropolis was covered in what looked like a curtain of rain.

“So, are we going to see more of those fogs where Digimon magically appear again? Will we have to fight again?” I really didn’t want to talk about that stuff anymore as I was feeling sad.

“More than likely we will. As I said to you last night. I am your Digimon partner, and other Digimon seem to be crossing from my world into yours. I do not know what is happening.” Renamon got into her pensive pose.

“Hello there!” A high-pitched voice was heard. I turned and I saw a long eared, rabbit-looking creature.

Chapter 2

What is a Terriermon doing here? It didn’t trigger my attack mode at all. Suko seemed to have forgotten about our previous topic, to my relief. Then a blue haired boy appeared. Suko referred to him as Henry and seemed apprehensive about the encounter. I know Suko wanted to keep me a secret, but Henry appeared to have a Digimon partner as well. Henry seemed mildly surprised by my presence. Terriermon didn’t. That small Digimon seemed to be on a constant high, inflating his cheeks and saying “Momantai” to Suko.

“Momma what?” Suko frowned.

“Mo-man-tai! Don’t worry everything will be fine at the end.” Terriermon explained as he climbed to Henry’s shoulder.

“Henry, you also have a Digimon partner? Do you know what in the name of Godzilla is going on?” Suko asked. I had no clue what Godzilla was, but I guessed it was another one of those cartoons human children like to see.

“No. I don’t.” Henry wouldn’t know either. Neither me, nor Terriermon to the best of my knowledge, would know.

“Have you seen any of those weird fogs. Those that have Digimon inside them that fight you for no apparent reason?”

“We have, and we also have no clue why they are there. I think I better show you something that will help you and…” Henry looked at me.

“My name is Renamon, nice to meet you.” I nodded my head in a gesture of respect.

“Show me show me show me!” Suko was impatient to see. Henry led us into another part of the park that was empty. It had some structures that looked like domes made from various stones. One of them had a clock, and Henry led us inside of it. There was a box, which Henry was relieved to have found there. I wonder what is on the box, and I can see Suko is curious about it as well.

Henry opened the box and produced some cards out of it. These cards had Digimon illustrated on them, doing different things. There was also a card reader like the one Suko had, but this one had green on it instead of blue.

“Look guys, these cards have been of help to me when I have fought other Digimon. They activate tools that help Terriermon battle. For example,” Henry showed us a card, and it had a gun on it, “this card activates a gun that any Digimon can use. The gun materializes and, in your case, Renamon can use the gun against your opponent.” Suko was nodding to everything Henry said, and I did the same. I wondered what strategies could Suko come up with. Yes, he is a young kid. But he is a quirky kid and I think that will lead to original strategies. Together we can defeat more Digimon and get at the bottom of everything. My thoughts were interrupted by Terriermon, who climbed to my head and put his ears over my face.

“Henry, do you know anyone else who has a Digimon like us?” Suko inquired.

“No. Just you and I. But I would not be surprised if there are others. We just have not found them yet.” Henry paused for a moment. He seemed pensive and I wondered what was on his mind. “Suko. You know I am a pacifist. I dislike fighting just for the sake of fighting.”

“I know that.” Suko replied laconically.

“I am only showing you this because I trust you will use this knowledge wisely. Meaning that you will only use them for self-defense against other evil or wild Digimon that appear. If you find another person with a partner, do not attack them. Do you promise?” Henry was serious about this. I was not 100% sure, but I figured Suko is not the type to initiate aggression. Suko seems like such a sweet little guy, and I know he felt afraid on our first battle together. I think Henry is just reiterating things he has previously inculcated on Suko, and perhaps others. I would not want Suko to initiate fights with innocent Digimon, and if he asked me to do it, I would hesitate to do so. I would only do it because Suko is my tamer and he is asking.

“I will not do that. I promise you. I just want to have an adventure with a Digimon, and as incredible as it seems it’s happening. I do not seek to fight others just to be aggressive or anything. You see, the first fight Renamon and I had, well, more like Renamon had, because I didn’t do anything myself, we were provoked into it.” Suko explained. I don’t think he had to explain what he did.

“Of course that is totally fine. It’s just, I believe Digimon are also living beings, even thought they are different from us. They are the same at the end of the day, creatures with minds and feelings.” Henry said after Terriermon got off from my head and went to Henry’s lap. Thank goodness because Terriermon is a bit heavy.

“Ain’t nobody questioning that.” Suko paused for some time, then timidly asked Henry: “Hey man, could you, you know… lend me some of your cards? Just in case. It’s because my cards are confiscated.” Henry handed Suko a good portion of his card collection, and Suko promised he would take care of them. Suko said goodbye and thanks to Henry, and I followed him back home. I wanted to spend more time with Suko, so I became invisible and went to his room with him. Suko laid on bed and I sat next to him. It was late afternoon, and some stars were already visible. Suko was asleep already. It must have been exhausting for him. I wondered why his parents didn’t ask about whether he was ok or not. But I had to leave and mull over some other things. “Good night little guy” I whispered to Suko, who was completely out of it, and left.

Once I was outside walking by the park, I thought I saw another Digimon. It looked white and small, but it wasn’t obvious to me what Digimon it was. It clearly was not a Digimon seeking to provoke me, as it was not enveloped by that weird fog. I wondered who it was, so I followed it.

“Calu calu calu!” I heard a voice say. “Calu luuuuu…”. I saw it was a small white Digimon, with two big ears with purple edges. It had big dreamy eyes, and some kind of star symbol on its forehead. When it saw me, it put one of its paws on its mouth and tilted its head. “Calu! You are really tall!” The small Digimon said.

“Hi. I am Renamon.” I thought maybe this little digimon would know why were there so many Digimon appearing in the human world. I asked and she did not know. “Calumon does not know what is Renamon asking.” Calumon was the name of this Digimon. I had never seen one before. Then again, I don’t claim to have seen all the Digimon out there. I decided to leave Calumon behind and go back to my resting area. It was what appeared to be an abandoned temple. Inside there was a huge statue of a human being sitting in a lotus position. This person had a dot on his forehead. It appeared to be some kind of divinity, or someone people paid high respects to. The wood of the temple’s floor was musty, and there were some animals inside that I could eat. I wish Suko would bring me some food, but he is just a kid, and he probably thinks I am fending for myself. I decided to meditate to see if I could find some answers, but I never got any.

Next day, Suko and I spent the entire time together. I thought it was odd he was not in school. Suko told me that there are some days of the week he does not have to go to school. Suko told me he got in trouble again, this time for blurting out something about the teacher looking like a cartoon character that I forgot its name. Suko said it happened because everyone was loud and all of a sudden the teacher screamed silence to the classroom and Suko did not stop himself along with the rest of the classroom. He said it was embarrassing.

“Well, at least they didn’t keep you in the classroom away from the rest.” I was relieved.

“Yeah, otherwise the building might burn again.” Suko smiled slyly. I appreciate his sarcastic sense of humor.

All of a sudden, another foggy area appeared.

“Renamon, let’s go and finish that one! I got cards and I also brought the digivice with me.”

Digivice? I guess that’s better than card reader, but I was concerned. “Suko, wait. Let’s…” But before I could finish my sentence Suko was already close to the area. I went inside with him, and we saw a Ogremon. Suko’s digivice could tell us information on a digimon’s species and attributes. Suko swiped one of the cards henry gave him, and it materialized a big taser gauntlet. “Go for it Renamon, finish that thing off!” I jumped towards the Ogremon and managed to electrocute it, but it grabbed me by the waist and threw me off to the ground. It hurt a lot, but I managed to get on my feet again and counterattack. I electrocuted Ogremon by hitting him on the belly, and while it seemed to affect him, it was not enough. Ogremon struck me with his club, which hurt even more than being slammed on the floor as it had spikes, and I fell to the ground. “Renamon, Renamon!” I heard Suko call. Why did Suko get us into this? I wanted him to wait and call Henry and Terriermon for help. But I had to follow my tamer and protect him at all costs, even if it was a mistake Suko made. I got up, and attacked Ogremon with my Koyousetsu, but he destroyed my attack by rapidly spinning his club like a fan. Ogremon laughed and licked his lips. Gross. That made me want to attack him even more, so I went towards Ogremon’s back and electrocuted him through there. This only infuriated Ogremon, who clubbed me on the face. Suko ran towards Ogremon, I do not know why in the world he dared to, but he did, and kicked him. Ogremon simply turned, and was about to attack Suko with dome dark energy emanating from his fist, and I had to jump to take the attack for Suko. I was so hurt and exhausted from it. I couldn’t move anymore, not for the time being, and all I could feel was Suko’s hands over my back, shaking me and urging me to get up. I couldn’t do it. “Come on I thought you were strong!” And when I heard that, I felt like I had to get up, and I tried, stood my ground for a few seconds, then collapsed.

Lucky for us, Henry arrived with what appeared to be a digievolved Terriermon. “Gargomon! I will tend to Suko and Renamon, take care of the Ogremon!” Gargomon had little trouble ending that Ogremon. I noticed Gargomon did not absorb Oremon’s information. “Renamon, are you ok? I am sorry for getting in here without thinking.” Suko sounded really sorry. I had to take a deep breath because I was slightly mad at Suko, but nothing to worry about. He was just trying to help in this weird situation. “Are you ok?” I asked Suko. “I am fine, I am sorry for getting you in this state.”

“It’s not so severe. Gargomon helped us out and we are ok.” Henry reminded Suko about their conversation yesterday.

“Well… Technically speaking those foggy Digimon are here to attack us.”

“But you don’t have to always fight them. Sometimes it’s best to finish a Digimon as a team.”

“But what if it was a small fry Digimon, like that Piximon Renamon defeated? Is there a way to know based on the clouds whether a Digimon is weak or powerful?”

“I am not sure of that but be careful next time.”

Henry and Terriermon, who reverted back to his original form, helped us out, and lucky for us we were close to the park, so we decided to walk there. Once we arrived at a good secluded area, I took a seat below a tree. I noticed Suko was quieter than usual. Then he asked me how I was feeling, and I was feeling much better, so I told him that. The attack was not so bad after all, and I could move more freely again.

“Thank you for helping me out, Suko.” I thought him going to kick Ogremon on the butt was impulsive, but also brave and cute.

“Even though I got you into that trouble?” Suko was still doubtful of any good he had done.

“Even then. You are brave. You just got to be more cautious when we choose to enter into these fights. I can’t digivolve like Terriermon yet. If I could, I would be able to take on more powerful Digimon. You are young and this was just our second fight. That Piximon we first fought was at a higher stage than Ogremon, but this particular Ogremon was really strong, more so than Piximon.”

“How can you digivolve?” Suko asked.

“I do not know. I have to be stronger than I am now. That is for sure.”

“Well, I will help you be stronger so that we can beat the bad guys together!” Suko regained his energy, and that made me feel relieved. I didn’t want this incident to chip away at his self-esteem.

“We will.” I said. Suko then gave me a hug, and I didn’t tell him it stung me a little bit as I was still healing and I had a small wound from the club damage, but I hugged him back and took a deep breath of relief. Suko’s warm body was actually a great help. I wonder how I will manage to digivolve and be better equipped to protect Suko. There is so much we have yet to learn together.

After I left Suko’s house, I encountered Calumon again. She was following me this entire time, and asked me who was that kid I was with. After answering, Calumon seemed happy I had a partner. She did not really know what tamer meant, but she saw it as some kind of friendship between a Digimon and a human.

“Calu calu… I am happy you have a partner! Calumon is happy when others are happy!” Even though I am not the enthusiastic and happy type, I appreciate it when others express their happiness. I was happy to be with Suko, like a part of me that was empty was re-filled. I told Calumon that back in the digital world I had a Digimon friend, and that he was just like Suko: bright, absent-minded, impulsive, and a bit headstrong, but ultimately sweet. He was Blackgatomon. I say was, because Blackgatomon was killed by a Metalseadramon. Blackgatomon thought he could take on Metalseadramon but he was wrong. And I am afraid this will repeat with Suko. I feel like it was my fault Blackgatomon died, because I was not strong enough to protect him. Suko is a human child. Yes, he can do things to defend himself, against other human children or other people. But against Digimon for the most part he does not stand a chance unless they are fresh or in-training. I also told Calumon, in general, about Suko’s low self-esteem, and how I wanted to help him.

“Calumon feels sad now….” Calumon’s ears became smaller after I finished speaking. “Calumon feels sorry”.

“It’s ok Calumon. It is on the past now. I am just afraid of it repeating.” I thought I heard grass rustling, as if someone was there, but I did not hear anything else. I thought it must have been my imagination. “But, I also do not want to suffocate Suko. I want to respect his autonomy as well.”

“Calu calu! Renamon cares about Suko a lot! Caluuuuu!” Calumon got happy again and began dancing.

 

Chapter 3

School was boring as most of the time, except for science and history. After school, I had the most peculiar encounter. It was a Digimon slightly smaller than I was. It was purple, it looked like some kind of jester and had a red handkerchief and red gloves. He looked like a friendly little devil.

“Hello there, boy!” The little devil said.

“Oh… um…Hi!” I was a bit weirded out. It seemed like he didn’t mean any harm.

“Don’t be afraid kid. I am not like those bad guys from the fogs.”

“I can see that. What’s up?”

“Oh nothing, I just wanted to talk to you about some very important things. Do you have a Digimon partner?”

“Yeah, her name is Renamon and she is a tall fox lady with purple sleeves. She is quiet and can make other people feel scared, but she is sweet with me.”

“So you have a Digimon partner, I see now. What is your name, kid?”

“Suko Nakamura.”

“Oh so you are Suko!”

“Y-yeah, why? What happened?”

“Well, Suko, I might be wrong, but I heard a Digimon that fits your partner’s description say some really mean things about you.” The little devil seemed concerned when he said this. “She said you are impulsive and a very annoying kid.”

“That’s not true, Renamon would never say those things about me.” I was skeptical at first.

“Poor Suko… you really don’t understand, do you? Do you know why are Digimon here in the human world?”

“Um… no… I have been trying to figure that out with Renamon.”

“Yeah, that’s the thing. Renamon has never told you the full truth of why she and many other Digimon are here. There are some good Digimon out there. But Renamon… she said she was just using you to get stronger.” I began to feel afraid.

“What do you mean???”

“Yes, she was telling another really mean Digimon about how they were going around seducing humans to partner with them and use them to defeat other Digimon to get stronger. But Renamon said that she was tired of you, that you are very impulsive that she was planning on straight up leaving you because she thinks you are worthless and a waste of time for everyone, as your behavior will get in the way of her plans.”

“That’s not true!” I didn’t believe it.

“Oh no? What did you say she was? A fox lady, right? Don’t you know what foxes are? They are deceitful, liars, and trickster. She is tricking you.”

“I don’t believe you. You are full of it man.” I was actually beginning to have doubts about Renamon.

“Bah, you can believe what you want. I am just reporting what I heard, and I thought I would help you out. You see, if we partner up, we can destroy Renamon together before she does it to you. But now that you don’t want to believe me, I will just leave.”

“I will never partner up with a liar and a midget like you. Shoo! Go away!” I shooed the little imp with my hands as well, and left. I was relieved the little devil Digimon did not follow me again. I didn’t want to hear any more of what appeared to be lies about my Digimon. I will admit I did have my doubts. What if it was true, what if Renamon was just using me and feigning to be my friend all this time? What if she was actually going to leave, like everyone else would, because I am annoying? I passed by the store to buy a sandwich, and after I finished eating I kept on walking home. The thought of anyone using me, lying to me, to ultimately discard me made me mad. I did not like that idea, and thinking of Renamon just irritated me. What if? That was the question that lingered on my head the entire time I was eating there at the tables outside the store.

By the park, I saw Renamon, and she said hi to me. “Hi, Renamon.” I said.

“Is anything wrong?” Renamon sounded slightly concerned.

“Um, no. There is nothing wrong.” I didn’t want to look at Renamon. I don’t know why.

“You don’t sound ok Suko. Did something happen at school?”

“No.” I was beginning to get impatient.

“Your voice sounds different. You don’t sound as happy as usual.”

Fucking shit when will the questions stop? “I am just tired.” I hoped that would solve it.

“I see now.” Renamon kept following me. After a minute, she said: “If there is anything going on, you can talk to me, Suko. We are partners.”

I just kept on walking and said bye to Renamon. I didn’t know why I was talking to Renamon like that. Perhaps I felt afraid and I wanted to be alone to think. Then I realized it was best to talk to Henry. He always had the right answer to things.

At his house, we had to hide in his room away from Suzy, as she didn’t know about Digimon and was not supposed to lest she react negatively. I told Henry everything that I heard, and my impressions and misgivings. Henry paused for some time to think.

“I think that little devil is a liar. I would not believe him at all. I mean, Renamon does care about you in a genuine way. I saw it with my eyes.”

“But why would she care? We have known each other for a few days.”

“It doesn’t matter, the fact that there is a tamer-digimon bond means she will naturally care. Like Terriermon. When I first met him was through a computer game. I was deeply invested in Terriermon even though it was just a game at the time, and when I saw him losing and getting hurt, I cried. Crazy right? Well, it’s natural to care about others. There doesn’t have to be a specific ulterior motive, and there is not a time requirement. People and Digimon work in many similar ways, and sometimes people care about others with just a day of interaction. I assume the same is true about Digimon.”

“B-but why? I want to know more about this.”

“There is no use in questioning it. Feelings are irrational, Suko. There is no rhyme and reason to them. It’s futile to try to use logic. Why don’t you just enjoy?”

“I am just… scared. What if she thinks I get on her way and she doesn’t care about me?”

“She cares about you. And she knows you are a young boy and you barely started as a tamer. She doesn’t seem to be the type to demand that you are perfect.”

I thought about it for a little bit. Then Terriermon said “Momantai! Everything will be ok at the end Suko.” For some reason Momantai had some effect on me as an unguent. It helped for that time when I was at Henry’s. Once I left, I was alone at my room again. However, doubts would creep in to my head from time to time.

Next day, Renamon and I got into combat with other Digimon: a group of Kunemon. Kunemon were worm-like Digimon that would shoot electric webs from their mouths. I used a card that allowed Renamon to move at fast speeds for some moments. Renamon used her speed to avoid the electric webs, and managed to defeat all the Kunemon with her Koyousetsu. Each of the Kunemon, 5 in total, became bits of information, floating in the air and taken in by Renamon.

“We did it, Suko.” Renamon’s neutral tone acquired some tinge of joy.

“Yeah.” I was too busy thinking about everything the little devil said.

Renamon sighed, and we walked away from the battlefield. I had my hands on my pockets the whole time, looking on the floor. I was afraid that little digi-devil was right about Renamon, that she really didn’t want to be my Digimon, that she was just using me to get stronger and saw me as an annoyance, like everyone else did. Renamon and I walked for some time on the Shinjuku streets. Then I felt something stop me, a firm grip on my shoulders. It was Renamon. Her voice also sounded neutral, but very soothing at the same time.

“Is everything alright, Suko? I am starting to worry a lot.”

I turned to her, but didn’t look at her in the eye. I was too confused.

“I… well… I…” I couldn’t really get the words out of my mouth. I didn’t have the guts to tell her what I really was thinking and feeling.

“We can talk, Suko.” And after a moment of silence where I just kept looking at the floor, she continued, “I am your partner, remember?”.

“I just… need some time alone. Ok?” I finally mustered some courage to speak. I noticed a movement from Renamon’s end. I guess she was taken aback by my request.

“You don’t have to be closed off with me, Suko. I just… want to know if you are sad or angry at someone or something and I want to be there for you.”

“I just need to be alone…”

“I am just worried. That’s all.” Renamon sighed.

“Why do you worry about me so much? What have I ever done for you?”

I saw Renamon’s face, and she seemed surprised by my question. Again, this display of emotion was rather suppressed, there was still that air of neutrality about her.

“Answer!” I raised my voice by a small but noticeable amount. I felt a small drop of rain, and another, until the floor was filled with dark polka dots of rain.

“Because I am your Digimon partner. I genuinely want to be with you and protect you.”

“Ah. And what about the information absorption? Why do you have to absorb it?” I bombarded her with that question as soon as she was done answering the previous one.

“It makes me stronger.”

“And, why do you want to be stronger than what you are now? Is there any particular reason?”

“I can digievolve, and be stronger for you.”

“Yeah, you still have not answered my original question, at least not to my satisfaction: Why do you want to protect me?”

“I told you already: because we are partners.” Renamon was calm this entire time. I thought it was an odd attitude to have in these circumstances, but that is Renamon.

“Why are we partners? That’s why I want to know.”

After a long pause, where Renamon seemed to be thinking, she answered “I don’t know.”

“Oh yeah right. Well, I think I know why. You just want to use me to get stronger, digivolve, and become more powerful just for the sake of power. You really couldn’t care less if I was your partner or not.”

This time, I saw some semblance of more emotion in Renamon, and she did not seem happy with my accusation. She seemed slightly vexed by the accusation. “Where are you getting that from?”

“Don’t feign ignorance. You were speaking about me being an annoyance to you to other Digimon, that I was worthless and a waste of your time unless it was to get stronger. Huh? What do you have to say now, fox?”

I saw Renamon clenching her fists, “I never said nor would ever say those things about you, Suko.” I saw how she took a deep breath. She was getting exasperated.

“Why should I believe you?”

Renamon turned to face the sidewalk opposite ours. There was the Tokyo Metropolitan Building on the other side, looming dark above us. It’s dark towers and receivers impersonal yet seemingly alive. I saw on her eye that she was upset and was trying hard to conceal it. “You don’t have to if you don’t want to”. She finally said, before turning to leave. As I watched her leave, I felt regret, but ultimately let her go. I kept on walking by other people walking out of stores or office complexes. They seemed happy, enjoying each other’s company. Why could they find real companionship, but I couldn’t?

I decided to turn into an alley. It was dark, and there was quite a bit of mud because of the small rainfall moments ago. The buildings dark side contrasted with the bright windows and geometrical aspect of the outside. There was a mishmash of cables on some of the poles, reminiscent of a colony of living electronic beings.

“That shrewd fox lady thought she could deceive me. Yeah right! She did not count on my ability to figure out others’ lies! I guess I will have to find my real Digimon partner”.

“Caluuuu!” I heard behind me. I frowned and thought “What in the world?” Behind me was what appeared to be another Digimon. My digivice said it was Calumon. I was intrigued by this cute little white critter, who seemed happy to see me. It was like a ray of light after the storm of an hour ago. For the most part I was frowning, but Calumon made me smile. I still could not conceal that I felt depressed, as Calumon asked me why did I look sad.

“I just discovered my digimon partner was a liar. She lied to me to absorb more information and become stronger and later dispose of me as I was just a waste of her time.”

“Calu! That is not nice!” Calumon’s ears receded.

“But she finally left me alone and I can continue on my path to finding my real Digimon partner.”

“But who was your Digimon partner, calu?” Calumon put a claw on her mouth.

“It was a yellow, deceptive, and ultimately dumb fox lady.” I said, scoffing.

Calumon gasped. “Renamon?!”

“Don’t mention that cursed name from the devil. It’s a sonic abomination!” I said after covering my ears with two fingers.

“You shouldn’t express yourself in such a mean way, Suko!” Calumon seemed alarmed.

“Wait how do you know my name?”

“Calu, Calumon spoke with your partner Renamon and…” But I interrupted Calumon with “That name. That name! Stop saying it!”

“Calumon is sorry. But your partner the fox lady as you call her has talked to me before, about Suko.”

“About me?” I was surprised.

“Yes yes! Calu! Your Digimon cares a lot about you and says she just wants to protect you and says you are a sweet kid.” Calumon said as she floated close to me.

“B-But why would she care about me? What did I ever do to her so that she cares so much? People don’t do that. People leave you once they are bored with you and you are not fun anymore.”

“Calu that is a sad thing to say Suko!”

“It’s the truth! And that Digimon you say is my partner is no different. She is mean and manipulative and likes to use people! She does not care about me one bit!”

“Calu! Don’t be so stubborn! She cares!” Calumon pouted at me.

“I don’t understand anything! That whole tamer thing. Why would a Digimon want to protect someone he or she barely knows? Why???” I gnawed my hands. “If people, my own species, have not been able to care for me, what makes you think a creature like you, from who-knows-where, cares about me? Do you get it? Do you get my confusion?”

“Calumon does not understand either. But Calumon knows your Digimon cares about you because Calumon feels it in the heart.” And with that said, Calumon pointed to her heart with her little claw.

“And I know it in my brain that this is all bullshit!” I pointed to my head as I said these words.

“Calu! Don’t use meanie words!”

“What? Do you want me to sound like some kind of faggot instead?” I crossed my arms.

“Calu…” She lowered her head.

“Now, take your calooloos away from me. I’ve got more important things to take care of.” And with that I left Calumon behind.

However, Calumon followed me. I didn’t care. Calumon was harmless, or so it seemed to me, and was a good Digimon. The alley began to feel longer than it should have been, which I thought was odd. I thought I had been in this alley before, but it seemed like a new place altogether. Fog was beginning to gather.

“Calulu… Calumon does not feel good about this place…” Calumon hid behind my leg.

“Me either, but we have to get out somehow. I know, let’s go back from where we came from.” The alley began to feel like a labyrinth, as it appeared that we were walking in circles. Then, I began to experience goosebumps. The cause of this was the galloping as of a horse, and as time passed, it was beginning to get closer and closer upon Calumon and I. Calumon did her customary “calooing”, and then before we realized it we were on a large space between buildings, where most of the fog was concentrated. The place gave me the chills. What made my heart skip a beat was this glowing red light at an altitude higher than ours, which appeared to be observing us.

“Calu! This is another Digimon!” And indeed it was. It had hooves, and most of its body was orange covered in purple bumps. The body was that of a horse, but the other half was human, and it was wearing a Greek helmet. My digivice informed me it was Centarumon. Centarumon then charged at us, and Calumon and I got out of the way, causing Centarumon to crash into one of the walls. But that did not stop it.

“Calumon what will we do?!” Centarumon fixated its red glowing eye on us. “What the heck will we do? Can you fight?”

“Calu does not fight” Calumon seemed distressed as much as I was. “Calumon thinks you should ask your Digimon for help. She will come and help you if you ask.”

“Ugh no! She is a liar. She is selfish and only cares about herself.”

At that moment, Centarumon attacked us with what it called an energy ray. Calumon and I moved out of the way in time. The ray destroyed another wall. Centarumon lost no time and charged at us, and again, Calumon and I dodged.

Renamon’s Perspective

I couldn’t believe Suko thought those things about me. It hurt me. I felt like I had my heart punctured by needles. After meditating for some time, I remembered to look beyond my pain, and realize that Suko is just a little boy. He is growing up and needs to learn more lessons to be more mature. What I don’t understand is what Digimon told him these lies about me? It couldn’t have been Calumon. Calumon’s energy was positive. She is such a pure being. Who was it? He mentioned a Digimon, but no specific name. I was walking through the streets, when I felt like Suko was in danger. Where was he? His presence was difficult to locate. I just felt it in my heart that he was somehow in great danger and needed me. I disregarded all the things he said and prioritized him.

Chapter 4

“Calu! Call your Digimon partner! If not, Calumon and Suko will…” And with that, Calumon began to cry.

“I don’t want to, don’t you get it? That Digimon is just selfish and never cared about me. And I am never ever going to forgive her.”

“Calulu, you are so stubborn! Calu! Renamon is not selfish and she is your partner, and whether you believe it or not she wants to protect Suko.” Calumon still had some tears on her eyes. “She told me that”. At that moment, Centarumon grabbed me by my waist, and began squeezing. I began to scream, as the squeeze felt as if I was being pummeled by an asteroid. “Caluuuu! Suko!” Calumon screamed. At that moment, I began to fear I would lose my life, and the fear triggered memories of Renamon, and what Calumon had said.

“RENAMON!” I yelled to the top of my lungs. Centarumon continued squeezing. I felt like I had lost a lot of air. Suddenly, I saw how Renamon kicked Centarumon on the head, causing him to collapse on the concrete floor and letting me go. Renamon caught me on her arms, and I heard her voice close to my face whisper me if I was ok. The fear of losing me was on her voice, with a tinge of anger directed at Centarumon.

“Renamon… I…” I was trying to catch breath, and all I could do was cough.

“It’s ok Suko, I will finish this guy myself. You may rest here with Calumon.” I felt peace when she was here, holding me and gently placing me on the ground next to Calumon. Vague thoughts about how foolish I was as to believe those lies by the little devil Digimon passed by my head. Renamon used her Koyousetsu on Centarumon, which only affected him minimally. Centarumon charged at Renamon, but she avoided the attack and used another koyousetsu. “Touhakken!” I heard Renamon’s voice exclaim, and her paws were surrounded by flames. Renamon then delivered a tremendous kick to Centarumon, toppling him.

This only angered the Centarumon, and as soon as he got up, he kicked Renamon, sending her flying and crashing to the ground. Centarumon then grabbed Renamon, and delivered an uppercut followed by another kick. Renamon was extremely weakened from this.

“Calu… Do you see now? Renamon is badly hurt because she wants to protect you. She cannot move at all…” And in effect, Renamon was unable to move. I began to cry as I ran towards her. Her wounds were caused by me, I was somehow guilty of this and I knew it, and I didn’t want to see Renamon suffer. When I was close to her, I held her head and hugged it. “Renamon, Renamon, are you ok? Please wake up!” She was still awake and was able to move with difficulties. Her body had some serious wounds, and she could barely hold her ground. “Suko, are you alright?”

“Are you alright? You took all those hits!”

“I am ok. I can still fight. I can win.”

“You are badly wounded Renamon.”

“I don’t care. I will do everything in my power to keep you safe. Even if my life is risked.”

As she was speaking, Centarumon was charging towards us, this time charging a beam with his gunned arm.

“You got yourself in that state to protect me, even though I was mean to you. I disbelieved you but you still stuck by my side.”

Centarumon was getting closer and closer.

“I don’t want anything bad to happen to you either!” my voice was loud I felt my digivice was vibrating. It emanated a bright white light, which enveloped Renamon. I was mystified by it, as it was warm yet forbidding. The light dissipated as if it was composed of cherry blossom petals, revealing a larger Digimon than Renamon. It was a quadruped now, and it had 9 tails ending in what looked like faming tips. A yin yang symbol covered her forehead, and her mane was more gracious and fuller.

“R-Renamon, is that you? You digivolved?” I was amazed. Renamon digivolved made me feel in awe, as she reminded me of a fox deity. “My name is Kyubimon” Kyubimon bowed to me even as a quadruped.

Centarumon resumed his attack and shot a larger beam at us. Kyubimon user her mouth to hold me by the back of the neck of my blue jacket, and pulled me out of the way. Kyubimon asked me to mount her, which I did. I have never had experience riding animals, but this was comfortable as it was a creature I could converse with. Kyubimon shouted “Onibidama!” which produced a group of small flames that exploded on Centarumon’s body. Centarumon was badly wounded from this, but attempted another attack on Kyubimon and I. It was the same charging beam as last time. I swiped the speed card again, giving Kyubimon the ability to better control her avoidance of this attack, and Kyubimon used the onibidama again, this time pulverizing Centarumon. Once the information was absorbed by Kyubimon, she returned to being Renamon again.

“Calu! You two were incredible!” I saw Calumon’s shadow being cast by a full moon. The night was crisp and clear. After we walked out of the alley, Calumon left Renamon and myself alone.

“Renamon…” I lowered my head, this time in shame.

“What’s wrong Suko?”

I began to sob, and ran towards Renamon to hug her tightly. I was so happy she was alive. I was grateful for her warm fur and her hug. “I am sorry I was mean to you. I am sorry!” I felt Renamon tightening her hug. She lifted me up and held me in her hug at the level of her face. “It’s all ok now. It all passed.” Renamon said as she ruffled my hair with her big paw-hand.

“I am sorry for having said that stuff about you to Calumon, that you were a liar and a manipulator. I was wrong about that stuff.” I was being soothed by Renamon. Not only by her caresses, but also by her calm and feminine voice. I just held on to her and cuddled on her chest fluff. I heard her breathing, her heart. It had a calming effect on my soul which was in a constant storm. Her embrace made me feel like no matter what earthquake, or tornado, or Digimon came to the city or the world to destroy it in an apocalypse, everything was going to be alright because she was with me. Even if the entire universe was wiped out, we were going to be alright.

There was a light drizzle outside, and that made every light coming from the building to appear as if we were on some kind of astral realm, with spirits of light, cherubs, and angels floating around us and chanting. “It’s ok Suko. It’s ok. Don’t cry.” Renamon whispered to me while holding my head with her big hand. I took a deep breath. I felt at peace to speak my mind now.

Then I said, “I just, I just don’t understand a lot of things, I want to know why a Digimon wants to protect a tamer no matter what. You know, like what compels Digimon to do that. You know, there’s got to be a logical explanation for this.”

Renamon sighed, “I just do. I just formed an emotional bond with you the moment I appeared to you. And you felt it too. Why did you feel like running towards me when I was hurt?” I thought about that for a moment. She was right. I also felt that impulse to run and protect Renamon. But even though I felt it as well, and couldn’t claim that feeling as alien to me, I still did not understand it. Why do we, people and Digimon, feel like protecting each other at times, even when we barely know each other?

“I don’t know either. I just felt it. I just didn’t want to see you suffer like that, that made me wake up.”

“Exactly. People, and Digimon too, act rationally sometimes. Other times, irrationally. That doesn’t mean one approach is superior to the others, Suko. And we do not choose that approach. It just happens to us.”

And to be honest, I was happy either way. I don’t know what this whole tamer business is, and I want to know. But what Renamon said makes sense. Sometimes we do things out of emotion and we can’t fully explain them through rational means. “Do you want to come home with me, Renamon?”

“Of course.” Renamon said in a slightly animated voice. Then we walked together through the magical drizzle that made everything look, well, magical.

 

Chapter Text

Suko and I were watching TV. It was a cartoon called “Rupert the Bear”. The show was about a white bear wearing a yellow scarf who had adventures with his other animal, and also human, friends. If I recall correctly, the episode was about these imps of Spring who were having trouble getting Spring started. Rupert the bear ran into this Raggety, a creature made from branches that had a trunk or long nose. That creature got Rupert into trouble, first by causing chaos in this store where Rupert’s friends were waiting for a pig named Podgy to choose an apple, then at Rupert’s own home. The episode’s aim was to teach children what a friend really is. “Friend? What is friend?” Raggety would ask with his raspy voice. Rupert did not know how to answer the question, but his actions more than demonstrated what a friend is when he saved Raggety from the fire. Raggety returned the favor to Rupert by saving him from this magical machine meant to bring Spring back. At the end, Spring came, and Rupert could play soccer with his friends.


Suko was cuddled to me, still sleepy. He was tired from yesterday’s fight. He was holding a plush rabbit he named Yuki, as it was white like the snow. A few rays of sunshine that squeezed through the blinds fell on his face. His hair was so messy. I looked around the room and could see all his toys scattered around.


After Suko left for school, I stuck around his room to wait for him. In the meantime, I decided to pick up all his toys and put them in their appropriate places. I was slightly concerned his parents would find out about me, but I picked up as much as I could. I placed this doll of a man with spiky hair and an orange karate uniform on a shelf, where other similar figures were standing. The other dolls were the alien with the horns and the armor that had that light coming out of its fingers, a man with long straight black hair, a black shirt and blue jeans, a blonde female that was remarkably similar to this man in hairstyle and attire, and this pink man with some kind of antenna on its head. I placed the dolls on this blue box as there was no more space on the shelf. The rest of the mess consisted of these plastic blocks that could connect with each other and make larger figures, and many of Suko’s socks that I guess he would just throw away after removing them. I placed the blocks on a red bucket where many other of those blocks would be, and the socks I put on a basket where other clothes Suko took off would go. I hoped Suko’s mother would be pleasantly surprised by this. Yuki was on the floor, so I picked him up and put him on his bed along with the other stuffed toys.


After this, I laid down on Suko’s bed, and began to meditate. I sat in the lotus position for a prolonged period, and let any thoughts and emotions appear in my mind, without any judgment. Some of the visions I had were of Digimon Holy Beasts: Zhuqiaomon, Ebonwumon, Azulongmon, and Baihumon. I had visions of myself, growing bigger and bigger, and becoming light. Once I finished meditating, I decided to take a nap. The meditation had lasted 3 hours. I have done more time meditating, but I wanted to cut it short because I didn’t want to risk Suko’s parents seeing me. It was difficult to balance that priority with the meditation, but I accomplished it.


After Suko came back from school, we went out to the park. It was called the Shinjuku Central Park. I was getting used to the names of this place, thanks to Suko. At the park, Suko and I enjoyed the shadows the trees. I felt the chill wind blow through my fur, and it was a serenity I was happy to share with my tamer. Suko caught glimpse of what appeared to be a shrine, and he ran towards it. I followed him, and when we arrived, we admired its architecture and artistry. The paper lamps, the curved roof, the windows with squared panes. Then I saw how Suko wanted to enter.


“Suko, no. I don’t think we are allowed to enter. Don’t do it.”


“Come on Renamon, no one is here. What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Suko shrugged and shook his head. I did not think that was a good idea, but Suko, being a little boy, disobeyed me and went in.


“Suko. Get out of there.” I crossed my arms and stared directly into his eyes, hoping that would work. It didn’t. He was monkeying around the objects inside the shrine.


“Look Renamon! There is a secret passageway! Let’s look at what’s inside. I want to know more.” I just crossed the barrier between the outside of the temple and the interior. I wanted to grab Suko and leave this place before anyone caught us. I saw the passageway and before I could catch Suko he went inside the passageway. The air was odd inside of that tunnel. We kept on walking, and we stumbled upon a door. There seemed to be light on there.


“Suko. Let’s go.” I grabbed his arm to take him away but before I could pull him, he pushed the door and we were sucked in by a force. I did not let go of Suko as we were being pulled in further and further. I pulled Suko towards me and held him in both of my arms to protect him. Around us there were lights of various colors, receding from us at increasing speeds. Then we fell on what felt like grass. It was a dark forest. The trees were twisted and had a ghastly appearance to them. Some of them had the semblance of faces.


“Where are we?” Suko asked me, more curious than afraid.


“I have no idea Suko. This isn’t the digiworld for sure.”


“No? Uh Oh…” Suko then rubbed his chin as if he was thinking something.


“What’s on your mind?”


“Well, how are we getting out of here? I wasn’t expecting this.”


“We have to focus on that.” I held Suko’s hand and walked with him through the forest.

There were small glowing creatures with beady eyes. They had tentacled arms and laughed every time they saw us. They were not Digimon as Suko’s digivice did not get a reading of them. Some other creatures looked like animals from Earth: Some were bird-like, others were like small cats. But they all had something different from Earth animals: either wings, or lizard tails. The air was cold, and Suko was shaking despite him having his blue jacket. I carried him to cover him from the cold with my arms.


Once we were outside of the forest, the weather become more temperate. We were inside what looked like a canyon, but the layers of the rocks were of multiple colors. Suko and I were in awe of such beauty, that we forgot the situation we were in. Some layers had diamond on them. Others had granite.


All of a sudden, we saw a large shadow above us, leaving a trail of wind that ruffled my fur and Suko’s hair. “What was that?” Suko was intrigued, and I could see that he was concerned.


“It doesn’t look good. Let’s be careful. I will hold you so that you do not run away.”


Once we were on a wider part of the canyon, we looked up to see if anything was there. There was only the blue sky, some clouds, and a bright sun. Once the sun was covered by a cloud, I felt something was behind us. I turned to see, and it was a giant brown eagle, mounted by a strange man. His body was a poker card, with four clovers on it. His head was round and human-like. He was wearing a helmet and had a sword on his back.


“Seize them!” I heard the card-man scream.


“Suko let’s run!” I ran with Suko on my arms and jumped from wall to wall. The giant eagle shoot fire at us, but I avoided it. The eagle then batted its wings, releasing a giant tornado that captured us. We spun and spun inside the tornado.


“Renamon!” Suko screamed. I held on to Suko as tightly as I could. As the tornado abated, I freed myself from the tornado and used my touhakken on the giant eagle. I kicked it on the chest, but to no avail. The eagle batted its wings again, sending us flying. Before we landed, the eagle caught us on its claws and took us away.


I thought it would be a terrible idea to free ourselves from the giant bird, as it was flying higher and higher. We soared above the clouds. No matter what, I was going to hold on to Suko one way or another. I was not going to let anyone, or anything separate us. Suko held on to me as best be could while on the eagle’s grip.


“Renamon, I am scared. I shouldn’t have gone inside that. You were right.” I didn’t imagine this would have happened. I just thought a police officer, or a park guard would catch us. But this? We did not have a clue about this. I looked far in the front, and I could see a giant floating structure. As we got closer and closer, I could see it was some kind of fortified city, and crowning it was a castle, with towers, turrets, and parapets. The towers had cupolas, and the cupolas were multicolored, with swirling wedges. Despite the situation we were in, the sight was worth it for the moment being.
The eagle took us to the castle, and as we landed a group of more card-men were waiting for us. The eagle dumped us on the floor as if we were trash, and as we got up, we noticed there was a figure that seemed to be their governor, or king. The other card-men kneeled in respect, and I urged Suko that we had to do the same to make things easier on us.


“Who are you? Where have you come from?” The king of cards asked us. His voice was bird-like. His crown was large, and it looked like it was made from gold. It had rubies and sapphires on an alternating pattern. His face was snobbish and looked at us as if we were trash of some kind. The wrinkles of the face, the watery eyes, full of contempt, told me that there was not going to be any kind of mercy on us. I decided to answer on our behalf: “My name is Renamon, I am a Digimon. This is my tamer, Suko, a human being.”


The king of cards frowned at us and opened his mouth, as if wanting to scream something at us, but the emotion was so powerful he was impeded from doing so for a few seconds. The king yelled at us: “A Digimon and a human being dare to intrude upon MY kingdom?! No Digimon or human are allowed in my kingdom. Any Digimon or human being that trespass into my kingdom, shall be arrested and sent to prison!” When Suko heard those words, he swallowed and got closer to me. “What shall we do?” He asked.


“Arrest them! Guards!” The king called upon his guards. When the guards appeared, I noticed they were all card-men, some with clovers, others with hearts, or diamonds. Some guards had swords other spears, and I thought they were all weak, and could be easily overcome. I nudged at Suko, and I whispered to him asking if he had his digivice. He pulled it out. He went through his cards and selected the high-speed card. After Suko swiped it, I held Suko with both arms and ran away as fast as I could. “Don’t let them escape!” I heard the king scream. The spears from the guards I managed to easily evade. They were child’s play for me. The difficult part was the giant brown eagle. This eagle followed us out of the castle, mounted by the leader of those guards we encountered earlier. Much to the consternation of that leader guard, we evaded him easily because of the high speed. We passed by the alleys of the fortified floating city. I was looking for a place to temporarily hide. Getting down from this city would be another story.


I finally found a place to hide. It was a sewer. This sewer was a long tunnel. I didn’t know where it might lead us, but for now we were safe. The place had an appalling smell to it. Suko and I had a hard time adapting to it. Eventually, Suko had to go to the restroom and I waited while he went. Afterwards, we continued walking this tunnel. I noticed Suko was quiet most of the time, so I wanted to distract him a little as he seemed sad. “It’s interesting how there is a floating city, right? I wonder what technology they use to make it float.” I thought appealing to Suko’s curiosity was a good idea, as he would be distracted from the current situation by thinking about the way this works. We were trapped here, and we had to find a solution, but in the meantime, I didn’t want him to be sad.


“I don’t know, Renamon… I have been thinking… If it wasn’t for my hyperactivity, we wouldn’t be trapped here. This is my fault…” I heard how his voice was beginning to sound broken, as if he wanted to cry. I couldn’t bear to see Suko in that state. It pained me to see him this way. On the other hand, I was happy he was realizing that his actions could carry negative consequences for himself and others, that it was not just about him. I reached out to him and held his shoulders with my hands: “You are a brave boy. We have won battles together. I am sure we will be able to figure this out if we work together, as the partners we are. You are a tamer, not just a little boy.” Suko slowly began to smile at me as I said all of this.


“But I don’t even know what it means to be a tamer. I know there’s more to it than just being a person with a Digimon and fighting battles. Not everyone can do it right.”


“I don’t know either. But here we are.”


“Renamon, you are right. I should be brave and not beat myself up over this. I just… I just feel amazed that you aren’t angry at me for not listening to you back home. You tried to make me feel good again even though I was a rascal.” After he said this, Suko gave me a hug, “You are a dictionary example of truly amazing. Thank you for being you, Renamon.”


“You are truly amazing as well.” And I returned the hug. We kept on walking, satisfied with having consoled Suko. It was a relief. Plus, a sad tamer might not perform as well. The air was cold inside, and we could hear the water dropping. By this time, we had become acclimated to the smell. Suddenly, we heard someone was following us. Suko perceived it too and took out his digivice and cards. “Suko, let’s be on the lookout.” I was ready to fight whatever or whoever was there. “Hello?” And then the being came into view. It was a Burgermon according to the digivice. A small beige being with a hat shaped like a burger bun, beady eyes, and a long tail. It looked inoffensive, so I lowered my guard a little more.


“What are you doing here?” Suko asked curiously.


“I see that you are a human and a Digimon.” Burgermon said.


“Can you tell us what are you doing here?” I sternly insisted.


“I know I can trust you now. I… I escaped from prison. I have been trying to find a way to free my family from prison. However, I have been trapped here for a day, not knowing what to do.” Burgermon seemed distressed, in anguish. We sat down close to one of the walls of the tunnel. Burgermon sat next to Suko, and away from me. He seemed to be intimidated by me. Many Digimon find me intimidating, even when I don’t mean to be that way. It must be a combination of my height and my serious personality.


“You see, we appeared in this place all of a sudden. Many Digimon had been transported to the human world. But others to other worlds. We landed in this one.”


“So this is not the digiworld, and not the human world. What is it then?” Suko looked at the burgermon with intense curiosity, like someone expecting to unravel some grand mystery.


“I do not know!” Burgermon smiled resignedly. “But I do know that we were wrongly imprisoned. My family and I were innocently walking through a forest of the digiworld, looking for spices for our burgers, when all of a sudden, a vortex on a lake took us to this place. We walked some distance from where we landed, and afterwards a group of gigantic eagles took us away to the king of cards. He accused us of illegally trespassing into his kingdom and attempting to terrorize his people. He claims all Digimon and foreign beings are here to cause terror to the inhabitants of this realm, and we were lumped into that category even though we are innocent! We were sent to jail, which was a cold and musty place. The cells were cramped. We were given food remains instead of decent meals, and occasionally the guards would take my wife out of the cell and…” Then Burgermon stopped himself and looked at Suko, then at me with some trepidation. “I will not continue with that part as this is a child and children should not listen to those matters. After jail, we were brought to a court. We were intimidated beyond measure. The halls were full of people, creatures we had never encountered before: not human and not Digimon. Some were plant-like, others more like human beings but with some differences like big noses or long ears. They were all speaking to each other and looking at me and my humble family with a judgmental air. The judge was at the end of the room, sitting in an extremely high place. His voice was like a thunder, which made my two children scared. We were given a public defender, who tuned out to be highly inefficient. The prosecutor, a clover-headed humanoid, laid out all the accusations against us: Illegal trespassing into the kingdom, attempting to terrorize the people of the kingdom, and engaging in sexual conduct with the prison wardens. Do you believe it? Do you believe the outrageousness of those accusations against us?” Suko took a deep breath and slammed his hands on his knees. Burgermon continued: “Our defender mentioned how we inadvertently ended up in this world, and that we were not purposely engaging in sexual conduct with the wardens. However, these defenses were dismissed by the prosecutor as nonsense: he said ignorance of the law is no excuse, and that the law is clear in that any illegal foreigner in this kingdom who sexually provokes an officer of the law is to be imprisoned by an amount of time at the discretion of the judge. The judge sided with the kingdom and took us back to jail where we were at currently, before he decided a proper sentence for us.”


“So, it has been a day since this trial occurred.” Suko reiterated for Burgermon.


“Yes lad. And I found a way to escape from my cell. My family are still in their individual cells. I do not know if the cells where my family are imprisoned have any crevices overlooked by the builders of this place. But I went out to find out what to do. I do not know. I am desperate to save my family and find a way home!” Burgermon began to sob uncontrollably.


“I am sorry Burgermon.” Suko said. “That sounds awful.” Burgermon continued weeping. The situation they had seemed rather desperate, more so than our situation. Suko then turned to me, with eyes of worry.
“We have to help them out as well. It’s not fair!” Suko expressed himself with a force. I agreed it wasn’t fair. I also want to help, as we are together in this.

Chapter Text

“We have to find a way to get out of this floating city” Suko scratched his head. I thought these sewers must lead to some kind of exit. The issue was getting down, not finding an exit.


“Let’s move and see what happens guys!” Suko marched forward, and I made sure to get close to him so that he didn’t go too far without me. The sewer was indeed huge. The water made dripping sounds and sometimes I got chilly. We found a ladder to get to a lower level. I carried Suko with me as I jumped down and let Burgermon get down through the ladder by himself. We were in a bigger chamber of the sewers, with a huge pool of stinky water. There were small waterfalls of more murky water. This was the place where all the sewer tunnels converged. I put Suko down and held him by the hand while we advanced through a wider tunnel.
“How will we rescue my family?” Burgermon asked shyly. “I hope we come up with a plan quickly.”


“We tried fighting against one of those eagles, but we were taken.” Suko told Burgermon about how we got into this situation, beginning with the shrine incident. “But I am sure Renamon and I will come up with something, Mr. Burgermon.”


At last, we saw a light. A very strong sound could be heard, like a giant waterfall. Suko wanted to run and see, and he pulled me forwards. Once we got near, I saw the vast expanse of the land of this bizarre land: Green grasslands expanded onwards, with a few copses here and there. In front of me, far away, we saw the rainbow canyon, and the dark forest where we were transported. The wind was blowing rather fast, and I could see other creatures flying. Some were birds with dolphin faces, blowholes and all. Their wings were large and flew rather elegantly. “Wow, look at that, Renamon. I wonder what do they eat all day, or how do they communicate.”
“Maybe they can understand our language. It’s worth a try” I suggested, and Suko concurred. Suko spotted another one of those dolphin birds and called it. The dolphin bird surely enough understood Suko and came closer to us.


“Um. Hi! I am Suko Nakamura from the first grade. I wanted to know if you could please help us get down. It’s because we got stuck here and we have no idea how to get down.” Suko played with his hair as he was saying this. It seemed to be some kind of habit he had whenever he met someone new. He did it when he met me.


The dolphin bird looked at us and smiled: “Of course I can help you out, Suko.” The dolphin-bird looked at me and at Burgermon, “What are your names?”


“Renamon”.


“Burgermon”.


“Very well guys, you may climb my back. There is enough space for three people.” And indeed, there was. I carried Suko to the eagle, and I sat behind him. Burgermon was on my back. The dolphin-bird, which we learned were called dolpheons, took off and made sure to go as far away from the floating city as possible. On the way down, we told the dolpheon everything that had happened, and the situation with Burgermon. We indeed saw many of the giant eagles making rounds about the floating city. It looked like they were looking for us.


“You guys were lucky to have escaped.” The dolpheon’s voice was grave, and I heard Suko swallow.


“Why do you s-say that?” Burgermon’s voice was nervous and quivering.


“Well, that king is a barbarian. He murders anyone he imprisons. Freeing a prisoner, in his lingo, means executing them to free them of this world.” Dolpheon looked at us, perhaps to gauge our reactions.


“Uh oh…” Suko exclaimed. “H-how long until the king decides to murder Burgermon’s family?”


“Well, that depends on the king’s mood, really.” Dolpheon said. Burgermon began to cry as he heard this. I could feel he had lost all hope of seeing his family again. We passed by a giant cloud, and I felt the vapor ruffle my fur. I felt horrible for Burgermon, and Suko’s urge to help out became more patently necessary. It would really be out of our way to do it, but Suko really wanted to help our and I wished to respect that, and I in fact endorsed it. It was a great chance for my tamer to fight other enemies along with me. But we needed a strategy, as this was a life and death situation for everyone involved.
“We are almost down folks!” Dolpheon said. We landed on the edge of a forest, but it was a regular forest with pines and oaks, and no faces on the trees. I could see beams of sunlight come into the shadows of the woods. A different atmosphere could be sensed. It was more benevolent and serene. We thanked the dolpheon before he flew away.


“Now we got to find a way to rescue your family.” I said.


“How? How?! If we are already down and away from the floating city!” Burgermon looked behind me and the floating city was a mere dot in the blue sky. I wish I could answer, but I didn’t really know. I still didn’t want to disappoint Suko so I thought what else could we do.


“Let’s explore the area guys. Maybe someone or something can give us an answer.” Suko was marching without moving around, anxious to go and explore.


“Hey… Calm down.” I smiled and ruffled Suko’s hair. We walked through the forest and did not encounter any enemies. We walked by a small river, where we saw small fish. After an hour of walking aimlessly (let’s be honest here) we decided to set up a camp to rest. We set up right next to the river, that way we could have access to fish if we wanted to. It was Suko’s idea to be next to the river, for the fish.


At night we set up a campfire and made some fish skewers. Suko ate so much that he almost left us without provisions. He must have been so exhausted, but even then, he stayed awake most of the night. I worried that he would run away somewhere and get into some kind of trouble, so I battled my sleep to keep an eye on him. I heard he was speaking with someone, and it sounded like another boy around his same age. Could there be another human trapped in here? I doubted that very much. To my surprise, there was indeed another boy. But this boy was different: He was wearing a red and green costume, made from leaves and animal hides. He had a long pointy hat as well and pointed ears. He carried a sword on his side, and more surprisingly, I saw a digivice.


“What do you think about Digimon cards?” I heard Suko ask. The elf-boy seemed to be thinking hard about this, until he saw me. He jumped and after looking at my face he looked at Suko.


“Oh, that’s my Digimon partner, Renamon. Renamon, this is… what was your name?”

“My name is Gaelin.” The boy said as he bowed to me.


“Sorry Gelin. I am really bad with names.” Suko played with his hair again.


“That is not a problem Suko. I am glad to meet the both of you. I see that you are a tamer Suko.” Gaelin turned to Suko.


“Yes. I just wish I could know more about what means to be a tamer.” Suko lowered his head. It seemed like that question was still bothering him a lot.


“What do you mean?” Gaelin seemed puzzled.


“Yeah. I am sure it’s not just battles and all that. Or just being friends with your Digimon. There has to be something else to it.”


Gaelin scratched his head and thought for a few minutes. Then he abruptly looked at Suko and smiled, saying: “Well, that’s a journey for you and your Digimon to partake on. It’s very personal, my friend.”


“Very personal?”


“Yes! My sister is also a tamer. Our people, the green leaf elves, believe that Digimon are like spirit guides that come to teach us something.”


“Hmmm…” Suko rubbed his chin and nodded. “I see.”


“You got the basics: fighting, emotional bond. But we believe there is a higher purpose to it than just chance.”


“Me too, I don’t think I was just lucky! That’s why I want to know.” Suko said.


“Well, you will have to discover what you and your digimon’s mission is. Like I said, we elves believe it is very personal and there is no one who can give you a straight answer.”

Suko just looked aside. I could tell he was not that happy about the answer, but that it was better than nothing for him. He seemed to appreciate it as a step in the right direction. I knew I had to meet Suko for a reason, but I couldn’t put my finger on it either. I still would not let it consume me.
“Where’s your Digimon?” Suko bluntly asked.
“Huh? It has been here this entire time!” Gaelin smiled, “Kudamon, you can make yourself visible.” All of a sudden, Kudamon appeared. It was a long, white, fox-like Digimon holding what looked like a cartridge, with Digimon inscriptions on it. It had purple markins on its body, big golden eyes, and ears with black tips. One of the ears had a golden ring on it.


“Howdy!” Kudamon greeted us.


Gaelin seemed like a nice elf-boy and seemed to get along well with Suko. Gaelin showed us his Digimon cards, which were so different from the ones on our world. These cards did not have any color on them and had cruder drawings on them, with a different alphabet altogether. Gaelin told us about how he met Kudamon. Gaelin used to roam these forests by himself and would hunt fish and other game. He would ward off predators from the village. One day, one of the predators was too much for him to take on, and Gaelin almost died. However, Kudamon appeared and rescued Gaelin. Ever since then, according to Gaelin, they became best friends. He seemed more mature than Suko for his appearance, and he also had questions about his mission as a tamer, until he decided to simply enjoy Kudamon’s company and let the acts come to him. “Just relax buddy.” That seemed to be Gaelin’s catchphrase for Suko. The one he had for me was “Did mice eat your tongue, or did you eat too many mice?” I found it a little annoying after a while but kept that to myself. Kudamon would ask Gaelin to stop, which Gaelin simply agreed to do reluctantly. Suko dared to touch the elf’s ears, poking at the tips. “What are you doing? Stop that.” I said as I grabbed Suko and held him until he stopped moving around. Gealin simply returned the favor and felt Suko’s round human ears. Both stared at each other blankly before they started laughing. The laughter became too prolonged. Why did they do that? Why did they randomly decide to touch each other’s ears and then laugh like two little maniacs? Only they knew why. It was still adorable to watch them play like that. I also felt Suko’s ears, and he turned to me pouting. I simply smiled.


We told Gaelin about our situation. When we mentioned the king of cards, Gaelin gasped.

“The king of cards has Digimon incarcerated? Oh no!” Gaelin got up.


“Yeah, and he is capable of killing them if no one does something.” Suko said.


After a few moments of pondering, Gaelin got up and told us his plan: “I will take you all to my village, including that Burgermon you rescued. We will meet with the king of elves. Don’t worry! He is a nice person who is always willing to help out. The elves and the cards have always been in a sort of cold war. Grown-up matters, you know. It seems we might get into a hot war.”


“A war?” I said, concerned.


“Yes. We consider Digimon to be sacred. They are spirit guides. We can’t allow them to be treated like criminals. They are here to teach us stuff!”


“Spirits guides...” I said while looking up at the sky. I saw a shooting star. The trail it left was light blue.


We decided to stay at the camp for this night, and Gaelin promised he would come back to us the next morning to escort us to the elf king. Suko and I stayed at the campfire, staring at the flames. I looked a Suko, and noticed he was getting sleepy. I wanted to ask him how he felt about the answer Gaelin had given him regarding tamers. I really wanted to know what he thought, but he was sleepy, and we simply went to sleep after putting off the fire.

Chapter Text

The next morning, I found Suko was not next to me as he was when we went to sleep. It was still dark, but one could begin to see sunlight coming out from behind the mountains. I was concerned he went far away and got lost and hurt, so I quickly got moving and to my relief he was sitting behind a tree, looking up. Why was he up so early? I thought he was tired from all of the adventures we had yesterday. He still didn’t notice me as I was approaching him. When I was next to him he got startled:
“Oh! H-Hi Renamon! How are you?”


“Good morning Suko. I am ok. How about you? You are up so early.” I sat down next to him.


“Yeah… I just… I just wanted to look up at the stars and see if I could see anything different than what we see back at home. Over there there’s so much light pollution that I can barely see Mars and Venus. But here! It’s essentially dawn and look at how awesome it looks.” The enthusiasm in his voice awakened me even more. I looked up, and at that moment I was struck by how beautiful it was. Forget the sun coming out. I could see a large band of stars with a dark smudge in the middle. It was a huge cloud of stars and dark dust. There were other star clouds below this bigger one, but they were harder to see, and I had to strain my eyes to see any details. What amazed me the most was how close this looked, and yet how far away it actually was. This meant this cloud was actually gigantic, and Suko told me it would take hundreds of thousands of years to move around this if we moved as fast as light does. I am so happy that I get to enjoy moments like these with my tamer Suko, as they always move me in so many ways. There were so many places one could have been born into, and yet everything conspired for us to meet. I don’t think it is a coincidence Suko and I met. It can’t be.


“What do you think will happen in that war, Renamon? I am a bit scared to be honest.” Suko rested his head on my body. “I don’t know if we are going to see Burgermon’s family again or not. What if they are already killed?”


“Don’t say that. At this point, the best thing we can do is hope we find them alive.”


“What if they were cooked into burgers?” Suko giggled as he said “burgers”.


“Suko… Don’t say that”. I giggled too, but I hoped he would not make that joke in front of Burgermon. “Don’t say that in front of Burgermon, ok?”


“I wasn’t planning to.” Suko was still giggling.


Then we heard someone approaching. It was Gaelin and Kudamon. “Wake Burgermon up. We are going to introduce you all to the king. He wants to meet you and give you a show of his hospitality for your willingness to help us in this battle.”


“Will there be food?” Suko quickly got up.


“Yes! Lot’s of it. For all the elves and Digimon who will fight in this battle. Also, for the only human present here. Ha ha!” Gaelin pointed at Suko as he said this. Suko was going to run to wake up Burgermon, but I stopped him.


“Wait Suko, let’s be gentle about this.”


“But the burger will get cold if we don’t eat it.” Suko began to giggle again, and Gaelin followed.


“Suko…” I sighed.


“Ok Renamon, ok… I will do it your way.” Then we approached Burgermon and I gently nudged him. Burgermon woke up after some more tries, and we moved towards the elf town. The way was quite long, as this was a big forest. Gaelin and Suko were laughing at something, and I could not discern what it was. Then they began to run away and ahead of Kudamon and me, laughing as they looked back at us. I figured they were just messing around with us, so I kept walking at my pace. When they saw we didn’t react the way they probably wanted us to react, they came back dejected.


“You are no fun.” Suko pouted as he looked up to me. I did not respond and I picked him up and carried him with both arms.


“H-hey! Let me go!” Suko was still laughing.


“No. I will make sure you don’t run away like that again.” I calmly said as I kept walking. Gaelin started laughing at the whole scenario and began to make faces at Suko as we walked towards the town.


“Na na na na na! Look at you now! You are being carried like a little baby! Who is mommy’s baby? Hahahaha!”


“Aw shut up!” Suko fired back.


“Gaelin… Stop.” Kudamon elbowed Gaelin and frowned at him.


After some minutes of silence, Burgermon asked us why we were going to the town. Gaelin explained everything to Burgermon. Burgermon was somewhat relieved we were going to rescue his family, but also concerned about the battle against the card people. He was still appreciative of how highly regarded were Digimon by the elves. Burgermon seemed overall less distraught than yesterday.


After about 30 minutes of walking, we could see the elf town. It was more like a city, as I could see many buildings spread over a large area. We had to climb down a hill to reach the town, and the first thing we approached as we entered the town were restaurants and tourist shops. I was struck by how old this place looked compared to Suko’s home, but more so by its architecture: plant themes abounded in the home designs, with engravings that simulated ivies and flowers. The roofs resembled flower bulbs at times, and at other times they were just like the roof of the shrine that led us to this world. Their writing was elegant too. I was struck by how elegant things began to appear as we got deeper into the town. The other elves wore elegant costumes and dresses, and many had rather peculiar hairstyles. “That lady’s hair looks like a fire hydrant.” Suko whispered to me. I saw some elves with Digimon at their side. One man had a Kunemon on his shoulder. A girl had a Pumpkinmon following her. They had digivices like Suko’s and Henry’s.


When we approached the king’s palace, I was impressed by how beautiful and big it was. It was surrounded by a lush forest, and the domes of the towers were golden. Gaelin told me those had a layer of gold, and that the entire building was made from marble and it took a thousand years to build it. The towers, the balconies, the wide and high stairs, they were all marble. White marble to be more specific.


“Renamon, it looks amazing right? It looks like it is made out of frozen yogurt with caramel on top.” Suko whispered to me.


“Someone is hungry.” I looked at him and smiled.


“You bet I am.” He yawned. Being awake so early was beginning to affect him. And hunger was making him exhausted.


Once we were at the stairs of the palace, I looked up and realized how huge it actually was. It was a wonder of this world for sure. It was more impressive than the castle of the king of cards. I looked at Gaelin to ask if we could just walk in, as I saw him climbing the stairs with Kudamon. Before I could ask, he urged us to come up. After climbing half the stairs, it still seemed like the top was far away. I looked at Suko to see if he was also looking at this amazing building, but he was asleep.


Gaelin led us into the palace. I was struck by how casually he just entered, and no one seemed to mind. Some of the elves stared at me but would quickly look away as soon as I looked at them. The inside of the palace was not less impressive than the outside: Gaelin told us the chandeliers hanging from the high roof were made from silver, and that the murals of fantastic monsters and elf warriors were painted by the most skilled artists of the land. I wish Suko was awake to witness this. But I didn’t want to awaken him yet.
Once we were led into a long hallway with multiple wooden doors, we reached a far-end room. Gaelin knocked: “Dad! Here we are!”
“Come in son!” A gruff voice said. Gaelin opened the door and waved his hand indicating us to come in. I came in, and the room was rather big, with a bed made out of marble at the far end. The bed had golden posts, and a semi-transparent curtain hung from the poles, covering a figure that seemed to be Gaelin’s dad. Kudamon bowed, and I wondered why. Kudamon motioned us to bow, and I bowed while Suko was still on my arms.


“Get up you silly! No need to bow.” Gaelin’s dad said. Gaelin was giggling this entire time. “My name is Oberon. I am the king of the elves. It is an honor to meet you.” King of the elves? This means Gaelin is a prince, and all this time we didn’t know? King Oberon laughed at me, reading my expression of confusion. “My boy Gaelin does this to visitors. He always hides from them that he is a prince, just to see surprise faces. Quite a mischievous lad. I apologize if he has caused you any trouble.” King Oberon smiled. His long beard did not conceal the smile.


“Was it a problem that we entered so casually?” I looked down, not knowing what to expect.


“Nah! You are good. Here take a seat. Gaelin! Bring a chair to our guests. What are you waiting for, go!” And Gaelin ran out of the room laughing. Shortly afterwards he brought a wooden chair where I could sit.


“Thank you so much, King Oberon.” I bowed to him as I took a seat.


“Don’t call me King Oberon. Call me KO. You know, like knock out, because I like to knock my enemies out. Get it?” Then the king let out a loud contagious laugh, which also made me laugh not because of the joke (which I thought was pretty bad) but because of how happy it seemed. I felt Suko moving slightly, but he was still asleep. King Oberon noticed Suko: “Whatcha got there?” He said as he pointed at my tamer. “Here lemme see”. King Oberon got close to inspect and opened his eyes widely. “Ohohohoho! So this is the Suko Gaelin talked to me about, and you are Renardmon?” Why did he get it wrong?


“My name is Renamon, and this is my tamer Suko. He is a human.”


“Renamon! I am so sorry for getting your name wrong. It must be the herbs they put in that red wine. Anyways! You have a partner who is a human. Oh, look at him he is asleep! He looks so peaceful and serene. Can I carry him? You must be tired from carrying the little boy from such a distance.”


“Sure.” And I carefully handed Suko to the king, who rocked him and made strange noises at him. Suko began to smile, and slowly awaken. Once he was awake, he frowned and said: “What am I doing here? Where is Renamon?”


“I am here, Suko.” And Suko turned to look and I waved.


“Are we in the north pole or something? Why is Santa Claus holding me?” Suko sounded genuinely concerned, and the king laughed so loud that it relieved me he was not offended.


“Santa Claus! Hohohoho! I like this lad.” The king looked at me while he pointed at Suko. “You awake now son?”


“Uh… Yeah… But where are we? Who are you?”


“My name is Oberon, and I am the king of the elves. My son is Gaelin.”


“You are a king? Wow!” Suko was surprised at this. King Oberon put Suko down and Suko came to me.


After a short pause, King Oberon began to speak: “Well, now that everyone is here and awake, I will provide more context for what is going on.” Oberon said as he used a finger gesture. “I imagine Gaelin told you about the card people and how we are in some sort of conflict. Now, this conflict arises because of how they treat Digimon, among other things. That king of cards is so intent in treating Digimon and other creatures in so inhumanely a way that we can’t allow that to continue. Digimon are spirit guides to us. They are inherently kind creatures who deserve to be treated with dignity.” The king was passionate about this matter. “Digimon form a unique bond with their partners, and they grow together and teach each other many things. This bond, I do not fully understand it. But it is a very real thing of a spiritual nature. It offends us that someone dares to spit on that.” The king crossed his arms.


“Do you know what being a tamer means?” Suko asked abruptly. I was going to tell him not to ask that right now, but the king answered before I could speak.


“Being a tamer is a very personal matter lad. You and your partner met for a reason, and that is for you and her to find out. You see, I have a Digimon too.” He pulled out his digivice from a pocket in his long red robe. “My Digimon, a Cherrymon, met me in the forest a long time ago. I was a prince, and I did not enjoy being a part of royalty at all. I still rebel against such things as you can probably see. The pressure, and how often I disappointed my father made me feel very sad, lad. Then I met Cherrymon as a Mushroomon. He and I became instant friends and he helped me deal with the pressure my family gave me. He still helps me deal with pressure. He comforts and advises me. And sometimes we crack jokes at each other’s expenses.”


“Oh… I see now. So, you and your Digimon are very close friends.” Suko said.


“Yes, we are very close friends. It’s almost like we are brothers.” The king laughed, and I noticed Suko didn’t. He remained pensive. The king noticed this and said: “Don’t waste energy on that. It will come to you on its own. The more you try to find out, the more elusive the answer becomes. I tell you this from experience. These gray hairs aren’t here for nothin’!”


“But I just want to know…!” Suko’s voice broke a little bit.


“Lad, a piece of advice I will give you: Forget about that question. Just don’t think about it. Let it go. Because the more you chase this, the harder the bite will be.”


“Bite? Who will bite me?” Suko sounded concerned.


“No one! Silly lad. Hohoho! It’s an expression. What I mean is that the more you obsess over this the more it will affect you and Renamon. There are things that are not meant to be given right away. Otherwise, where’s the fun?”


“I guess you are right…” Suko said resignedly and smiled. “I just think too much about weird things.”


“Weird is what makes this place interesting. Now!” The king clapped. “On a merrier note, I imagine Gaelin told you about food. It is a tradition here that Digimon and their partners cook together before a banquet. It is to honor the bond between Digimon and partners, and to foster said bond. Do any of you know how to cook?” Suko raised his hand, then lowered it. I did not know. Gaelin raised his hand, and so did Kudamon.


“Don’t worry, Renamon and Suko. You will be in good hands with Gaelin. You will learn a valuable skill, and we all will fill our stomachs before we go to war with the cards tomorrow.” The king guided me and Suko to our room, a chamber in the middle of another hallway. It was a small cozy room, with a bed for two, a window looking out to a garden, a small table, and a restroom. Oberon told us if we needed anything we were welcome to his room, or that we could ask Gaelin himself. Gaelin told us he would come back once things were ready for the cooking. Suko and I were left alone in the room, as Burgermon wanted a separate room from ours. Suko and I laid down on bed to rest. I wondered how the war was going to be like. I also hoped that the Burgermon were still alive. I was nervous about Suko causing some other mischief at any point. “Suko, from now on we will have to be serious about this.” I said as I turned to look at him. “Which means, no more games from now until the war is over. The lives of others are at stake here. Elves and Digimon, and whether we like it or not, also the card people. We have to treat this as the serious matter it is. Do you promise me you will be well-behaved and that you will not cause any mischief?”


“Ok, Renamon. I promise you I will be a nice kid.” After a pause, Suko said: “I am sorry for being like this. I don’t know why I am like this.”


“No… Don’t apologize for being who you are. It’s just, there’s a time and a place for everything. And right now this is not the time for mischief. I just don’t want anything bad to happen to you.”


“Do you think I am a rotten kid?”


“You don’t go that far. You are just a mischievous little fox cub that likes to run around and crack some jokes here and there. When you are rotten you are mean, despicable.” I smiled at Suko, but I noticed he would not smile. “Did someone call you rotten?”


“Yeah. My parents act as if I am something to be avoided. I don’t know why. I feel like they don’t love me anymore. Ever since I was taken out of that school things changed.” Suko began poking at his nails. “They took me out of that school because I would get out of the classroom and visit the library to read. The classes were so boring. And everyone made such a big scandal out of that. I mean, I get it and I don’t get it. But I remember my mom would cry a lot during that time, and my dad was distant with me. My mom sometimes still cries.” As Suko said all this, I felt like there was something else going on besides him getting out of the classroom. I remember when he mentioned some medicine they would give him to make him nicer. “And I remember going to some doctors who asked me questions about what I liked to do, and would make me lay down and close my eyes while I followed some instructions, but I would open my eyes and laugh.”


“Sounds just about right.” I said, smiling.


“Also, all the kids from that school stopped talking to me once that stuff began. They gave me weird looks. I felt lonely.”


After a pause, I told Suko: “But you got to meet Suzie, and Henry. They have been good friends to you. And then we met each other.”


Suko smiled and nestled next to me. “I am sorry for being so sad, Renamon.”


“Don’t worry. Let’s take a nap before we go to cook.” And then we yawned, one after the other, and slowly fell asleep.


After some indeterminate time, we were awakened by Gaelin knocking on our door. “Time to go to the kitchen!” He screamed. I heard Kudamon telling him to be quiet because he could awaken us too rudely. I also heard Burgermon’s voice.

Chapter Text

We reached the kitchen. It was a quite large space, with tables and multiple cooking tools. Other elves and their Digimon were present, already preparing stuff. Everyone looked at us, or rather Suko. They were interested in him, my guess is that it was his human status.


“Everyone, please give a warm welcome to my new friends: Suko, Renamon, and Burgermon!” And after a pause, everyone cheered. Some of the child elves threw flour to the air and did a dance. The adults smiled at us warmly as we passed by. I nodded at them in acknowledgment. We stationed ourselves in a space on one of the long tables, and Gaelin and Kudamon were next to us.


Gaelin was showing Suko and I all the tools available that were in the drawers. Laddles, bowls, spoons, a thermometer, forks, funnels, sieves, and many more utensils. We were put in charge of preparing some of the desserts. We had to bake a starfruit cake. Gaelin gave us a manual to follow, and told us it was best for Suko and I to figure it out and that if we had any specific questions we could ask him or Kudamon. Suko and I read the instructions, but Suko would look away at everything else. It was difficult for him to concentrate on this. I have never cooked or baked anything in my life, as it was not something I ever cared for. Growing up I always focused on studying, fighting and training, and meditating. My parents thought it was weird and judged me for it, but I grew to not care about their opinions about my likes.


“Suko, pass me the flour and the eggs.” I was looking for a timer, as we had to spin the mix for some time. I found a measuring bowl, and a special ladle to mix everything. “I will be right back!” Suko said as he and Gaelin left to look for the flour and eggs. Shortly afterwards, they came back and I asked Suko to open the flour bag. Suko dropped the bag and a lot of flour spread around our bodies.


“Sorry, hehe…” Suko scratched his head. “Look now we look like ghosts!” And Suko began to make ghost-like sounds. Gaelin giggled, and I gave Suko a look, thinking remember what we talked about moments ago? “Ok ok I will stop, hehe…” Suko kept giggling and I smiled at him. We began to mix everything, and once I got tired I let Suko stir the mix himself. After it was ready, Suko and I put the mix on a wide round container.

As the cake was baking, Suko went to look for the starfruits. Gaelin let him go by himself. Suko took a long time to come back, around 10 minutes. I thought that was odd as the fridge was right in the kitchen on the other end of the room. He was still there, looking for the fruits. I went to see what was going on. Why was he taking so long? When I was there, Suko told me he couldn’t find any starfruits. I saw them rather quickly, and I asked him “And this?” Suko gave me this surprised look: “Those are the starfruits? I thought they were chilies!”


“No, they are the starfruits. Chilies do not look like that. At least not any chili I have seen.” My guess was that Suko did not know what starfruits were, and I was surprised.

“I didn’t see them Renamon. They looked like chilies inside that bag.”


“It’s ok, Suko. Let’s go back to the table.” Did he really miss them, or was he playing around in a more subtle way? I could not tell, but he for sure knew what starfruits were based on how he spoke about them: I did not see them, he said. So how did he miss them? He is not blind. Either way, I was glad we found them. When we were back, we began to cover the cake with pecans, and we added the starfruits afterwards. The cake was done, and it smelled so good I felt even hungrier.

Gaelin then told us we had to bake ginger cookies. He gave us all of the materials and proceeded in a similar manner as with the cake.


“I want to make gingerbread Renamons!” Suko suggested.


“Suko, we have to make what they want us to make.”


“It’s ok Renamon, you can make gingerbread cookies of yourself. I am sure the other elves will appreciate it.” Gaelin smiled.


I had no idea how they were going to come out, but we tried our best. They did not at all look like me, even though we only did the head. They just had long pointed ears and dots as eyes and nose. Even though they were not exactly like me, it was something Suko and I did together, and I was happy that I was sharing these moments with Suko. With my tamer. It meant so much to me, but it was hard to find the right way or moment to express it. The elves were right after all: this is an excellent way to bond. Because at the end you look at your product and think “this is something we did together, and others will enjoy it”. I was also glad Suko behaved well during the baking process. He was rather quiet, which surprised me. Was it because of what I said to him? He also seemed exhausted after a while. Gaelin told us we could go back to our room if we wanted to or hang around the palace. “My home is your home.”


Suko and I walked around to explore the place. There were Digimon walking around as well. I wanted to see the garden that our window faced, and Suko agreed. It was not hard to find, as it was in the middle of the entire palace. It was such a beautiful place: cherry trees blossomed and there was a lake with rainbow fish inside. Suko noticed that in the middle of the garden there was a slab of stone. It looked like a tombstone. It was surrounded by trees, and the sunlight fell directly over it. There were some inscriptions on the tombstone, but they were written in the elf language.


“I wanted to read what it says.” Suko said.


“It says: Digimon and their partners, a cycle of mutual growth, like the rain and the earth, a circle of life that shall never end.” Gaelin was behind us. He startled Suko. “This is in honor of Digimon and their partners who have passed away due to tragic events. This is a memorial for them.”


“You mean like, in war?” Suko swallowed.

Gaelin just nodded. I was sure we were not going to die. But it was dawning on me that we could die. Regardless, I was confident that Suko and I would pull through and rescue the Burgermon family. Suko helped me digivolve. I did not need to consume more information from other Digimon because he was here with me. We were strong for each other when Centarumon fought against us. If anything, the inscription in the stone was a reassurance for me.


Gaelin said the banquet would be in the late afternoon, and that it would end at 10:00pm. He recommended that we go to catch up on our sleep. Suko and I left the garden and went back to our rooms. We showered together. Suko would throw water to me, spilling it outside of the tub. I simply held him so that I could wash his hair, as we were spending more time than necessary in the tub because he would not wash himself. He wouldn’t quit squirming, claiming I would tickle him. But I patiently washed his hair and told him to cover his body in soap. Suko could not be still for one second. He always had to be moving around and making noises. Suko washed his own body as I told him, while I got out of the tub and dried myself. Suko dried himself afterwards and dressed to sleep.


Some hours later, we were awakened by another series of knocks, from Gaelin. The banquet was ready and people and Digimon were already sitting down. Burgermon came with us, and we were led into the dining room. The dining room was no less elegant and impressive than the rest of the castle. All of the food was served on the table, including the desserts we made. Oberon the king sat himself at the head of the table and addressed everyone. “Everyone please give a warm welcome to our guests, Suko, his partner Renamon and Burgermon!” And all the elves greeted us. Suko nervously waved at everyone, and the king mentioned the reason for this banquet: “The king of cards is holding as prisoners a family of Digimon, Burgermon. The conditions of those prisons are inhumane, and Digimon do not deserve to be imprisoned in such a manner. To that effect, we hold this banquet as a ritual for the fight we have tomorrow, and to celebrate the existence of our Digimon partners.” I noticed Suko was already serving himself some food, and I squeezed his arm, whispering him to put that back and wait. The king simply smiled at us and made a hand gesture as if saying it was ok. “See? I was right all along.” Suko whispered back to me. Everyone began to serve themselves. Suko was eating duck, as he had never had that food before and he said he was curious about it. I tried some of the elfish bread, as they called it, and it was one of the best textures and flavors I have ever tried. It was mildly sweet, and the bread was smooth, unlike most bread I have had.


I noticed Suko was very quiet during most of the banquet, only looking around and eating his food. He seemed to be enjoying it as much as I was. Burgermon was also quietly eating his own food. Then we tried the desserts. Our cake was delicious. The fruit was as juicy as I expected, and then we had the last Renamon-shaped cookie. Everyone seemed to have liked them. “The others were curious as to the shape, and I told them the backstory behind the cookies.” Gaelin told me.


“I see now.”


Suko was going to give the cookie a bite, but he stopped himself and split it. He then extended his arm and handed me the other half. “You can have this half. It’s the last one left.” I figured Suko wanted to have it by himself, so I told him he could have the entire thing. But he insisted. “Here, have a bite too! Henry told me it is good to share. He says that because I am an only child it is hard for me to learn how to share, but that I should still share. He told me it’s nice. And I want to share with you because we made this together!”


“I will have it then.” I said as I took the half of the cookie and ate it. The flavor was good, like a typical ginger cookie. Thank you Suko. I am happy Henry told you that. Not because the flavor was out of this world, but because I think you are so adorable and sweet, and I feel so happy. No one has ever treated me like you have. Not even Blackgatomon. Everyone thinks I am arrogant and intimidating because of my appearance.


“Hey Renamon, now you are a cannibal.” Suko told me.


“A cannibal?”


“Yeah! You ate yourself. How did you taste?”


“It tasted good, like a ginger cookie.” Suko has quite the dark humor.


The banquet went by, and elves and Digimon slowly got up and left the place, bowing to the king, who would bow back at them. Everyone went back to their chambers, including Suko and myself. As we were preparing to lay down on bed, a series of knocks interrupted us.


“Who is it?” Suko fired. The knocks continued, without an answer.


“I will open it, Renamon.” Suko got off from bed and went straight to open the door before I could stop him. When he opened it, I heard a robotic voice say good evening. Suko pulled out his digivice and it read Pawnchessmon. Pawnchessmon apologized for not answering. He seemed shy and asked us if he could come in to speak to us about something important.


“I know everything about that war against the kingdom of the cards.” Pawnchessmon began after taking a seat on a chair next to the window, one candle illuminating his white armor body. “And I know about the king of cards himself. His name is Victor.”


“Victor?” Suko was incredulous. “That’s his name? Victor?” He smirked.


“Yes. And I am his Digimon partner.”


“What in the name of Godzilla is this?” He got up and walked towards Pawnchessmon.


“I know about his so-called hatred towards Digimon. And I say so-called because I think I know why Victor acts the way he acts. You see, a long time ago, I met Victor and he became my partner. He was a child at that time, just like you.” And he pointed at Suko. “We had adventures together, and I even digivolved to protect him one day.” Pawnchessmon sounded nostalgic, like he was happy to remember all of those moments. “But one day, he got so upset when I began to play a little bit more with the elves’ Digimon. He thought I didn’t want to play with him anymore, and after an argument he threw the digivice on my face and left me. From then onwards I never saw him again.”


“But, why didn’t you look for him?” Suko inquired. “I mean, you were on the kingdom.”


“Yes, but his father banished all Digimon because of that. His caprice was given a platform.” Pawnchessmon lowered his head. “And I want to stop all this foolishness before someone dies. I feel partially responsible for it, as Victor’s Digimon partner.” I didn’t know what to say. This was rather unexpected. I did not fully trust what Pawnchessmon had to say. For all we knew he could be a spy of sorts.


“Ok? And what do you want us to do?” I was stern. Pawnchessmon seemed surprised at my question, which I thought was further evidence he was probably lying to us. I squinted my eyes at him, which made him nervous.


“I-I w-want, o-or I would hope y-you could help me reach out to Victor. And p-perhaps stop this war?” Pawnchessmon said.


“Well, how can we make sure this story is true?” I asked Pawnchessmon.

Pawnchessmon then produced a digivice from his purse. It was just like Suko’s except that it had a golden ring around the screen. It was functional, as the screen could read my information. It had the information from other Digimon saved as well, and seemed a bit worn. This digivice now made the story more believable, and I thought about it for a moment. I could feel some sympathy for the king of cards, or rather Victor. I still could not bring myself to forgive him for attempting to imprison us over nothing, and for imprisoning the Burgermon over nothing. This is not to mention all of the other Digimon he murdered after imprisoning them indefinitely. When I brought this up to Pawnchessmon, he sobbed and teared up. The tears were genuine, and his voice reflected this.


“I understand you are committed to the elves at this point. But,” Pawnchessmon continued, “I would want to stop this battle. I want to talk to Victor, as I have been afraid to step into his kingdom all this time lest he imprisons me as well.”


“But then what about the king of the elves? We have to consider what he thinks as well.” I told Pawnchessmon. “Perhaps Victor will stop fighting, and that is a big if. But we should not forget the king of the elves, who is committed to this cause of rescuing the Burgermon and avenging Digimon.” But all of this added another twist to the situation.

Victor was no longer an ideal villain who is all evil. He had a reason for his actions, and the solution was right before our eyes. Now the battle seemed petty and unnecessary. After thinking about it for some time I asked Suko what he thought.


“Well… hmm…” He said while rubbing his chin. “I agree with you, Renamon. This battle sounds pretty dumb considering that we now have knowledge about Victor’s past, and we know how to touch his heartstrings. But, the king of the elves! What will we do about him?! And Gaelin?” Suko seemed worried.


“I don’t know.” I said as I put my arm around him, “But we will have to bring Pawnchessmon to him and allow him to explain everything tomorrow.”


“How about right now?” Suko ventured.


“You want to do it right now? Is he even awake?”


“We can ask Gaelin.” And Suko went to look for Gaelin. After some minutes he came back with Gaelin and Kudamon. We introduced Pawnchessmon to him and told Gaelin we needed to speak with the king about something important. He went to check if his dad was awake, and after a minute or two came back and told us we could go to see the king in his room. When we came in, he was laying on his bed, wearing his robe. Pawnchessmon explained the situation to the king, with all the details he provided to us. Oberon seemed to be listening but was not one bit impressed. He kept chewing on his bread and nodded as Pawnchessmon told his story.


“Well, lads, I hope you get enough sleep because tomorrow we have a battle to wage!” The king seemed cheerful, but I suspected he was beginning to have doubts about us and our motives.


“But King, you don’t understand! I…” Suko began to speak but I put my hand over his mouth, and I spoke: “King, I believe Pawnchessmon has something to show you.” Pawnchessmon was puzzled for a second, but then he realized what I meant and pulled out the digivice. Oberon seemed surprised, and then had another bite of his bread.


“Well, if the king of cards is your partner, where is he?” The king smirked.


“He…” Pawnchessmon hesitated.


“Exactly! He does not care one bit about you or any other Digimon. That is why we are having this battle. In honor of all the Digimon he imprisoned and murdered! This battle is about you, Pawnchessmon.”


“But I don’t want this battle to happen. I believe if I am simply escorted to the kingdom of cards, I will be able to convince Victor to release his prisoners and stop his foolish behavior.” Pawnchessmon explained he was aware of the entire situation, from Burgermon, to how Victor had imprisoned and murdered many Digimon, but that Victor was still his partner, and didn’t want him killed. He was loyal to him.


“King, you know how Digimon partnerships are sacred for the elves.” Suko spoke. “This is why Pawnchessmon wants to try and convince Victor to stop.”


“They are sacred, and while I understand that, there are principles that I must follow as king of the elves. Namely, protecting the sanctity of Digimon from the murderous hands of others. Murdering Digimon is unforgivable, and we must avenge!”


“But, many people will die! This can be stopped easily if…” But Suko was stopped short by the king.


“Nonsense! You dare to question what I order and say?” The king began to raise his voice.


“I just think this battle is foolish. That is all.” Suko said. I took a deep breath, thinking we were done for. The king was irate.


“After all the hospitality we showed you, after all the things we gave you and your Digimon partner you dare to insult my judgment? The judgment of all elves?”


“King, I…” I was going to try to diffuse the anger of the king, but I was cut short as well.


“Silence! You three are banished from my kingdom! You shall not fight in this war, and if you step into my kingdom again you shall be imprisoned! Gaelin! Escort them out of the palace!” The king said as he gave the last bite to his bread. This stank. I could not believe such a nice king turned against us. Gaelin escorted us out of the palace, and never spoke a word to us. Suko apologized to Gaelin, but Gaelin would not reply. I could see Suko was sad and was hurting, and that hurt me too.


Once we were at the entrance of the palace, Gaelin told us to leave and never come back. Suko tried once again to speak to Gaelin, but he ignored him and went back inside. Suko shed a tear, and I hugged him. I know how this must have hurt Suko, as it re-opened old wounds.


“I am so sorry… This is my fault.” Pawnchessmon said. I also heard the regret in his voice.


“Don’t worry, Pawnchessmon.” Suko’s voice was a bit muffled by my fur. “You just want to see your Digimon partner again. It must suck to have been away from him for so long.” Pawnchessmon simply nodded.


We walked away from the town of the elves, and we were back to where we had set the fire the previous night. The logs were still there, surprisingly. I was tired from walking for so long, and so was Suko. Pawnchessmon politely went to another tree, and let Suko and myself sleep under our own.


The next morning, we fished using Pawnchessmon’s spear and had our breakfast. We then set out to the kingdom of the cards. We had to be careful, as there were probably giant eagles roaming around the area looking for potential prisoners. We walked a long distance, until we found another Dolpheon who was willing to take us three to the kingdom of the cards.
As we were flying, I saw 5 flying ships coming from where the elves live. They looked big judging from the distance and the apparent size. “Suko, look.” I nudged at him and when he saw them he gasped. Pawnchessmon groaned. “Those must be the elves marching forward to fight.” I said. And sure enough, I heard the firing of cannons and the cries of eagles. The Dolpheon took off through a different route to avoid those ships.


“Are you sure you want to go to the kingdom of cards? Those ships give me bad juju”. Dolpheon asked us.


“We have to go.” Suko said. “There is nothing else to it.” Suko’s stubbornness was something I was beginning to appreciate, even admire. It was not just how he sounded, but the fact that he cares so much. I heard more cannons firing, and more eagle cries, but they became more distant as the Dolpheon went from the north to the south side of the kingdom. Luckily for us these Dolpheons were fast and those elf ships were slow. We landed and thanked the Dolpheon.


“Suko, we have to find the castle and make sure the king can speak to us. We might have to fight against those giant eagles.” I said. “Come on, Suko, Pawnchessmon. Let’s go.”


We ran towards the castle and got many weird stares from others. As we moved forward, I heard someone shout, “It’s them!” and surely enough some card guards were coming towards us.


“Suko, use your cards!” I urged him.


“Ok Renamon, time to kick some card butt!”

Suko then swiped a card which gave me electric powers. Electricity surrounded my hands and feet. I lurched forward and electrified those guards, letting them faint. We kept moving forward, and more card guards appeared in front of us. I used a swift strike combined with the electricity, which allowed us to march forward. The castle was still far. People were shouting as the card guards fell on tents and broke shop windows because of my attacks sent them flying. Then we saw a giant eagle. We stopped.


“Suko, come on. Find another card. I don’t think the electricity will be enough!”

Suko then began to look for more cards. Suko found the speed card, which allowed us to avoid the eagle. However, the eagle flapped its wings, sending us flying in separate ways.


“Suko!” I shouted as I got separated from him.


“Renamon! Pawnchessmon!” Suko shouted back.


We fell to the ground in this plaza, and the eagle came first to me. It began to squeeze me under its claws.


“Oh no Renamon!” Suko cried. I was thrown down from on high and fell to the ground.

The fall hurt me so much I had trouble getting up. The eagle was about to take a bite out of me with its beak, and I moved to the side and gave it a kick. This kick briefly stunned the eagle, but when it recovered, it continued to try and peck at me. When it did, I was so hurt I couldn’t move. I could hear Suko yell my name, and before I knew it I was surrounded by white light. I felt as if all of my energy was coming back, and then more energy than usual permeated my body. Then I felt how my flesh was being peeled down. It felt like static. The power was still raising. I was digivolving into Kyubimon.


The digivolution was complete. The eagle regarded me for some moment, and then flapped its wings sending out two small tornadoes. Suko swiped the electricity card again. The electricity surrounded my four extremities. I then used my koenryu, flames enveloping my body and forming a dragon. The electricity mixed with the flames created an amazing spectacle: a fire dragon surrounded by electricity. This significantly hurt the eagle after it received the hit. The eagle let out a loud cry, before falling to the ground and fainting.


“Suko, Pawnchessmon. Mount my back, quick!” I urged them and once we were together, I ran towards the castle. I did not see any signs of the elf ships, so I thought we still had time. I still lurched forward. Three more giant eagles came by. I burned their wings with my onibidama, significantly slowing them down. After some twists and turns around alleys we reached the castle entranceway. I simply jumped the gate and marched forward towards the king’s court. The king was shocked.


“You two again! You dared to escape and had the audacity to come back? You fools!” The king of cards shouted, his voice echoing in the big hall.


“Alright Victor, time to blow this house of cards of yours.” Suko, you had to.


Victor looked at Suko with an astonished frown. After a pause, he asked: “How in the name of the seven seas does a human know my name?”


“Well, this is how. Pawnchessmon!” Suko said and Pawnchessmon got off from my back. The king was shocked. His mouth was wide open, and his eyes looked like they were about to come out of their sockets. Then his face turned from one of shock to one of rage.


“You disgusting, vile, and repugnant vermin! You dare to come back? You dare to come back here?”


“Victor, I-I am sorry.” Pawnchessmon’s robotic voice echoed in the hall along with its regret. Suko and I simply observed. “I am sorry. I know you are very hurt.” Pawnchessmon continued.


“What are you talking about? You left me for those elves! When I was a kid you left me for those elves!” Victor shouted; his voice began to break.


“I didn’t mean to leave you. I didn’t think you would be so angry at me for playing with the elves’ Digimon. I… I was sad and hurt when you left me after throwing the digivice to my face.” And Pawnchessmon produced the digivice, worn and old. Victor, king of cards, seemed even more shocked than before. Then his face began to transform. But this time it was not rage, but sadness.

“Y-you still wanted to be my friend? You did not want to abandon me?” Tears rolled down the king’s eyes. “But you never came back!”


“Your father banished me, and you banished all other Digimon! How could I come back after hearing all those stories of how you murdered Digimon who came to your kingdom? I was scared! I still was dying to see you again, partner.”


Victor shut down his eyes and more tears rolled down his round face. His face, previously white, was now red. “I- I was so lonely. As a prince, I never had anyone to play with. My parents demanded so much of me as royalty. Piano lessons, then fencing, then horse mounting, then astronomy. I wanted a normal life! All I wanted was a friend I could play with! I wanted to be like the other kids! And then you came along, you appeared to me, and we played together. Remember when we played chess together?” The king’s voice broke even more.


“I remember, Victor. You became really good at the game because I taught you so many tricks.”


“You did. You helped me make my papa proud. And you digivolved when you saw how that giant dragon wanted to eat me.”


“I did. And I would do it again, a thousand times. No matter how many Digimon you have murdered. No matter if you are a king, to me you are Victor, my partner and friend. I am so glad I could see you again after all these years, partner.” Then partner and Digimon ran to each other and hugged. Suko hugged me too and we both smiled at this touching scene.


After Pawnchessmon and Victor held each other, Victor turned to us. “How did you find my lost partner?”


“We escaped from your prison and flew to the kingdom of elves. There we met Pawnchessmon.” Suko said, playing with his hair.


“Yes, Victor. They were so kind as to bring me to you despite me being a stranger.”


King Victor of the cards then turned to us, smiling a genuine smile. “Is there any way I can repay the both of you? I will do anything I can to repay your act of kindness.”


Suko cleared his throat, “Well… Could you please release the Burgermon and any other Digimon you have imprisoned?”


“Of course I will. I will also change the law so that all Digimon are welcome to my kingdom.” King Victor of the cards then turned towards Suko. “Your name was…”


“Suko! And this is Kyubimon. She digivolved from Renamon.”


“Ah! I remember now. Suko, is there anything else I can repay you two with?” The king’s voice was softer and calmer. He breathed with ease.


“Yes. There is one more thing… Is there any way we can go back home, to the human world? We got here by accident through a portal. It was my fault because I entered a shrine in a park.” Suko scratched his head. “All of a sudden we were transported to this world.”


King Victor of the cards smiled and rubbed his own chin. Then his face lightened. “I know of a way. There is a path that the inhabitants of this world take when they want to visit humans that is not too far from here. It is a door. Literally a door standing in the woods. All you have to do is open it and enter and voila! You are on the human world.”


“Will it take us to the city we live in?” I asked.


“It can take you to any city you like, provided you concentrate on it hard enough.”


“Yes! We are going back home Kyubimon! I am so glad!” Suko jumped of excitement. I was relieved too. But then I remembered the elves. As if the universe read my mind, a card soldier entered the hall:

“My king! My king! The elves have invaded our land! They are shooting the city with their cannons and have already destroyed many of our eagles!”


Victor was shocked and began to bite his long nails. But Pawnchessmon reassured him. “Victor, I can digivolve and we can fight together!” Victor smiled and nodded. Victor gave orders that all Digimon be released and be taken down to land by giant eagles so that they are not affected by the battle. Suko and I insisted in staying to help everyone, somehow. Not by fighting, but by trying to convince King Oberon to stop. However, King Victor did not allow us, saying that it was his responsibility and not ours, that we were innocent in all of this and we had to go home. Suko lowered his head and sighed.

I de-evolved into Viximon, as I had spent so much energy on digivolution and on my attacks. Now there was no way we could potentially help, even if we disobeyed King Victor.


“Vi! Suko, how will we get to the forest?!” I asked, my high-pitched voice echoing. Suko carried me now.


“Suko, you and your partner can ride on the back of an eagle. Guard! Take Suko and his Digimon to an eagle and ask the eagle to take them to the terminal forest!” The king shouted. A guard took us to a barn where many eagles were inside cages. The guard looked for a particularly large eagle and ordered it to take us to the terminal forest. The king was with us and waved us goodbye.
“Suko, and…” The king looked at me.

“Viximon.” I smiled.


“Suko, Viximon. Take care. You have brought so much you to this heart and if there is anything else I can ever do for you and we find each other again, I shall do it. You two are always welcome here! Goodbye!”


“Bye Victor!” Suko waved him goodbye, and the barn trembled, as if an earthquake was striking. It was probably a cannonball. We lost no time and flew away. I saw how the ships had the city surrounded, and many of the houses were already on fire. I could hear people screaming and crying, and men shouting. As we moved further and further away, I could not hear anything, and I thought of Gaelin, Oberon, Kudamon, and the Burgermon. I thought of Victor king of the cards and Pawnchessmon.


The eagle dropped us off on the forest, and Suko and me set out to look for that door. When we found it, Suko held me in his arms and we both concentrated on his city, Tokyo, as it was called. Once Suko and I had a clear image of it, we crossed the door. Our eyes were still closed, and when we opened them, we were in complete darkness. I recognized this place and the incense smell. It was the tunnel inside the shrine! We ran to find the exit, and we were in the room where Suko had entered before. We carefully exited the shrine, and to our surprise, it was the afternoon.


“Is this a coincidence?” I asked Suko.


“I don’t know. When we left it was the afternoon, and it is still afternoon.” Suko said.

We agreed to ask someone for the time and date. I didn’t think it would be a problem if others saw me, as I could pass as a weird breed of dog. Suko agreed with me. Suko asked a man with glasses what the time and day was. To our surprise, next to no time had elapsed between the time we entered that world and now. It was still February 1st! Suko and I looked at each other, surprised. We shrugged it off and ran home.


Once at home, Suko came in just to make sure his parents were not anywhere near, as they might not allow him to have a dog. He came back to me, and signaled me I could come in. We went into Suko’s room, locked his door, and laid on bed together. I was at the level of his head.


The air conditioner was on, and we were glad for it. We were glad to be back to normalcy for some time. Suko was so exhausted he did not notice how much I ordered his room when he was away. But we were both talking about our adventures together.


“You know, Suko…” I said as I looked at Suko in the eyes. “You shouldn’t have gone into that shrine, but… I am glad we had that adventure together.” I then snuggled to Suko.


“I am happy too. I knew it was worth it.” Suko giggled afterwards.


“No more mischief, though. I want you to be a bit more careful next time” I looked at Suko and frowned.


“Yes, Viximon, yes.” Suko smiled and closed his eyes. After a pause, Suko asked me about Gaelin, Kudamon, and the kings, and the Burgermon. “How do you think they are right now?”


“I am not sure, Suko. I just hope everyone is ok.” I sighed, and thought about it too. Then I realized the time passage. If we ever came back, more time would have passed, and perhaps Gaelin would not be there anymore. Or perhaps he would be, but as an adult who does not remember us. I had no way of knowing.


“I will miss Gaelin. I just…” And Suko sobbed.

I nuzzled at Suko’s face, telling him not to cry. I also wanted to cry, but I had to be stronger for my partner. Before we knew it, we both were asleep and did not awake until the next morning.

Chapter Text

Two days later, and I was still a Viximon. It didn’t seem like digivolution back to my preferred state, Renamon, was going to happen any time soon. Suko discovered that my favorite food is tofu, and he would bring me some so that I could eat. The texture was soft and smooth, perfect for my tongue. Suko went to school as was customary, and I waited inside his room for some time. After a while I left and decided that Suko could find me if he called my name. I had enough energy to become invisible and avoid detection from Suko’s parents. I caught a glimpse of them. His mom seemed rather short, and had blonde hair, while his father was tall and looked intimidating, but good natured overall. When Suko’s mom got out to work, I took that opportunity to exit along with her.

I became visible again and roamed the city by myself. I wondered if I would find Terriermon, or a wild Digimon. But I was scared of finding any wild Digimon as there was not much I could do in this form. I wondered where was Suko’s school, so that I could perhaps visit him or see him a little bit. But there was no way I could find out for the time being. I went to the park where Henry showed his cards to Suko, as I expected he might come here at some point.

Once I was at the park, I climbed the stairs and walked towards an abandoned concrete building. It was not so much of a building as it was an entranceway of sorts. It had a gate on it, and I noticed a lock and a chain. I saw movement, and then realized it was probably a Digimon. When I got closer, I saw it was indeed a Digimon. It looked like a red dinosaur with yellow eyes and ears that looked like wings.

“Who is there?” A raspy voice called. “Guilmon is hungry!” The dinosaur Digimon said.

“Guilmon?” I tilted my head and approached the enclosure. I looked at Guilmon curiously. He looked so inoffensive despite his size.

“Have you seen Takatomon?” Guilmon asked me.

“N-no? Takatomon? What Digimon is that?” I was confused.

“Takatomon is not a Digimon. Takatomon is Guilmon’s friend!” Guilmon got closer to me and caught a sniff of me. “Little friend smells like food! Guilmon is even more hungry now!”

“So, you have a human partner.” I said smiling.

“Yes, and his name is Takato but I like to call him Takatomon.” Guilmon giggled and stared at me for an uncomfortable amount of time, his mouth open. It looked like he was expecting a reaction or something from me, but I was unsure how to respond.

“Guilmon is hungry because Takato forgot to leave me food!” Guilmon pouted. I heard the poor Guilmon’s belly growl.

“Well, I can try and find something for you. I will be right back.” I then took off and left Guilmon behind. I thought of going to Suko’s house and finding something small like an apple or some other snack. At least that would keep Guilmon filled for some time until his partner came and released him from that place. I brought back two apples, making sure I left some back at home. I would explain to Suko later on. Guilmon was happy I brought him food and began to eat. When Guilmon was done, he belched and stared at me again. It made me feel really uncomfortable, so I left him behind.

“Wait! Guilmon wants more food! Guilmon is still hungry!” I heard Guilmon shout as I left.

When I was close to home, I encountered a Digimon that fit exactly the description Suko gave me of that “little devil” who had tried to sabotage our relationship. “Hello there little one!” the Digimon said. I frowned and got myself ready to attack. “Aw come on you think you stand a chance against the great Impmon?” Impmon made a smug gesture.

“Who said I wanted to bother with you. You fit the description Suko gave me of this little devil Digimon who lied to him about me.” I made sure to make direct eye contact with Impmon so that I could more easily gauge his reaction. Impmon cracked a little bit, but quickly recovered himself.

“Ah! You are talking about that. Well, to tell you the truth, I do not care what happens to human beings. They disgust me and they are the worst. But the worst are Digimon who let themselves be enslaved by human beings. Why do you let that little kid enslave you?”

“Suko is not enslaving me. And I will not listen to any of the stuff you have to say as you are a proven liar.”

“I just want the best thing for my fellow Digimon. I was doing you a favor by getting rid of that human for you.” Impmon shook his fist at me.

“I do not need any favors from the likes of you.” I then turned around and walked away. I heard Impmon growl at me but didn’t pay any heed to him. Then I heard that he was running towards me, and when I turned around to check he indeed was. I also ran away. Impmon kept following me through the streets and alleys of this city. I was getting exhausted. I wanted Suko to be here and help me.

“You are not getting away from me that easily!” Impmon shouted and threw a small flame at me. I managed to avoid it. I saw how it left a scorched patch on the sidewalk. I then turned into a stone and let out a poisonous gas, which briefly distracted Impmon. This allowed me to run away even further and I took the opportunity to turn invisible and let him get lost. I saw Impmon continued chasing me, turning around to see where I was and of course he did not find me at all.

I missed Suko. Why did he have to be in school for a large part of the day? I knew why, but I still missed him and wanted to see him again. Being alone as a Viximon produced me some anxiety, and Suko made me feel secure. I remember when he carried me in his arms on the way back to the human world. I felt safe. I imagine he feels safe whenever I hold him in my Renamon phase.

I walked around some more, hoping Impmon didn’t find me. Why was he so nasty? He manipulated Suko and tried to attack me. It seems like he is mad I am partnered with a human being and wants to end that. But why is he so mad at human beings? I decided to rest close to the shrine I sometimes would go to sleep and wait. Then I caught glimpse of Impmon. He was far away and before he could catch a glimpse of me too, I tried to become invisible again, but this time I couldn’t do it for some reason. It must have been all the walking.

“There you are!” Impmon pointed at me and ran towards me. His fingers became enveloped in red flames that he threw towards me. I managed to avoid all of them save for one that hit my tail.

“Ouch!” It hurt a lot, and I tried to blow some air to it. Impmon then came closer and gave me a kick, hurling me across the shrine.

“Hehe… I have you trapped now, little one!” Impmon inched closer to me, fingers on fire. “I will roast myself some yellow fox and have all that information absorbed.”

Then I heard Henry’s voice shouting “Suko! Wait! What are you doing?” and I heard a loud thud on top of Impmon’s head. Impmon fainted. I saw Suko holding a heavy book.

“Suko!” I nuzzled myself on his leg. Then I looked up to him and said “That was dangerous. What if he wakes up and…” And I was cut short by Impmon waking up.

“You… blasted kid…” Impmon looked at Suko, growling. Hid fingers began to get fiery, but before he could do anything, Suko poked his eyes with two fingers.

Impmon groaned and covered his poked eyes and got to his knees. He kept cursing Suko and began to punch the ground. “You will pay for this you rascal! Just wait and see.”

“I might be able to see.” Suko crossed his arms and smiled, “Unless someone pokes my eyes.” Then he blew on his fingers as if they were guns he fired.

“Suko there’s no time to waste let’s get out of here.” Henry demanded and we left. I told Suko about my adventure with Impmon and how I tried to avoid him.

“Who is that Digimon?” Henry asked. I assumed we were going to his house so that he could pick Terriermon. Suko told Henry the whole story we had with Impmon. “I see now. He seems too childish to bother with. He is just picking on Viximon because she is small.” Henry concluded.

“He is just an imbecilic loser without anything important to do.” Suko smirked. “But next time he tries to do something to my Digimon he will pay for it.” I turned to look at Suko and smiled at him.

“Just let him be, Suko. People like that are best left alone.” Henry answered back. We arrived at Henry’s house and after a few minutes he was back with Terriermon. Terriermon then looked at me and wondered where was Renamon.

“I am Renamon, but in my Viximon phase.” I was slightly irritated. “I am hoping I can go back to Renamon soon.”

“Momantai!” Terriermon began to walk with his hands. “You will be fine. Don’t worry.”

“Be happy!” Suko completed Terriermon’s sentence with a tune.

Then I remembered Guimon. I wondered whether I should tell Suko and Henry about it. I decided to do so. Both of them were surprised, especially Henry when I mentioned the name Takato.

“Takato is a student in our school!” Henry exclaimed. “We have to talk to him. We have to know any other tamers so that we can work together figuring out why are Digimon appearing here. I am sure that Digimon is strong.”

“I want to meet Takato.” Suko said. “Hmm… That name sounds familiar. I might have met a Takato at school. Either way, why don’t we go to his house and knock and ask?” Suko suggested, placing a fist on the palm of his hand and smiling.

“No. Let’s not do that kind of stuff.” Henry warned Suko.

“Momantai!” Terriermon countered and giggled.

“Yes, Momantai! Let’s go and knock! Knock knock knock! It will be lots of fun!”

“Suko no. We don’t really know the guy to go around knocking.” Henry continued trying to warn Suko. But Suko continued marching forward pretending to be a soldier.

“Um. Suko. Do you know where he lives?” I asked and frowned, confused. Suko then stopped his marching and began marching backwards until he stopped.

“You are right. So, Henry… Tell me, where does he live?” Suko turned towards Henry.

“I am not going to tell you.” Henry crossed his arms.

“He lives in the bread store!” Terriermon said, then covered his mouth.

“Why did you tell him Terriermon!?” Henry shouted.

“Momantai!” Terriermon countered.

Suko then ran in a different direction, my guess was where the bread store was. I wanted to catch up to him but it was difficult. “Suko wait for me!” I shouted at Suko. Then I turned to Henry and said: “My tamer has so much energy. Where does he get that from?” Henry just shrugged and we followed Suko. We kept running through alleys and people seemed not to notice our presence. I noticed a fog was forming, and we simply entered through it.

“It’s a Digibattlefield.” Henry said. The Digimon that appeared, according to Henry’s digivice was a Devidramon. I got closer to Suko as I knew I would not be able to fight. It was time for Henry and Terriermon to take charge of this.

“Humans…” A low voice came from Devidramon. It’s multiple eyes glowed red.

“Terriermon, are you ready?” Henry prepared his cards. Terriermon danced before getting in combat position.

“Petit tornado!” Terriermon shouted as he began to spin and turn into a tornado. This attack did not hurt Devidramon one bit. Devidramon simply slammed Terriermon with its tail, sending him flying.

“Terriermon!” Henry shouted. His voice exuded anguish. “Terriermon get up! Please!”

“Henry, I am ok…” Terriermon groaned. Terriermon got up and clenched his small fists.

“Henry, you can use this.” Suko walked up to Henry and handed him one of his cards. “It will create electricity around Terriermon.”

“Thank you.” And Henry swiped the card. Terriermon was shrouded in electricity and used the petit twister on Devidramon. Devidramon was slightly hurt, but he simply remained unmoved.

“Oh no.” Henry said with trepidation. “It seems like no attack can affect this Digimon. What will we do?!”

I felt useless at this moment because I couldn’t digivolve and help out. It was only Henry who could make Terriermon digivolve.
“Henry! Terriermon can digivolve!” Suko shouted.

“I will not allow any of you runts digivolve.” Devidramon’s deep voice resounded in the area. “Your information and digivices belong to me!” Devidramon inched closer and grabbed Terriermon with its tail, squeezing him. Terriermon screamed in pain. Why does Devidramon want our digivices? I thought to myself. But I was more worried about the enemy being defeated than by such matters that I forgot about that issue.

“H-henry!” Terriermon could barely speak. His voice was labored. Henry knelt down and began to cry, hugging himself.

“Terriermon… no…” Henry hit the floor. “I don’t want to see you suffer!”

“If you hand me your digivice, I will let go of your little friend. But I will still absorb his information.” Devidramon chuckled as he finished the sentence. Terriermon was still being squeezed and there was no time to lose. Henry was in a bind.

“Viximon. You can’t really digivolve now?” Suko anxiously asked me.

“No. I am sorry…” I lowered my ears. I knew I would lose if I fought, and that would create more problems. “Do you have another card you can give to Henry?” I suggested. Suko looked through his deck quickly. He found a card.

“Henry, use this!” Suko ran towards Henry. “It is cosmic expansion.” But Henry was unresponsive. He was still crying. He felt horrible about something, my guess being that Terriermon was being hurt. Terriermon was barely making any sounds. Devidramon then threw Terriermon away. I felt like I couldn’t take it anymore when I saw how Terriermon was beginning to turn into bits of information, and back into Terriermon. The cycle repeated itself.

“Kids, hand over your digivices. Don’t make me kill you.” Devidramon turned towards us.

“Henry! What the hell man?! React!” Suko snapped and shook Henry. “Get up! Get up! Your Digimon seems to be in danger and you are here wasting time crying! Are you a wimp or are you a tamer?!”

“I just… I just…” Henry was having trouble getting up. He was shaking. “I just don’t want my friend to die!”

Devidramon then flew in our direction, with claws glowing crimson.

“Suko!” I ran towards where Suko was, scared to death. All of a sudden, I heard someone shout “Fist of the beast king!” It was a rough voice and it was followed by a fire shaped like a lion’s face. The fire enveloped Devidramon, who was roaring in pain. Suko was by Henry’s side, and I was right next to Suko making contact. I did not want to get separated from him. I felt safer by him.

Devidramon was hurt but still attempted to hurt whoever attacked him. It was a Leomon according to Suko’s reading on the digivice. Devidramon tried to use his crimson claws on Leomon, but Leomon avoided all of those attacks. Leomon landed on his feet, and pulled out his sword.

“Time to cut this short.” Leomon said before jumping with sword in hand. Devidramon tried to trap Leomon under its tail like it did with Terriermon, but Leomon cut Devidramon’s tail. Leomon then slashed Devidramon in half, leading to Devidramon to disappear into bits of information that Leomon absorbed.

“Is everyone alright?” It sounded like a girl’s voice, around Henry’s age. Then I saw a girl wearing a green dress and with brown hair and a ponytail on the left side. She ran towards us and noticed how Henry was crying.

“He is crying because his Digimon got hurt to the point where it almost died.” Suko said and pointed towards where Terriermon was. All of a sudden Henry, as if remembering where Terriermon actually was, ran towards Terriermon and held him tightly.

“Terriermon! I am so sorry! I did this to you!” Henry’s voice seemed full of regret, of not wanting to repeat this event again. I understood where he was coming from. I could relate to his feelings, as I have been afraid of losing Suko like that. The tamer girl was sad, but she let Henry and Terriermon be without interfering. After a few moments the fog disappeared and we were able to see the street and shops again. We got closer to Henry.

“Are you two alright? What happened?” The girl asked putting her hand on her mouth.

“I… I just need some time alone with Terriermon.” Henry seemed really depressed. He carried an unconscious Terriermon away and left us.

“Poor guys…” The girl also seemed sad.

“That is what destiny wanted.” Leomon said as he approached us. Leomon’s size was intimidating, but his energy was benign.

“You did an excellent job, prince Leomon.” The girl managed to smile.

Suko seemed to have forgotten about seeing Takato, and instead asked the girl for her name. Her name was Juri Kato, and she was in the same school as Suko. She was surprised to have met two other tamers and both went ahead and talked about Digimon cards. Suko then thought about following Henry, but Juri suggested it was best to let him have space. Suko agreed and so did I. Suko seemed to be thinking about Henry, wondering what happened to him.

“I hope he is ok.” Suko said as he kept looking in the direction Henry left.

Chapter Text

Suko, Juri, Leomon, and myself decided to go to the park to sit somewhere more comfortable. We chose a secluded spot where there were many trees and bushes.

After a few moments of silence, Suko asked Juri:

“And what do you think about orbits? You know, like planetary orbits? Why are they called orbits?” Suko asked with such a passion in his voice, passion that also poured from his eyes that it captivated me, and I didn’t realize until a few seconds later how absurd and out of place the question was. Juri and Leomon looked at each other, wondering what was going on. Leomon looked especially perplexed.

“Yeah! Orbits! OR-BITS. Why orbits?”

“Well… I don’t know… I guess, that’s how they wanted to name them?” Juri looked to the side.

“Well, I don’t know. I think the people who came up with it borrowed from other languages. But either way, what do you think about orbits in general?” Suko pressed the question. He was genuinely waiting for an answer from Juri. He was serious, and that’s what shocked me the most.

“Well, they are a necessary part of the world. Without them nothing can stay in place: the planets and the stars. Orbits keep things in place and in order.” Leomon answered for Juri. “At least that’s what I think.”

“Oh, I see now.” Suko nodded and looked at the distance. I couldn’t stop and look at Suko. I really wanted to understand more of him. Why was he so passionate about this obscure thing? “Well, do you agree with what Leomon said, Juri?” Suko said and looked at Juri.

“I… Yeah! Well, why the question?” Juri regained her composure.

“I was just wondering what your opinions of them were.” Suko shrugged. “What about you Viximon? What do you think about Orbits?”

I decided to try an answer, as I knew this was something Suko took seriously based on his tone. I thought about it, and what Leomon said made sense. But I wanted to answer something else, to impress Suko. I thought about what I knew about orbits, and all I knew was that they are the paths planets and stars follow around an object that is more massive. That is what I answered. Suko lightened up when he heard my answer, and I smiled slightly.

“Yes, orbits are that. Just paths that objects follow. I could orbit you, or you could orbit me. We could orbit each other too! As long as we exist, we can orbit.” Suko said. I smiled internally when he said all of that. Looking at him being so passionate made me feel happy too. If you had seen me, it would have been hard to guess that I was feeling this way. But the feeling was there.

“So why don’t we orbit each other now?” Juri asked, looking at Suko as if thinking he was just some kid who didn’t know what he was talking about, because evidently, we didn’t orbit each other here. I felt like there was something Juri was missing, but I wasn’t sure what.

“Well…” Suko began. He scratched his head. “I think it’s because we are stuck in the Earth. The Earth does not let us orbit each other because it attracts us too much.”
“Well, that makes sense.” Leomon replied. He seemed surprised by the fact Suko had an answer.

I did not feel awkward at all, but I could tell Juri was beginning to feel awkward. Then she asked Suko again: “I asked this before. Why the question? It’s a bit…” Juri looked to the side, thinking, “unusual!”

Suko rubbed his chin, thinking. “I was just wondering! I just want to know what people think about things. It’s fun to hear the variety of answers people give you. The other day I asked this kid at school what did he think about fruits. He gave me a weird look and just shrugged. Now, that’s not fun. But you are different, Juri. You tried to answer my question.”

“Yeah, I did my best I suppose.” Juri said in a more serious tone. She did not like how Suko said “you tried to answer my question.” I could tell she was put off by that comment. I was wondering if Suko was aware of this. After a few moments Juri got up: “I have to leave guys. My dad will get angry with me if I am not home. Goodbye!” She waved goodbye to Suko and left with Leomon.

Suko and I remained together, and I noticed Suko was thinking hard about something. “Are you ok?” I asked, inching closer to him.

“I wonder what I do wrong, Viximon. Why did she leave? It was an innocent question.” Suko shrugged. He was sad. I took a deep breath and decided to answer:

“I think she was put off by your last comment, about trying to answer the question. She probably thought you were looking down on her or something.” I said.

“Really? You think she thought that? But how? I did not intend it that way at all!” Suko said. He was shocked. I realized that yes, Suko was not aware of this and did not read Juri’s cues properly. He only realized something bad happened because Juri left.

“You really were not aware of how you could have come off with that comment.” I reiterated.

“No. I was happy she tried to answer, unlike a lot of people. What I meant is that she gave me an answer that makes sense. She seemed to want to talk, and all of a sudden… She leaves. Like everyone else.” Suko said. He lowered his head. I nuzzled myself against him to comfort him.

“Well, perhaps orbits and fruits aren’t always good topics to talk about, to everyone.” I suggested. “You were doing just fine when you talked about Digimon cards. Why don’t you try that next time?”

“I don’t know if there will be a next time. She will probably just nod and smile out of politeness and dismiss me.” Suko placed his hand on his chin to rest his head. I did not reply, as that might very well happen. I just stuck by Suko’s side to comfort him. It was almost evening, so we walked back home. On the way home Suko told me about how he met Henry. He actually met him when he was in preschool. Suzie and Suko were in the same school and Suzie invited Suko to her birthday party when she was turning 4 years old. They decided to go to Henry’s room, where he kept a lot of gadgets and video games. Suko and Henry began to bond over that stuff, and the two became closer. Suko told me how Henry remembers showing Suko his video games, and even how he taught him how to play them.
“I see Henry like a big brother. He has told me I am like a little brother to him as well.” Suko said. We were at a mini store where Suko bought some chips and a soda. The soda said Ramune. “I think it’s a miracle that I met them, and that they see me as a friend.” I looked down as Suko said this. I didn’t think it was a miracle that they liked him. Suko just needed the right people, and Henry and Suzie were it.

“That’s not true. You are a cool guy. You are a little awkward and mischievous. But you are smart and kind. I see that.” I said. I then remembered how Suko saved me from Impmon. “By the way,” I looked at Suko. I felt like I was blushing and I hoped it wasn't obvious, “thank you for having saved me from Impmon. That was really brave of you, to have attacked a Digimon like that.”

“You are welcome. I just thought he was going to roast you. Besides he owed me one for what he did that time.” Suko said as he scratched his head. “Now we are even.” He said. I just grinned and kept walking with Suko. After a few minutes, he asked me: “Do you want to check out this new book I got from the library? It’s about spaceships.” Suko asked once we were about to turn to the street where his house was located.

“Mhm.” I nodded and thought that was such a nice idea. Once we were at home, I made sure to become invisible so that Suko’s parents didn’t see me. I heard them talk. It sounded like they were arguing. I saw how Suko stopped as if to listen to what they were saying. He shook his head as if to want to block that argument and made a turn to enter his own room. Once there, Suko turned off the lights and then turned on a bedside lamp he had which was resting on top of a bedside table filled with dolls (or action figures as Suko preferred to call them).

We began reading together while Suko had an arm around me. I felt so calm and relaxed as we looked through pictures of real spaceships and possible future spaceships. Some of the designs looked really weird, like long tubes with solar panels and spheres attached. They were quite different from anything we had ever seen on TV. After reading for some time, Suko fell asleep while I remained awake. I looked at Suko while he slept, and I thought about what he had told me before. I wished he didn’t think he was alone or that everyone left him. He had me, and Henry, and Suzie.

Next day, Suko told me Juri had waved at him at school, but that he did not go to talk to her and ignored her. According to Suko, he saw how Juri lowered her head and turned away. He said there was no point in trying. I felt upset that Suko felt so negative about this. Not because I wanted him to go out and become a social butterfly, but because I knew that Suko was not the negative stuff he thought about himself. I told Suko about my experiences growing up. I also had difficulties making friends, as I was always serious and other Digimon thought I was a stuck-up. I would often come off that way, because to be honest, many Digimon made so many stupid questions or comments and I had no better way to answer to them without sounding like a mean person to them. Sometimes male Digimon would try to impress me by showing me their macho attitude, and I frankly was not impressed at all by those efforts. Other times I would beat all the male Digimon in combat school, causing many to feel inferior to me when my intent was just to go to school and do my own thing. It was as if my existence would always upset the male Digimon. Some would go out and spread confidential information as a temper tantrum kind of revenge because I rejected or beat them. The female Digimon would gossip about me saying I was some kind of bitch. I learned to ignore it and I became more selective with what I said and to whom I said it. I grew to largely distrust others.

“I have never really talked to anyone about this. Only to you.” I told Suko. “I feel like people will just try to give me advice to try to make me fit in.”

“Well, that is very upsetting.” Suko said. “I know what it is like to be misunderstood like that. You feel there is no point bothering anymore and you want peace and quiet.” Suko got it. “And I am glad you shared this with me.”

I knew Suko would understand. We were both rejected by the majority because of who we were. However, I was reminded that Suko is a young child, and I did not want him to accidentally spread this around:

“Please promise me you will not talk about this to anyone.” I turned to Suko. “It is very personal to me, and I don’t want it to be divulged. I want this to be private, just between you and me.”

“I promise I will not say anything, Viximon.” Suko said. He smiled and then said: “You can have my word.” I smiled back at him.

Suko and I went out to walk and see if any exercise could help me digivolve to Renamon. The afternoon was nice. The air was not that chilly and I smelled something different in the air. We did not encounter Impmon at all. However, I felt like someone was following us and watching us. For a while I thought not to tell Suko as I did not want to upset him. Plus, I was not sure if it was just my imagination. There was a lot of people, so it was hard to tell. We turned into another street at my request, as it could be the people themselves watching us. This street was much less crowded. There were tall trees which provided shadow and there was a small coffee shop which looked cozy. I still had that sensation of being watched and followed. I turned to see if anyone was behind us and looking at us, but there were only people coming and going, not noticing us particularly. I decided to stop looking back, as I did not want Suko to begin to ask questions.

“Viximon.” Suko said. He sounded nervous.

“Yes?”

“Did you see that blonde man with the sunglasses that was wearing a black suit? He kept looking at us in a weird way.” Suko said, scratching his head.

“No. I did not.” I said as I thought how concerning this was. “Do you see him right now?” I asked. Suko turned around, and then looked to the sides, and then shook his head. We walked ahead without much trouble. The sensation disappeared as soon as the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building was further away from us. That building gave me the creeps. It looked ominous and it gave off the sensation of being sentient in a way. Those towers, and those receptors. It could move at any time.

We were surprised when we turned another street, and a man that fit Suko’s description of who I believed was watching us appeared right in front of us. I got in front of Suko to protect him. The man regarded us with a serious face. I could not see much of his expression as his eyes were covered by the sunglasses. The shadows cast by the building made the man look more scary and menacing.

“Give me the digivice.” The man demanded. Suko retreated a step back, as the man was threatening. “Didn’t you hear me, kid? Give me the digivice.” The man repeated his order with a sterner voice.

“N-no!” Suko said after a pause. “Never! I will not hand this to you.” Suko clutched the digivice.

“Then you two shall perish.” The man said and smiled. He then whistled, and three Digimon appeared from behind an alley. They were Kiwimon. The Kiwimon got closer and closer to me, and then attempted to peck at me. I was able to avoid all of the attacks. One of the Kiwimon hit me with a kick, sending me flying and hitting myself with a wall. It hurt so much I was stunned for some time.

“Viximon!” Suko shouted and ran towards me. I got up, determined to try and beat these creeps out. The Kiwimon got closer to us, and the three of them sent out miniature versions of Kiwimon flying from out of their beaks. Suko and I moved away.

“Suko, swipe a card!” I said. I was not going to shy away from attacking this time because these Digimon looked like small fry compared to the Devidramon we encountered before. It was a coin-toss at this point.

Suko swiped a card which materialized a long strap with balls on the end. I swung the strap and hurled it towards one of the Kiwimon. It wrapped the Kiwimon and stunned him. I became a stone and spouted my toxic gas towards the Kiwimon, making them cough and cry. The man also coughed. Suko and I took this chance to escape.

“Why can’t I digivolve?” I said as we kept on running away. I turned back and saw the Kiwimon were chasing us. They were leaving plenty of dust behind. The people on the streets were looking and screaming with horror. Some people were also filming us all. I heard police sirens as well. The people were being blocked from coming any closer in our direction. The man was running behind the Kiwimon as well. “I wish I could digivolve and end this once and for all.”

“We just got to run now.” Suko said.

Then, as if by miracle, Leomon appeared in between us and the Kiwimon. Juri too.

“Are you two ok? Juri asked us.

“Yes. We are ok.” Suko said.

“Leomon! Use your lion sword to finish them!” Juri said.

Leomon pulled out his sword and managed to finish two of the Kiwimon. I saw the man grunt as the information flew away. The surviving Kiwimon digivolved into Blossomon. Leomon used fist of the beast king against Blossomon. Blossomon took some damage. Leomon growled and Blossomon smirked. Blossomon’s tentacles aimed at Leomon, but Leomon avoided being hit. Leomon was hit by several shuriken flowers, making several cuts through Leomon. His body looked damaged, and some blood oozed through the cuts.

“Leomon! No!” Juri cried.

Leomon tried to support himself with his sword, but he was shaking. Blossomon then grabbed both Leomon and Juri with his tentacles and began to squeeze at them.

“Juri! Leomon!” Suko yelled.

“Suko, what will we do?” I said with urgency. Juri was crying in pain as she was being squeezed. Leomon could not stop screaming as some of the thorns got into his cuts.

“I thought Juri did not care about me because I am a weirdo and I ignored her. But…” Suko clenched his fists. “They still came to help us out and now they are suffering because of it.” As he said this, I felt power rushing through me. Leomon and Juri were still being squeezed. “And I… and I… and I will not let that suffering continue!” Suko yelled as loud as I have ever heard him. His digivice glowed white and I felt the transformation begin. I felt refreshed as I became Renamon.

“Suko, swipe a card.” I said.

Suko slashed a card that gave me a long samurai sword. I was ready to cut those tentacles into pieces.

“You think you can defeat us? You are just a rookie Digimon against an ultimate!” The man said before laughing at us. I simply ignored what he said and jumped to cut the tentacles holding Juri and Leomon. Once they were free, I told them to move out of the way and to let me finish this.

“Koyousetsu!” And Blossomon received my attack. Blossomon was stunned for some time. I did not waste a moment and I attacked Blossomon with multiple roundhouse kicks. Blossomon fell to the ground. Blossomon still managed to attack me with the shuriken flowers, hurting me a little.

“Renamon, you can do it!” Suko said. I got up and used my sword to cut the tentacles that had the tips that threw those flower shuriken. All Blossomon had was his other tentacles.

“Come on Blossomon don’t let that fox finish you so quickly!” The man said.

Then the remaining tentacles grew in length and surrounded me. Some were wrapping against my legs, but I managed to cut them away. Another one was having a shot at hitting me, but I managed to avoid all of those hits before cutting it. I absorbed the information of each tentacle I would cut, which restored so much of my energy. The remaining tentacles shot thorns at me, which sent me flying and I hit the ground. Suko came to my side and helped me get up. I was determined to beat this Blossomon.

“Just give up! A rookie will never beat an ultimate.” The man said. He smirked and began to play with his lighter. “Just give up your digivices.”

“Never.” Suko said. “It’s mine!”

“Suko. Swipe the speed card.” I clenched my fists and held the sword tightly. Suko swiped that card.

“Finish her!” The man yelled. His voice echoed through the street.

I avoided and cut the tentacles and when I was close to Blossomon I swftly swung the sword multiple times. Blossomon suffered from many cuts and was dissolved into information I absorbed.

“No!” The man said. He seemed tense and ran away. I sighed of relief that we were victorious, and that I was back to normal.

“Renamon you are amazing!” Suko said as he came to give me a hug. “Are you alright?”

“Yes. I am ok.” I said as I hugged him back. We then turned to look at Juri, who was by Leomon. I saw Suko lower his head. I knew what he was thinking: that he owed Juri an apology for having ignored her at school, but he was scared of being blown off by Juri. Suko and I walked towards them. Suko looked up to me, and I nodded at him.

“Juri…” Suko started playing with his hair. “I- I am glad you came to help us out. Thank you.”

“You are welcome. I just thought you two were in danger and wanted to help.” Juri smiled at Suko.

“Yeah…” Suko said. After a pause, Suko began to cry. “I am sorry for having ignored you at school. I just thought you didn’t want to talk to me anymore because I am so weird.” I closed my eyes, as it hurt seeing Suko cry. I could still hear his crying voice, and that still made me feel sad.

“I, no! I never thought of not talking to you anymore! Why would you think that?” Juri seemed surprised.

“I just felt like that because last time you left after I asked you about orbits and because I made you feel like I was looking down on you. People have stopped talking to me all of a sudden because they say I am weird or a nerd of some kind.” Suko said, cleaning his tears.

“Suko, no! I really did have to leave! My dad has a very strict curfew for me. If I do not show up at the time he wants me to show up, he…” And Juri made a throat-slashing gesture. “You understand?”

Suko giggled and Juri followed. I sighed out of relief that things were not as bad as Suko thought them to be. “I would never stop talking to someone just because they are, well, weird. I did feel a bit looked down on, but I then realized it was probably not your intention.” Juri continued. “Look, I am weird too! Hold on.” She then pulled out a dog-looking puppet. She put it on and began to make sounds at Suko. “Woof woof! Juri just wanted to make conversation with Suko but Suko ignored her. Woof!”

“I am sorry…” Suko said, smiling. All of a sudden, I heard steps. I got my guard up and quickly turned to see. It was Calumon.

“Calu!” Calumon said. She was happy to see us together.

“Calumon!” Juri said. She was happy to see Calumon. So they have seen each other before.

“Calulu! Calumon saw Renamon fighting and was proud!” Calumon began to dance and then tripped. Suko and Juri laughed. If anyone would have seen me, they would think I am grumpy, but I was simply observing. I smiled a subtle smile, nevertheless. We helped Leomon get up and took him to a secure place where he could rest. We had to hurry as we didn’t want people looking at us. I offered the abandoned shrine I used to use as my shelter as I had no need for it anymore. Everyone thought the idea was good, so we left Leomon to rest on there.

Suko and I went back home after saying goodbye to Juri and Leomon.

“I will see you tomorrow at school!” Juri said.

“Of course!” Suko said and waved goodbye.

Calumon accompanied us on the way back, resting on Suko’s head. Once we were inside Suko’s room and climbed bed to go to sleep, I began to think about this situation with the mysterious man and the fact that this is the second time someone tries to take away a digivice. Why did they want to take the digivice away? Do they want to experiment with it? Or do they want to stop tamers from fighting these Digimon? And if that is the case, why? I did not have any answers to this and simply began to doze off, Suko in my arms snuggled against me while he held his stuffed rabbit, Yuki. The full Moon shone through the blinds and I could see Suko’s face bathed in moonlight. It was a sweet sight, and I thought about the Moon’s orbit as I completely closed my eyes.

Chapter Text

The next day Suko came back from school and I heard how his father was yelling at him for something he did at school. Apparently Suko had thrown a pencil and it hit one of his classmates’ eye, causing the kid to cry for a long time. Suko was sent to the office of the principal and the principal had Suko’s teacher speak to Suko’s father about this. Suko told me that he did not throw the pencil to hurt the kid, that he simply was lending the kid a pencil and impulsively threw the pencil to him as he asked the kid to catch the pencil. But this was not it. Suko throwing the pencil led to what he called a “pencil war”, where many of Suko’s classmates began throwing pencils and other school utensils at each other while the teacher was out of the classroom. When the kid reported Suko to the teacher, the teacher blamed Suko for the entire pencil war. Of course, no one believed Suko when he said that he did not initiate the war, because Suko has precedent of causing mischief. I sighed of relief after Suko told me he was not hurt. Then I said:

“Well, I am glad no one threw a pencil to hurt you.” I said while I turned to look at Suko, his head bowed down in shame for what happened. “But be careful with that next time.” I ruffled Suko’s hair, and he just smiled at me with his mischievous and contagious grin. Then the topic of Henry was brought by Suko:

“I did not see Henry at school. I wonder if he is ok. I should pay him a visit.” Suko said, looking at me with a face wondering if I approved or not. Suko seemed to defer a lot of judgments to me.

“We should go.” I said as I was getting up from Suko’s bed. “The more tamers are available, the better.”

With that being said, Suko grabbed his digivice and pack of cards (which were not confiscated anymore) and left the house making sure no one saw us. Suko knocked at Henry’s house, and I turned invisible. Henry’s father opened and said he would let Henry know Suko was expecting him. A few minutes later Henry comes out, Terriermon carried in his arms. Henry seemed sick and a bit pale. He asked Suko to come in and I followed.

Once we were at Henry’s room, he made sure to lock the door and turn on the lights. His room was a bit messy, but not as much as Suko’s can get. Terriermon was sleeping on Henry’s bed. He seemed to be okay compared to last time that the fight happened against Devidramon.

“How are you? You seem really tired. You almost look like a Frankenstein monster.” Suko said. I simply observed and listened to the conversation.

“Thanks, Suko. I appreciate that.” Henry raised an eyebrow and took a seat on a rolling chair that was in front of a desk with a computer. I saw other video game consoles, similar to the ones Suko has but bigger. “But I am ok. I am just sick. Terriermon’s near death did this to me.”

“Oh.” Suko scratched his head. “I am sorry. That really sucks, friend.” Suko said, swallowing.

“I have been thinking.” Henry continued, pausing for a few seconds. “I don’t want to lose Terriermon. He is one of my best friends, just like you.” Henry then turned to look at Terriermon. “I don’t know what I would do if Terriermon died and was absorbed by a wild Digimon like the ones we have been fighting.”

Suko nodded. Suko seemed quieter than usual. I could sense he was feeling Henry’s emotions. I sat next to Suko on the rug for the sake of comforting him in this moment. “Yeah, I get it. I don’t know what I would do if Renamon was absorbed either.” Suko then leaned against me and I closed my eyes to relax. I would never be absorbed, Suko. I am a warrior and you know that.

“So, I think it’s best that I don’t make Terriermon fight at all. He is a living being and does not deserve to suffer like he did.” Henry said. His head was lowered.

“What?!” Suko said, “Are you aware of what just came out of your mouth?”

“Yes. I don’t want Terriermon to fight any more battles. He deserves a normal and safe life.”

“But, but. Man!” Suko could not believe it. Henry always struck me as the pacifist type, so this development did not quite surprise me. “You are aware of what you are saying right?” Suko continued.

“I know many wild Digimon are appearing in the city. And I am aware you were involved in a fight yesterday. The news covered the appearance of a ‘monster’, and I see Renamon is back to normal. But, I don’t think it’s Terriermon’s job to get hurt and sacrifice himself.”

Suko frowned at Henry, as if saying ‘are you crazy or something?’ “But you got to help us, Henry.” Suko said. “It’s just Juri and me. Takato too. I don’t know if there’s any other tamers. Yesterday we fought against a powerful Digimon and they wanted to steal our digivices. What if they manage to steal one of the digivices? Our Digimon could die as well.”

“I understand. But that’s not Terriermon’s problem.” Henry turned away from Suko.

“But we need your help!”

“Sorry. Terriermon will not fight. Please und-“

“You are just a chicken.” And Suko began making chicken sounds.

“I am not a chicken!” Henry exclaimed. “Stop it now.”

“You are a coward.” I then turned to look at Suko:

“Suko, stop it.” I said. “Let’s not go there.”

“Why? It’s the truth! Now, Henry,” Suko turned to Henry, “say Renamon, Leomon, and Guilmon, if he gets to join us, lose a battle. They are screwed over by a very powerful Digimon. The entire city gets ravaged, and you are the only one who can save us. What then? Will you let our city be destroyed by wild Digimon?” Suko said. He had a point. Henry stopped to think for a moment. He did not reply.

“Terriermon will not die! Henry, he will not die! I promise you that. He is strong.” Suko insisted.

“He will not fight again. I have made my decision and it’s final.”

“Aw come on!” Suko began rocking back and forth. “Why do you have to be such a square?”

“I am not a square.”

“Yes you are.” Suko giggled, in part of exasperation. “Admit it. You are so stubborn, just like a mule.”

“Says the one who is stubbornly asking about what it means to be a tamer and is not happy with the answers others give to him.” Henry shot back. “And says the one who keeps insisting others do things they don’t want to do despite being told no multiple times.”

“Aw, you know what? Fuck you.” Suko got up, “Let’s go, Renamon.” I got up as well and bowed goodbye to Henry.

Once we were outside on the street walking, I calmly said to Suko: “I think you were too harsh with Henry, Suko.” I kept looking into the distance. I knew Suko was right in a way. However, I thought it’s best to respect Henry’s wishes and let him decide for himself. “That’s something you need to understand: People have the right to choose what to do. It’s not your job to change their mind. Henry has to figure out for himself what the truth is.”

After thinking for some time, Suko turned to me: “I don’t want to lose you either, Renamon.” Suko held my arm, nuzzling himself against it. “But, I think Henry is going to the extreme.”

“I agree with you.” I said as I picked Suko up. “But we have to let him be for now. He is still shocked by what happened. Wouldn’t you be?”

“Yes, but...” Suko looked to the side. “I don’t know. I just think it’s not fair he can just opt out of this and leave Juri, Takato, and myself to this. I feel like if you have a Digimon you have to fight with wild Digimon and either control them or let their information disperse. It’s almost like your duty if you have a Digimon partner and wild Digimon are disturbing the peace. At least that’s how I see it.” Suko scratched his head.

“I understand.” I nodded. To change the topic, I asked Suko if he wanted to check up on Leomon and Juri.

“Yes!” Suko said, somewhat happier. I was happy he changed his mood this way.

Once we were at the shrine, Leomon, Juri, and Calumon were there. Leomon was bandaged and Juri was feeding him with a spoon. I thought the sight was moving: a little girl feeding a big muscular lion.

“Aw! Look at you Suko!” Juri beamed as soon as she saw us. “You just look like a little baby in Renamon’s arms! That’s so adorable!” Juri hugged herself and looked at us with bright eyes.

“Shut up, Kato!” Suko said and sticked his tongue at Juri. “I am not a baby. I am six! I am a boy. A boy!” Suko said, clenching his fists.

“But you look so cute cuddled on her fur! It must be really comfortable to be held like that.”

“You know what? Renamon, put me down.” Suko said. I put Suko down. I wanted to hold Suko for more time because I agreed with Juri about Suko. After all, he does appear to be younger than he is, giving him a more baby-like appearance. Perhaps it’s his height compared to that of the other kids his age.

“And look at Renamon. Stoic like a soldier.” Juri said as she was pulling out her puppet. “Woof! Renamon needs to smile more often! Woof! Otherwise people will be afraid of her! Woof!” Calumon danced as she witnessed all of this happening.

“Calulu!” Calumon smiled.

“Juri, don’t annoy them too much. They have helped us out.” Leomon said, opening his eyes. He was not asleep as I initially thought. “Thank you for checking up on us.”

“No problem!” Suko said and smiled. I simply bowed. We sat down along with Juri and Leomon, and Suko told them everything that transpired with Henry. Juri seemed worried about Henry and Terriermon and expressed wishes to help them both out.

“I wish he could fight along with us.” Suko said. “But Renamon told me we have to let him be. She told me it’s not good to force people to change their minds. That it’s up to them.”

Calumon shrunk her ears and seemed sad. Juri too. It seemed to me as if everyone wanted Henry to be on the team. I just wanted to make sure everyone focused on what they had to do. I figured Henry would come to his senses later.

“We just have to be on the lookout for any wild Digimon coming into the city.” I said. “With or without Henry and Terriermon. We also have to figure out what is up with that man that wants our digivices.”

“That’s true.” Juri said. “That man was creepy. It almost seemed like he was not human.”

Suko and Juri talked about their cards, and even had a game together. Juri lost and asked for a rematch. After some time, I heard a trembling sound outside. It sounded like the steps of a giant. It was probably a Digimon.

“Suko. Let’s go!” I got up. “I think a Digimon is attacking the city.”

“What? Really?” Suko got up. We said goodbye to Juri and Leomon. “I hope you heal soon!” Suko said to Leomon, who bowed thanking Suko.

We ran in the direction of those steps. We saw a giant Digimon making huge dents on the streets with its feet. According to Suko’s digivice it was a Darktyrannomon.
Darktyrannomon shoot fire all around him. He stomped and used his tail to hit the ground and leave indentations. Cars would crash, and some people got crushed to death. I saw a head fly in our direction. It was a man’s head with an expression of horror. Suko got ran to me and I hugged him tightly.

“Don’t worry. I am here to protect you.” After a pause, I realized we had to fight. I held his head tightly in my hand while looking at him in the eye. “Suko. Prepare yourself to swipe a card!”

“I will.” Suko swallowed and swiped a card that allowed me to have a samurai sword. I jumped to one of the buildings, thinking of slashing this Darktyrannomon from above. But Darktyrannomon slammed the building with its tail. I had to jump, and I slashed its back, causing it to roar. Darktyrannomon turned towards me and shoot a long trail of fire. The fire burned most of the street, leaving the other half intact.

“Suko! Get into a more secluded area!” I saw Suko just standing there, petrified. “Suko! React!” Then I saw him snap out of it and run towards the other extreme of the street. I was distracted and hit by Darktyrannomon’s tail. It hurt me so much and it hurt even more when I hit the ground. I got up to continue to fight.

Darktyrannomon sought to slam me with its tail but I avoided that and slashed it on the belly. I continued with my koyousetsu, and Darktyrannomon was hurt but not much. It then came closer to me and shot its fire towards me, significantly burning me. I screamed in pain, and I could hear Suko screaming for me as well. I felt power rushing through me, and my energy was coming back and I turned into Kyubimon.

I did not waste any time and attacked with my koenryu. Darktyrannomon fell to the ground, causing more damage to the street. The area was already being guarded against by police. I saw there were people being evacuated from other buildings as well as ambulances and firemen. I then made a loud and high pitched cry, and invoked a spirit that attacked Darktyrannomon, seemingly finishing him.

I ran to Suko: “We defeated Darktyrannomon. Now let’s get out of here Suko.”

“Yes!”

As soon as we were walking to leave, I heard a rumbling noise. We turned to see what it was:

“Kyubimon, this does not look any good.” Suko said as he pointed at a bright red light surrounding the space where Darktyrannomon laid. Then the red light became dark bits of information absorbed by something or someone. We saw a tall and slim figure. It appeared to have a mask made out of gold with two long horns. It also had big red wings, and long arms with golden claws. The figure was looking towards us.

“Suko, prepare to fight.” I said. “I don’t know who this is, but I sense a tremendous power.”

All of a sudden, a deep and rugged voice came from the figure: “Humanity and Digimon, I will govern everyone and subdue all with the power of darkness.” Suko’s digivice could not give a reading on what this was, but it looked like a Digimon as it absorbed Darktyrannomon’s information.

“I will make sure to take all those digivices from the chosen children and eliminate their Digimon partners so that they don’t interfere with my plans.” The mysterious evil Digimon said.

“Again with the digivices! Goddamit!” Suko facepalmed himself. “I am getting tired of this!”

I charged at the figure with my koenryu. The figure lifted its hands, and I couldn’t move anymore. I felt as if a force was squeezing me. I screamed in pain and I was thrown to the ground.

“Kyubimon! No!”

“Kid.” I could hear the figure say. “If you want to delay your friend’s death, hand over that digivice. I promise your death will hurt much less if you comply.”

“No! I will not give Kyubimon up.” Suko ran towards me.

“Very well then. Your destiny is to disappear.” The figure then flew towards us, claws in front. “Guilty claw!” It shouted.

All of a sudden, we heard another voice, a friendlier voice, shout: “Pyro blaster!” and a powerful fire blast shot in the direction of the figure. The figure avoided the attack. I turned to look, and I saw a large red dinosaur Digimon. It was an overgrown version of Guilmon. A kid was by his side and was wearing yellow goggles and a blue shirt.

“Growlmon! Don’t give up and use your dragon slash!” The kid, whose name was Takato, swiped a card and gave Growlmon the ability to fly with large angel wings that appeared on Growlmon’s back. The figure avoided all of the attacks before settling on a tall building. The wings were spread, as if it was ready to fly. I got up and was ready to fight again.

“I shall see you kids next time.” The figure said. “Don’t forget your days are counted. Until next time!” And it flew away towards the east, where it was darker. The figure cackled as it flew away.

“Guys, let’s get out of here.” I said. Suko climbed my back and Takato climbed Growlmon’s head. As soon as we were away from all the commotion, Growlmon and I went back to our prior forms. We were at Shinjuku Central Park, behind some bushes and trees.

“Are you guys ok?” Takato said to us.

“Yes, thank you.” Suko said. “So, you are…” Suko pointed at Takato and squinted his eyes.

“I am Takato Matsuki, I have seen you at school!” Takato smiled and shook Suko’s hand.

“I am Suko Nakamura from the first grade.” Suko said, not looking at Takato but smiling. It gave the impression Suko was blind when he wasn’t. Takato turned around to look what was Suko looking at, but it was nothing and he shrugged.

Guilmon got close to me and began to smell me. I felt his nose all around my body, and I did not like that one bit as it was invading my personal space. I glared at Guilmon and he gave me this stupid look. I will sound cruel, but at the time I thought he was better inside that cage. Of course, it was just a thought I had. “Guilmon knows you! You are the little Viximon! The little Viximon!” Guilmon roared, happiness permeating his voice. He began to waddle and dance, arms up.

“Yeah.” I turned to look away, cringing a little bit. That whole smelling thing ruined my experience with Guilmon. But I did not want to be mean to him, so I kept my reactions in check. Takato seemed to feel awkward by this exchange, so he asked Guilmon to stop pestering us.

“Sorry guys, Guilmon is rather young and does not understand certain things.” Takato said, laughing and feeling embarrassed.

“He is young?” Suko asked. “But he looks pretty big.” Takato then explained to us how Guilmon came to be: Guilmon was drawn by Takato and became real. Yes. Just like you are imagining. He just became real because Takato drew him. “How in the world?” Suko asked, fascinated. “What did you do? Are you a wizard or something?”

“No!” Takato laughed. “I am just a kid that likes to draw and who wanted to have a Digimon, so I made my ideal Digimon. I never thought this would happen. And frankly, I am happy it did.” Takato said, patting Guilmon on the head. Guilmon nuzzled himself against Takato. “How did you meet your Digimon?” Suko told the story to Takato, which fascinated him as well.

“So it was something very similar to my case except that you didn’t create her!” Takato nodded, looking up as if thinking.

“Yes. I wanted to have a Digimon so bad because I was lonely.” Suko said. I put my arm around him and pulled him towards me. “And I am happier now.”

“I see! Yes, I can see your Digimon is very receptive to you.” Takato said, smiling.

“What do you mean?” Suko said, raising an eyebrow.

“Yeah! You mentioned you felt lonely and she hugged you.” Takato said. “Right?” He said, looking at me. I looked at Takato for a second and turned away. I do not like it when people try to read my reactions or intentions.

“But I want to know more! How did Guilmon appear just by magic? Maybe that can explain why did Renamon appear to me.” Suko said and jumped while he was seated. He was impatient to know the answer. “I wanna know why! I wanna know why!”

“I do not know. All that I know is that Guilmon is my best friend, and I would lose it if Guilmon died.” Guilmon then jumped on top of Takato and began to ask for “Guilmon bread.” Takato was struggling to get Guilmon off from him. Suko began to giggle at Guilmon, as if making fun of him.

“I think he is just special.” Suko whispered to me. “He rode the short bus to Takato’s house.” Then he began to giggle even more intensely. I rolled my eyes and shook my head, smiling. I think that was going a bit too far even if it was a bit funny.

“Suko… Don’t say that.” I held Suko. “He saved us. Even if he acts a bit weird he still saved us.”

“Admit it. You are irritated by him.” Suko pointed at me. I motioned him to be silent and shook my head.

Suko told Takato about Henry and Juri. When Suko mentioned juri, Takato blushed when he heard Juri’s name.

“You know her?”

“Yes. She has a Digimon named Leomon.”

“Wait she has a Digimon? She is a tamer like us?” Takato seemed happy to hear this.

“Yup.”

Takato was surprised at this. He wondered how come they never met during any of those digibattlefield battles. The topic of Henry also came up. Takato was also intent on trying to convince him if possible.

“Maybe if he sees more tamers together, he will want to join us all!” Takato said, and he seemed enthusiastic.

I was not sure what would work other than just letting Henry be and decide for himself. But now I understood more: Neodevimon seemed to be the most powerful of all the Digimon we had encountered now. He seemed to be a leader who wants to conquer this world and the digiworld. And this is a battle that will necessitate the involvement of more than just 4 tamers and their partners.

Chapter Text

A few days later it was evident that Tokyo, Suko’s city, was in danger. Several Digimon had appeared in the city and were destroying and ravaging it. Bakemon, Pumpkinmon, and a horde of Devimon led by Neodevimon were the culprits. Neodevimon’s army of Bakemon and Pumpkinmon entered stores, apartment complexes, and schools. I presumed they were looking for other tamers to destroy and take their digivices away.

By then Leomon had fully recovered and the three tamers were ready to enter into action against this enemy. Suko was still determined to ask Henry to join us.

“Let’s go and try one more time. Please, Renamon.” He said, pulling my arm in the direction of Henry’s house.

“Okay. But if he says no, we just leave.” I said. “Remember what we talked about regarding letting people choose.” I smiled at Suko.

“Yeah, yeah. I know. But look,” Suko pointed to a stray trio of Bakemon flying around. “We have this disaster to deal with right now.”

With that said, Suko, Takato, Juri, Guilmon, Leomon, and me left in the direction of Henry’s house. Once we were at the house Henry came out with Terriermon. Terriermon seemed upset about something. He was not himself. Terriermon always seemed to be happy and laid-back. But right now, he seemed to be acting different. Perhaps because he was not on Henry’s head and was crossing his arms.

“Henry, you saw the news, right? Digimon are pillaging the city. They are looking for tamers, we included.” Suko said, pointing in the direction where most of the commotion was. I could hear ambulances, firemen trucks, police cruisers, and screams. “Snap out of that or we are all going to be roasted.”

“Oh. That’s what you came to tell me. You guys seem well-equipped to deal with this.” Henry scratched his head, looking to the side.

“Henry, come on. They are shishkabobing Tokyo. They are turning it into a pile of garbage and people are getting hurt and dying.” Suko insisted.

“I am sorry, but,” Juri interrupted, “We need all tamers available to help us finish them. I understand that what happened with Terriermon was horrible and you don’t want it repeated. But other people are suffering, and we need all the help possible.” Juri had more tact than Suko, which was a good thing as until now Henry had only heard Suko’s way of imploring. This is not to say I did not appreciate Suko’s way: he is more direct and blunt about things, which at times makes me laugh internally.

“What does Terriermon say?” Leomon asked, bending down to see Terriermon.

“I think Henry is being a little selfish.” Terriermon said, crossing his small arms and looking away from Henry. He said this with snark.

“Yeah guys, Terriermon has not spoken to me since we saw the news of what was happening, and I said no. He has yet to understand…” Henry said before being interrupted by Terriermon:

“Henry, wake up!” Terriermon said, beating his own head with his fist, “Suzie was kidnapped by one of those Digimon at school. Your dad and mom are looking for her. I can’t believe you are acting this way.” Terriermon’s high-pitched voice was loud at first. I had never thought Terriermon could sound that angry. When he said the last sentence, Terriermon’s voice was lower and had a barb to it. Terriermon was right. Suko did tell me that Suzie had gone to the bathroom and had never come back. The teachers got worried and the rest is history.

“Terriermon. Please understand that I just want you to be a friend. Not a fighting machine.” Henry said, kneeling down to face Terriermon, who was looking away from Henry with arms still crossed.

“Your little sister was kidnapped, and you are just hiding away.” Terriermon said.

“I will go with the guys while you stay home.” Henry said.

“How about I go with them and you can do whatever you want.”

“Terriermon…” Henry said as Terriermon was walking towards the part of the city where the evil Digimon were at.

“Come on guys, let’s go! Momantai!” Terriermon said, now smiling like his usual self.

I turned to see if Henry was following, but he was on the ground, crying and slamming the concrete. Suko wanted to go back to him but I stopped him. “Remember we have a mission.” I said. “We can’t stray from it right now.”

“You are right, Renamon.” Suko said and sighed. He sounded sad and dejected. I carried Suko in my arms and we prepared ourselves to go.

“You guys ready?” Takato said, lifting a fist to the air. Guilmon raised one of his paws. We then left the street where Henry’s house was at. I jumped across buildings, Suko in my arms. He was nestled on my chest, clutching the fur. Juri was also being carried by Leomon, but Leomon was running through the streets. Guilmon had digivolved into Growlmon and Takato was on top of his head. Calumon was running along with Terriermon.

“Renamon, I feel bad that Terriermon left Henry alone.” Suko said. “I hope Terriermon stops being mad at him.” I sighed and told Suko that he was right all along, that Henry was being irrational about this whole Terriermon fighting issue. This was proven by his hesitancy to go and rescue his sister Suzie.

“You are right, Renamon. That’s a bit messed up.” Suko said, sighing. “Does this mean Terriermon is no longer Henry’s partner? That he is no longer a tamer?” Suko asked me.

“I don’t know that. I don’t think Henry and Terriermon have ceased to be partners. I do think that Terriermon is very disappointed in Henry.” I said.

“True.” Suko said, his voice was low and felt blue to me.

Once we were at the center of the commotion, I decided to divide out the group:

“Suko, myself, and Terriermon will go to the Shinjuku park section, where the government building is.” I began. I delegated the other parts of the city to the rest:
“Takato and Growlmon, you two go to the north side. Juri and Leomon, you go to the south side. Our goals are to find Suzie and take her to a safe place. And two, to finish the enemy Neodevimon.”

“Understood, queen.” Suko said, making a salute gesture. We then went in our respective directions.

As we were running, I encountered Bakemon, and I simply used rapid kicks to eliminate them. I let their information fly away. Pumpkinmon were also easy to defeat, but not as much as the Bakemon.

“Trick or treat!” One Pumpkinmon said. But Terriermon used his petit twister to eliminate the Pumpkinmon. The whole time I did not let go of Suko. He was so little, and I didn’t want him to get hurt or fall behind us, as we were moving fast.

“Renamon, I am getting tired. Can I go on your head?” Terriermon asked me.

“No.” I responded. “You can follow my pace.”

“Why are you so mean?” Terriermon said, pouting.

We arrived at the front of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. The same towers that felt as if they were sentient now loomed large above us. They looked dark as the sky was overcast.

“We have to break in.” I said.

“Wait how do you know we should be getting in here?” Suko asked.

“I sense most of that dark energy emanating from this place. I have sensed this several times already.” I replied. “This building is where that man in black must work. He seems to be a key piece in this puzzle.” I continued.

“Renamon, can I get off? We arrived already.” Suko tugged at me. I put Suko down carefully. I thought about the possibility that Suko would run off somewhere and decided to be serious with him about this:

“Suko. Please promise me you will not run around in a reckless manner and that you will follow all of my instructions.” I said, putting my hands over Suko’s shoulders and looking at him in the eye.

“I promise Renamon. I promise.” Suko said, rolling his eyes. I saw how Terriermon giggled at this scene but gave I his reaction little to no thought.

We broke into the building, and the halls seemed empty. The escalators were inactive, and the T.V. screens were showing white noise. There were papers scattered around along with other items such as pens, pads, and computer equipment. There was a big hologram of the Earth, with such realism that it surprised even me. I then saw Suko and Terriermon run towards it, and I instantly grabbed Suko from the back and pulled him towards me.

“Suko, Terriermon, let’s stick together. No time for distractions.” I said, looking around to see if any enemy came up. Suko groaned as I held him by the hand, and we walked up the escalator. The escalator was quiet for most of the climbing, but as soon as we reached half of it, it started accelerating. This sent us flying as soon as it stopped. I grabbed Terriermon by the ear so that he did not fly away while I clutched Suko with my other arm close to me. I managed to land safely.

“What the hell was that all about?” Suko said, raising his voice. All of a sudden, we heard a familiar laughter. It came from a dark hallway to our left.

“You all are so brave to have intruded on government property without authorization.” A figure approached us from the dark. It was the man in black we saw the other day. To my surprise, he was carrying a digivice on his hand. He was accompanied by a Salamon, who looked terrified.

“Mitsuo, please!” The Salamon spoke to Mitsuo. “Don’t do more bad things.”

“Well, kid.” Mitsuo said, ignoring Salamon. “Are you handing over that digivice? You and your Digimon will disappear no matter what. But at least we will be nicer if you obey.”

“Obey? Hah!” Suko crossed his arms. “Ask Renamon. I always disobey her.”

“Yes, you do.” I said, looking at Suko. “But this is not the time for jokes, Suko.”

“Very well then.” Mitsuo continued. “You will suffer the consequences of disobeying the government. Devimon!” He called, “finish these intruders.”

The wall adjacent to Mitsuo twisted and a vortex opened. Devimon emerged from the vortex and stood before us, wings spread out.

“Finish them off and bring over the digivice to lord Neodevimon!” Mitsuo ordered. Mitsuo then left the scene, Salamon following him.

“Wait, Mitsuo!” Salomon called as she disappeared into the darkness with her tamer.

“It looks like I will have some information for lunch.” Devimon said, his voice dry and deep.

“No. It looks like you will have a kick in the ass for lunch!” Suko countered, pointing at him. “Renamon, ready to digivolve?”

“I am ready, Suko.” I said, getting in my combat position. Suko pointed the digivice towards me, and I felt the power inside surge and increase. Suko could help me digivolve more easily now. Was it the time we had spent together that made me stronger and gave me an easier time digivolving? I had no time to reflect on such things. As Kyubimon, I used my koenryu against Devimon, who avoided it. Terriermon used his petit twister against Devimon, but Devimon simply grabbed Terriermon and squeezed him. Terriermon groaned and Devimon simply threw him away like an old toy.

“Out of my way, midget!” Devimon said, “Let the grownups handle grownup matters.”

I used my onibidama against Devimon, slightly hurting him. “Terriermon! Now attack with your petit tornado!” I said. Terriermon did as I said, and Devimon was hurt even further.

“Blast you two!” Devimon exclaimed, teeth clenched and eyes glowing crimson red. “Death hand!” And a blast of dark energy was released from Devimon’s hand, sending us both Terriermon and to the wall. Suko ran towards us and hugged my face, his small arms holding my snout.

“Are you ok?” Suko said, looking at both Terriermon and I. I nodded and lightly nuzzled Suko.

“I am ok. As long as we fight together, we will defeat this enemy.” I said, getting up. I wanted to make Suko feel encouraged and not feel afraid.

“Yes!” Suko said, smiling decisively. I was satisfied.

“Suko, give me more speed!” I said as I saw Devimon approaching. “Quick!”

Suko found the card needed and slashed it through his digivice. I was able to avoid Devimon’s attack while holding Suko from his jacket with my teeth. I saw Devimon’s hand had increased in size.

Devimon turned to look at us, and his hand was still in that increased size mode. “You will not escape from my touch of evil.” Devimon smirked. Devimon then flew towards us, and I used my onibidama again. This time I aimed it at his wings, which he did not expect. Devimon’s wings disappeared into information that I absorbed.
“Blast you!” Devimon exclaimed. “You will pay for that!” Devimon was just standing there, not knowing what else to do with us. Terriermon attacked from behind with his petit tornado, toppling Devimon. With my koenryu, I was able to finish Devimon.

“Kyubimon! You did it again.” Suko said, petting me on the head. I saw Terriermon looked at us with a surprised face, as if he realized something. I did not press the issue and neither did Suko as he did not notice. We followed the path that Mitsuo and Salamon had taken. The hall was dark, but some light was provided by some of the offices that had windows on them. Some Bakemon appeared which I instantly destroyed with my Onibidama. After climbing several stories, I realized Suko was not with us anymore.

“Where in the world did Suko go!?” I said, flustered. “I told him to stick with us.”

Terriermon turned around to see if he was hiding somewhere, but he could not find him.

“Momantai!” Terriermon said. “You will see that we are going to find him safe and sound.”

“Let’s go and find Suko before we find the enemy.” I said. Before we moved, I heard Suko scream my name. It came from one of the rooms behind us. We went in that direction and found Suko and Mitsuo were playing tug of war with Suko’s digivice. It was quite a sight seeing this grown man trying to snatch a digivice from a little kid.

“It’s mine! Leave it!” Suko said, teeth clenched.

“Give me the digivice!” Mitsuo replied.

Suko then began to kick Mitsuo on the sheens, and Mitsuo would just say “ouch” each time Suko kicked him.

“Ouch!”

“Take that you goon!” And Suko kicked again, his small tennis shoe kicking Mitsuo’s sheen.

“Ouch! Dammit!”

“Let go of my digivice you nitwit!” Suko said. Before Suko could kick again, Mitsuo punched Suko on the face, sending him to the floor.

“Suko!” I yelled. I felt as if I was punched as well.

“You son of a bitch!” Suko said, getting up with some effort. “Give me back my digivice you son of a fucking bitch!” Suko yelled as he jumped and headbutted Mitsuo. But Mitsuo held him by the neck and began strangling him. Mitsuo then began to hit Suko on the face with his other hand, which was free after he put the digivice on his pocket. Suko was grunting each time he was punched. I not only felt the pain, but I felt as if my rational part was being clouded by murderous rage, rage born out of seeing Suko, my little kid, bleeding from the lower lip and from his small button nose. I felt as if every hair on my body was standing on end. I was shaking, my teeth clenched. My body heat started to raise as a red aura began to envelop my body.

“Kyubimon!” Terriermon said, moving away from me with fear.

I then saw Mitsuo dropping Suko, who had fainted, perhaps from the shock or the pain. His bloody nose and mouth, his round child-like unconscious face, his small body on the ground while this adult figure stood there regarding me with fear made my rage explode. I pounced on Mitsuo and began biting on his arm with the fury of a thousand Spartan warriors ready for war. Mitsuo screamed in pain as his suit was being torn to shreds, blood oozing from his arm as my teeth sheared through his flesh. But Mitsuo did not give up. He began punching me on the face. His punches did not hurt me one bit, as the adrenaline and the rage obscured any pain I could possibly feel from this human hitting me. I slashed him on the cheek with my paw and was about to bite his face off when he held my mouth with both hands.
“You will not beat me! You stupid beast!” Mitsuo said, shaking. “I will not fall!”

I kept pushing down. I then tried to snap my mouth shut to chop his fingers off, but I was having difficulties. I then saw Terriermon run towards us and searched through Mitsuo’s pockets and took something away. I later learned that was Suko’s digivice, which he put into Suko’s pants’ pocket. Mitsuo then continued punching my face with the other hand. I took that opportunity to bite the fingers from the other hand off. But I was prevented from doing so. I felt paralyzed after someone had slashed my back. I then felt a strong kick on my ribs and was sent flying to the wall.

“My my… Mitsuo. I didn’t think you would end up in this messy state.” A familiar demonic voice said. It was Neodevimon. “You certainly tried your best and did reasonably well, for a human.”

I felt like the rage was slowly subsiding, as my energy was declining. I realized Suko was on the floor close to me. I went close to him so that I could protect him.

“You again! What a nice surprise!” Neodevimon said to me, chuckling. “I didn’t think you would have the guts to come here.”

I could not respond, as I was panting. Terriermon got in front of us, putting his small hands on his hips as if defying the enemy. “Don’t come closer to them or else!” Terriermon said, pointing at Neodevimon. I thought this was a stupid idea:

“Terriermon! Don’t try anything! This enemy is much more powerful than you can imagine!” I barked at Terriermon.

Neodevimon chuckled, his laughter echoing in the empty office room. “A little runt like you dares to threaten a t-rex like me? Don’t make me laugh. You are a pathetic excuse of a Digimon.”

Terriermon did not listen to me and used his petit twister. It did not work as Neodevimon did a simple flap of his wings and sent Terriermon to the floor.

“You must have a tamer by your side. You seem pathetic enough for that. Where is the tamer?” Neodevimon put his long and thin hands on his hips. Terriermon did not answer. He looked to the side. “Answer! Where is the tamer that has your digivice? I know there is a tamer that you bonded with.”

“He…” Terriermon began. “He… He is not here.”

“What?” Neodevimon answered. “What do you mean he is not here? Of course he isn’t here you idiot! What happened to him? Why isn’t he here?”

“He just… does not… He isn’t fighting with me anymore.” Terriermon said, his voice lower. I could feel Terriermon was sad.

“Foolishness! He must be hiding somewhere and will come out at any point. Or are you telling me that he is a coward? Eh?” Neodevimon urged. Terriermon remained quiet, as if thinking very hard about something.

“Well,” Neodevimon continued. “I will take you upstairs, where that little girl is at. We will wait until all of the other tamers are here so that I can eliminate them and take away their digivices and absorb the information of those pathetic Digimon.”

“What are you trying to accomplish?” I asked, looking at Neodevimon in the face. “Why are you so intent on taking away digivices and killing us?”

“I will tell you.” Neodevimon turned towards me. “You are essentially defeated already so there is no point in making this a secret.” Neodevimon chuckled. “I want to take ownership of the human world and the digital world. I want to spread darkness in as much volume as possible. And to achieve that without interference, the tamers and their Digimon must be erased. Why, you might ask, do you want to conquer these worlds? Simple. I want to demonstrate the superiority of Digimon over humanity, our creators. Humanity gave us life. Humanity gave us a place to live. But humanity did not give us a purpose. I will spread my forces, eliminate humanity, and create our own purpose. Humanity as a whole is nothing but a bunch of quasi-gods who do not realize the power conferred to them. They have used it in a selfish manner by creating us Digimon and did not stop to think what the consequences would be for us.”

“And who are you to determine the purpose and destiny of humanity?” I said. “You think two wrongs make a right?”

“Shut your whore mouth, bitch!” Neodevimon said. “You have spent too much time with these inferior beings that your brain has rotten with such nonsense. Morality is nothing but a social construct designed to shepherd others into conformity. What matters the most is purpose. A purpose in life. But enough talk. You will come with me to the top of this building. We will wait the arrival of the other tamers. They will have the idiocy to dare to defy me, the great and powerful Neodevimon.” And after finishing, I felt as if a psychic force was lifting us. Neodevimon opened holes through the ceilings of every story until we arrived at the top floor.

The top floor was a large room with a large dome. The dome was covered in screens that showed live video of different parts of the city. Sometimes these would change to other scenes. There was a large chair that was on top of a long robotic arm, where Neodevimon took his seat. Mitsuo came into this place after some time, limping. Salamon followed him, with tears on her eyes. Neodevimon then used his power to create an energy dome around us, excluding Mitsuo and Salamon. Suzie was later thrown here as well. She was asleep. Suko was still unconscious, and I did my best to keep him safe by having Terriermon lay him down next to me, with his head resting on my body.

“Human. You have served your purpose.” Neodevimon said. With a snap of his claw, Mitsuo fainted. I saw a dark energy escape his body. He was being controlled. “I will take your digivice and kill your Digimon later. For now, it’s time to wait.” Mitsuo was on the floor, unconscious as well. Salamon nuzzled him and stayed by his side.

“Henry…” Terriermon said, crying.

Some of the screens showed the others were fighting against Digimon. Growlmon had destroyed a few Devimon. And Leomon was heading somewhere with Juri. I did not have a chance to see the rest as the scene switched to something else.

Chapter Text

Suko and Kyubimon in the company of Terriermon and a sleeping Suzie were trapped with Neodevimon. Terriermon was beginning to regret not having tried harder at convincing Henry. He was beginning to miss his tamer and memories of how they met and their history began to surface on his mind: When Henry took him several times to other parts of Tokyo for sightseeing, or when Henry would rescue him from the clutches of Suzie, who treated Terriermon like a stuffed animal. Terriermon also remembered all the nights they would sleep together, huddled below the sheets. Henry was his best friend and he truly didn’t want to leave him behind.

“Terriermon, you are one of my best friends.” Henry would say some nights.

“You too Henry! I am glad to be your partner.”

But Terriermon came to his senses when Kyubimon mentioned that Henry was out of his house, based on what some of the screens showed. He was running indeed, sweat trickling down his forehead and his hair ruffled by the wind that went in the opposite direction.

Meanwhile, Takato and Growlmon were having their own battle together against a horde of Devimon. They were no challenge for Growlmon, who used his fire and his powerful tail to erase them and absorb their information.

“Takato! We have to hurry to the place where Suko and Renamon are at.” Growlmon urged Takato. Takato nodded and both walked in that direction.

Juri and Leomon were finished on their end as well. Juri was happy to be with Leomon, who provided her with comfort and protection. These were things Juri desired, as they were not present at home for her. “Prince Leomon. You sure are brave.” Juri nuzzled Leomon. Leomon carried Juri and both walked in the direction of the Metropolitan Building.

Henry was still on his way to the building where Suko and the rest were at. Henry knew Terriermon was there because of the images of Digimon his digivice would present, and because the digivice served as a map to locate Terriermon. “Terriermon. Suzie.” Henry whispered as he kept running, almost tripping with a crevice on the sidewalk. “My friends are in danger. My sister, my Digimon, Suko, who is like my small brother, and Renamon.” Henry kept whispering, his voice getting louder now. “I felt fear of losing my friend Terriermon, and because of that I went to the extreme. But no more! I will protect what I value the most!” And Henry’s digivice began to glow white.

At the building, Terriermon felt power surging inside of him. The energy of the digivice permeated every inch of his small canine body, and he began the process of digivolution. As Gargomon, he managed to fire his gargo pellets at the barrier. At first it was not doing much aside from a small crack. But Gargomon persisted.

“Kyubimon! A small help would not hurt me one bit you know.” Gargomon said as he kept firing at the barrier. Kyubimon took Suko with her mouth by the collar of his jacket and laid him down next to Suzie. She used her koenryu and the combination of both gargo pellets and koenryu was enough to destroy the barrier.

“What!? It can’t be!” Neodevimon said, getting up from his high-chair and wings spread. “You will regret having done that!” Neodevimon then charged his claws with electricity and threw himself against Gargomon and Kyubimon. Kyubimon avoided the attack and used her onibidama against Neodevimon’s wings. Neodevimon, however, was able to dissipate the attack.

“That stupid trick will not work with me, you stupid fox.” Neodevimon said, cackling. “Despair wings!” And a wind of darkness emanated from the flap of Neodevimon’s wings. The dark wind overtook Kyubimon and Gargomon.

“Henry!” Gargomon thought, yelling inside. “Henry please come!”

Kyubimon wanted Suko to awaken, but he was still unconscious. She needed her tamer, her little boy, to swipe a card and give her the strength she can only have with her tamer by her side. Negative thoughts began to overcome both Kyubimon and Gargomon. Kyubimon began to think it was not worth fighting for anything, that they were all going to die and that she was useless in trying to stop it, that she could not adequately protect Suko and that she was not a suitable Digimon for him. She remembered Blackgatomon. She remembered even things she had blocked from her memory: how she was rather standoffish to him, and how terrible she was for never completely trusting him. Blackgatomon perished, Kyubimon thought in this moment of despair, because she was corrupt and evil, because in reality she only cared about herself. She pictured Suko dying because of her fault, and the thought sunk her even further into a hole of despair.

Gargomon was the most impacted, as he had that recent disagreement with Henry. He thought of how terrible he was to Henry, having left him alone. That he was also a fool for having come without his tamer, who was essential to him as much as he was essential to his tamer. Gargomon felt that they were going to perish and that Suzie would also die because of his fault.

“Yes, feel the despair. Feel the anguish take over your bodies and give everything up to death you fools who allied themselves with the corrupt gods!” Neodevimon intensified the strength of the wind. All of a sudden, the Digimon heard a familiar voice:

“Gargomon!” Henry shouted as he climbed the stairs. “Gargomon! Suzie! Suko!” He called.

“The tamer has come. This is perfect.” Neodevimon said. “Welcome to my lair, my boy!” He spread his arms, as if welcoming him. It was a rather cynical move.

“What have you done with them!” Henry said, his voice echoing in the chamber.

“I just taught them a lesson for daring to defy my power.”

Henry then ran towards Gargomon, who was on the ground still under Neodevimon’s spell. “Gargomon! Are you alright? Gargomon!” His voice was high when he saw his friend on the floor, seemingly defeated.

“H-Henry!” Gargomon said, turning to him. “I am sorry.”

“Gargomon. I am sorry!” Henry said, tears gushing out of his eyes. “I will not leave you alone like this anymore.” Henry then caressed Gargomon, who smiled.

“Enough corny behavior for today!” Neodevimon interrupted. “I will take your digivice and your life!” Neodevimon then charged his claws with electricity and flew down in their direction.

“Henry!” Gargomon’s voice resounded.

“Gargomon!” Henry followed.

All of a sudden, Gargomon felt a strong energy increase inside of him. This energy was different. He felt it was more emotionally charged than before. He was afraid of Henry dying. The despair that Neodevimon induced transformed, as if by alchemy, into the desire to protect. Gargomon felt like his body was changing. New packets of information surrounded his body in the form of a cocoon.

“What’s happening to Gargomon?” Henry thought, his mouth wide-open and slowly transforming into a smile as he saw the new shape that used to be Gargomon. His digivice read Rapidmon.

“Rapidmon…” Henry said, mouth wide open. “Rapidmon is in the ultimate stage. I am sure he can finish off this enemy.”

Rapidmon closed his eyes, and after taking a deep breath said: “Henry, thank you. I have achieved this thanks to you. I promise you I will not disappoint any of you!”

And with that being said, Rapidmon rapidly shot multiple missiles from its arms. These missiles were so fast that Neodevimon could not escape them. The impact was such that the dome was broken and Neodevimon was sent to the exterior of the building.

“Darn it! You will pay for this!” Neodevimon said. “Just because you reached the ultimate level does not mean you are strong enough to beat me.”

“You are all talk.” Rapidmon said, smirking behind that armor which partially covered his mouth. Rapidmon then taunted the enemy with his large and armored ears, which sent Neodevimon into a rampage.

“You goddamned fool!” Neodevimon was about to re-enter the building but Rapidmon’s rapid missiles stopped him and he fell down the high building.

“Rapidmon, he is still outside. Let’s all get out of here!” Henry said. Kyubimon picked Suko up, while Henry picked Suzie up. Henry smiled and tightly hugged his small sister. He was happy to have her in his arms again. He was scared of losing her, and the tears could not be contained. The party made its way out of the building, leaving Mitsuo and Salamon behind. Salamon was nudging Mitsuo to wake up long after the other tamers were out of that room.

“Wake up, Mitsuo! Wake up!” Salamon nudged. Mitsuo began to move and grunted. “Mitsuo! Yes!” Salamon was ecstatic. She gave a few licks to his face.

“Salamon? What happened?” Mitsuo said as he was waking up from oblivion.

“There is no time right now. We need to exit the building!” Salamon said, jumping to and fro like puppies do when they are excited. Mitsuo was puzzled at first but given the circumstances the building was in, such as that hole Rapidmon made, he connected the dots and both adult tamer and Digimon partner made their way out of the building.

Takato and his friends witnessed how Neodevimon fell to the ground, badly wounded from the explosions but not enough to be considered defeated. Juri and Calumon were wondering about Suko and Renamon.

“Calu… Calumon hopes Suko and Renamon are safe.” Calumon tensioned her small arms. When they saw Kyubimon holding Suko by the collar of his jacket with her mouth and Henry running, Calumon’s ears spread out and she let out a loud caloo and began to dance. Leomon smiled and then wondered what had happened to make Suko unconscious. Juri was concerned as well, especially when she saw dried blood below Suko’s lip.

“It’s a long story.” Kyubimon said after gently putting Suko on the floor. “Juri.” She turned towards Juri, looking at her in the eye. This startled Juri, who felt slightly intimidated by Kyubimon’s voice, size, and overall aura. “Please take care of Suko while I help Rapidmon fight this enemy.” Juri looked at Kyubimon and realized how serious Kyubimon sounded. She could feel how much Kyubimon wanted Suko to be safe at all costs and came to admire that. Juri smiled and nodded decisively.

“Leomon, you can take the enemy by yourself?” Juri said, looking at Leomon who was by her side. Leomon nodded and pulled out his sword.

“Um… Guys!” Takato said, scratching his head and smiling nervously. A drop of sweat trickled from his forehead and he was visibly blushing. “Would it be ok if I stay with Juri?” Kyubimon did not answer. She focused her gaze towards Neodevimon, getting ready to fight. She seemed hard at thought. Leomon nodded and marched forward. Henry joined Takato, Juri, and Suko. He took care of Suzie while the Digimon fought with Neodevimon.

“Takatomon! I can take care of this. Take care of Juri!” Growlmon said as he advanced towards Neodevimon. Neodevimon saw himself surrounded by Kyubimon, Growlmon, Leomon, and Rapidmon. Neodevimon chuckled.

“You think that this petty display of intimidation is enough to declare victory?” Neodevimon said as his wings spread. “This is pathetic.”

“Who said we were trying to intimidate?” Kyubimon said. “By your own statement, it seems like you admitted to feeling intimidated.”

“Foolishness! I am never going to feel threatened by Digimon who let themselves be brainwashed and enslaved by fake gods!” Neodevimon then rushed to the air and expanded his wings. He flapped his wings and sent that infamous gale of darkness. The tamers’ Digimon avoided the wind. Kyubimon shot her onibidama, Leomon used his shockwave, Growlmon spewed out a fire blast accompanied by a loud roar that made anyone in the vicinity tremble. Mitsuo saw the spectacle before him. He was surprised at seeing these young children and their Digimon taking care of this enemy threatening to destroy the city. Salamon nudged Mitsuo.

“Mitsuo. I want to help them out.” Salamon said. “If I digivolve I can be of some use.” Mitsuo thought for a moment about the correct course of action. He was aware of Neodevimon. Neodevimon came into the human world through one of the portals that randomly appeared in Tokyo. Mitsuo Yamaki was a government agent in charge of closing any portals that opened between the digital world and the human world. It was his duty to close them down and eliminate any threat, including wild Digimon that went into rampages. He had vague memories of Neodevimon’s appearance to him. Mitsuo wanted something that Neodevimon had promised him. “You will have access to unlimited power if you join me.” Neodevimon’s voice sounded on the computers. “Power that will enable you to protect your people.” Mitsuo was of course skeptical at first but thought about it for some time. Neodevimon then forcefully possessed Mitsuo one night, and that’s when more portals were appearing in the city, as Mitsuo was being controlled and these portals were not supervised appropriately. Mitsuo thought about power. Neodevimon was right, Mitsuo wanted power. But for what? These were questions which Mitsuo would have to answer later, as Salamon kept nudging him.

“Mitsuo! Make me digivolve!” Salamon said. Mitsuo then held his digivice to the air, and the device glowed with a bright light. Salamon digivolved into Gatomon. “Mitsuo, don’t worry.” Gatomon said, smiling at Mitsuo. “I believe in you.” Gatomon then went where the action was taking place. Gatomon knew about Mitsuo’s obsession with power and political interests in Tokyo. She had been with Mitsuo since his adolescence after all. Mitsuo was a boy who was bullied all the time because of how thin and shy he was. Furthermore, Mitsuo’s father was a man who was in the military and had fought in World War II. Thus, Mitsuo grew up in a military home. His father would often put him down for the slightest mistake, and Mitsuo came to doubt his own ability after a while. One day, Mitsuo met Salamon while taking a walk on the Shinjuku park. Salamon was confused and lost, as she was a young Digimon. Mitsuo saw her and instantly decided he had to protect the small creature. Salamon was going to be attacked by a horde of other Digimon which were appearing in the city. They were Toyagumon. When Mitsuo used a stick to ward them off, he picked up Salamon and ran with her. The three Toyagumon did not give up the chase and kept on trying. Salamon regarded Mitsuo’s face as they ran away and felt a strong connection with him which she could not fully explain, not even to this day. She decided to fight against the Toyagumon and managed to defeat them. She did this for the person who protected her as she realized it was not just about her but also this individual. “I believe in you, Mitsuo.” Salamon would often tell him whenever he was down after his father had upbraided him for some minor mistake. Mitsuo became eighteen years of age and decided to make a change in his life and worked in the government by joining the police force, ascending step by step through the ladder. He did this for Salamon. Mitsuo felt that the sweat was worth it, as Salamon admired Mitsuo for some inexplicable reason. He wanted to keep that image alive for Salamon. He feared it would be extinguished and that no one would believe in him again. Mitsuo had read in one of Philip K. Dick’s novels about words that either break you or build you up permanently. Mitsuo’s father had always broken him down in the name of “tough love.” His father would often call Mitsuo “an excuse of a human being”, a disappointment, or a horde of homophobic and sexist slurs that emasculated him. But Salamon’s phrase, “I believe in you,” was of the latter kind. It gave him a sense of purpose that he had never experienced before. Of course, an outsider would not have realized all of this, as to all eyes Mitsuo was one of those hard-nosed, cynical, and sarcastic men that intimidated with just thinking about them. He had developed all of these defenses as a result of his history with his father. But these were further strengthened because he wanted to be strong for Salamon. But this time he felt like he had failed Salamon. His quest for power had tempted him for a second, enabling the entrance of Neodevimon into his mind.

Neodevimon was warding off all of the attacks thrown at him by the tamers’ Digimon. When the tamers’ Digimon saw Gatomon they felt more confident. Gatomon gave Neodevimon a powerful kick which toppled him. But Neodevimon grabbed Gatomon and electrified her, throwing her to the ground afterwards. “You are nothing but trash. Your tamer is just a puppet I used to gain complete entrance here. That’s what he has always been: useless.”

“Shut up!” Gatomon said after getting up. Gatomon then tried to slash Neodevimon but Neodevimon avoided all of her attempts at attacking him. Neodevimon then grabbed Gatomon by her long tail and began swinging her and then threw her at the building. Growlmon roared and spewed another fire blast. Kyubumon used her koenryu and mixed Growlmon’s blast with her fire dragon. This wounded Neodevimon. However, there was no sign of a victory.

Rapidmon attacked Neodevimon with more rapid missiles, but Neodevimon avoided them this time. “I will not fall for such an old trick again!” He chuckled. Neodevimon’s hand then increased in size and grabbed Rapidmon.

“Rapidmon!” Henry cried.

“Now it is your time to die.” Neodevimon said. Rapidmon was being electrified and felt as if his mind was slipping out and someone else was coming in taking control.

“I will not allow this to happen.” Rapidmon said “I will fight to the end!”

Kyubumon then howled and a kitsune spirit appeared and shot straight at Neodevimon, making him release Rapidmon.

“Rapidmon!” Henry said, his voice loud and clear. “Finish him now!”

Rapidmon then elevated to the air and positioned himself in a cross position. “Golden triangle!” And a triangle of energy formed in front of Rapidmon. This energy triangle was shot straight at Neodevimon.

“It can’t be! No!” Neodevimon said as his body was shaking after receiving the attack. The bits of information conforming his body were moving in and out of his shape. Expanding and contracting. Growlmon and Kyubimon then combined the koenryu with the fire blast, which ended Neodevimon. Neodevimon’s information turned to dark energy which was dissipated and eventually was completely gone.

“You guys did it!” Takato said, jumping up and then running towards Growlmon. Growlmon degenerated into Gigimon. Takato carried Gigimon in his arms and hugged him tightly. Takato was crying out of happiness as he was proud that his creation was able to contribute to the destruction of a powerful enemy. “Takatomon! We did it!” Gigimon was ecstatic that now, after they arrive home, he would eat what he called “Guilmon’s bread.”

“We will get lots of Guilmon bread.” Takato said, holding Gigimon to the level of his face and smiling, the tears falling off his cheeks. “And then we will draw something together.” Gigimon smiled.

Rapidmon degenerated into Gummymon. Henry ran towards Gummymon with Suzie in his arms. “Terriermon! Look! Suzie is alive!”

“Momantai!” Gummymon said, giggling and going towards Henry. Henry knelt down and gently placed Suzie on the floor. Suzie slowly woke up and she saw her brother who asked her if she was ok. Suzie then began to cry and hugged Henry, clutching him from the neck. Henry then turned towards Gummymon and smiled. Gummymon also smiled at Henry. They were both happy to have been able to defeat Neodevimon.

“Henry…” Gummymon said.

“I am sorry, Gummymon.” Henry said, cleaning his tears. “I was just trying to protect you. But I went to the extreme. You were right all along. I was selfish and because of my overprotection Suzie was in danger, and so were you.” He said as he placed his hand on top of Gummymon’s head.

“I am sorry for having left you, Henry!” Gummymon began to shed tears. “But I am glad you came back. Deep down I knew you would do so.” And Gummymon jumped towards Henry, who hugged him, and both were embraced while they cried. “Sometimes it’s best to fight and risk something in order to protect.” Henry thought. Suzie wondered who these creatures were. She was confused. “Brother. Who is that thing?” Suzie said, pointing towards Gummymon.

“Momantai!” Gummymon said, smiling at Suzie. “Suzie, you need to loosen your grip whenever you hold my ears! But don’t worry!”

Henry smiled at Suzie, and Suzie realized what Gummymon was. “Terriermon!” Suzie said and went to hug both her brother and who she used to think was just a toy.

Suko was waking up. He was laying down on Kyubimon’s forepaws while Kyubimon nuzzled him.

“K-Kyubimon? Where are we?” Suko said, rubbing his eyes with his fist. “My nose hurts a little bit.”

“Suko.” Kyubimon said, “Neodevimon has been defeated.”

“Really?” Suko said, quickly getting up. He jumped up and Kyubimon was startled. “Who? What?” Suko was turning his head to all sides.

“You would have known what happened had you stuck to the group as I told you to.” Kyubimon said with a serious and stern tone. “I was worried about you.” Her tone was different this time. Her voice was slightly higher. Suko then lowered his head and played with his hair as he would do whenever he was afraid or anxious. “I am sorry for worrying you, Kyubimon.” Kyubimon then got close to Suko and nuzzled him. She did not want Suko to feel anxious. “Kyubimon, are you mad at me?” Suko said, his voice full of regret.

“No.” Kyubimon closed her eyes. She was not angry. Or rather, she felt upset that Suko worried her about his wellbeing by running away. But she decided not to bring that up. All that mattered to her was that Suko was alive and safe now. “Don’t worry. It’s all over now. I am happy that you are okay.” Kyubimon then licked Suko’s cheek and nuzzled him one more time. Suko returned the affection by hugging Kyubimon tightly.

“We will go home and read a book together, or maybe play some video games!” Suko said as he rubbed himself against Kyubimon’s fur.

“Of course.” Kyubimon said. Her voice had a happy tone to it. She was looking forward to relaxing with her tamer and eating some tofu and reading about outer space or the ancient Chinese. Juri was moved by seeing the young boy and the big fox together. She was happy Takato was okay as well, and that Henry and Terriermon had come back together.

“Suko!” Suzie called. She ran towards Suko and Kyubimon. Suko was startled. He did not know what he would tell Suzie, her classmate and friend. She had not known about Digimon until recently, and Suko was going to have to explain things to her.

“Um… Hi Suzie!” Suko said, looking to the side and smiling nervously. “I- I also have a Digimon like everyone else here.” Suzie then regarded Kyubimon, who was taller than them. “Her name is Kyubimon. She is my partner.” Suko said, pointing to Kyubimon with his open hand.

“Wow!” Suzie was in awe. “She is huge! And so elegant! Can I ride her?” Suzie said, pleading.

“No!” Suko said, clenching his fists and his teeth. “She is my Digimon and only I can ride on her.” He pointed towards himself with his thumb. Kyubimon then began to glow and she degenerated back to Viximon. Viximon then ran towards Suko and stuck by his side.

“Suko, Kyubimon became little! What happened?” Suzie asked.

“Stuff.” Suko said as he walked towards the group. Suzie pouted at Suko and followed him.

“Hello fellow Digimon boys and girl!” Suko said waving at them.

“Digimon boys?” Takato frowned and smiled, then he chuckled. Henry smiled at Suko and walked towards him.

“Suko.” Viximon said, “Aren’t you going to apologize to Henry for having been a bit harsh with him?”

“What?” Suko said. “But I was right all along! Henry of course realized his mistake and came to help us.” Suko smiled and closed his eyes. He was confident that he was completely right.

“Suko…” Viximon said, frowning at her tamer. “You are mean!”

“You meant to say that I was right all along?” Suko smirked.

“If you do not apologize, I will not carry you around anymore whenever I am in my Renamon state.” Viximon said, still frowning at her tamer.

“What? No! I like it when you carry me!” Suko said, his words coming out rapidly.

“So, you like it when she carries you like a little baby!” Juri said, giggling and covering her mouth.

“I am not a little baby! You…” Suko said, blushing and pointing a finger at Juri. “You… Ah. Never mind.” Suko crossed his arms and pouted. “Just shut up.” He took a deep breath and looked to the side. He then turned towards Henry, who was still looking at him and laughing at the scene. “I am sorry Henry. I called you a coward before and that was mean of me.” Viximon then smiled and blushed, her pupils dilated as she looked at Suko. She was happy Suko was apologizing. “I just don’t want you to lose Henry and not have any friends. I don’t want you to continue living the same thing I did when I was younger.” Viximon thought.

“Suko, it’s ok.” Henry said, putting his hand on Suko’s head and ruffling his hair. “You were right in saying that I was afraid and was acting cowardly. I woke up to that.”

“See, Viximon?” Suko said, smiling at Viximon and pointing at Henry. “Straight from the horse’s mouth.”

“Suko!” Viximon said, blushing. Suko laughed at her and then winked at Viximon. Viximon looked at Suko and her eyes dilated even more. She felt like her heart was beating faster.

“I was just joking, Viximon.” Suko said, smiling and blushing slightly. “You take things too seriously sometimes.” Viximon blushed even more and turned away. Suko’s smile was too much for her.

“Oh, be quiet.” Viximon replied. Everyone then laughed, including Leomon.

“Well, let’s go to our homes.” Takato said, looking at each and every one present. “Our parents must be worried about us. We also don’t want to be caught with Digimon!” After that, the leader parted from the group.

“Hasta la vista babes.” Suko said to them as he left with Viximon.

“What’s wrong with you?” Viximon said, frowning as they walked together through an alley. She did find it funny, even if she did not admit it outright. Calumon followed Suko and Viximon and was dancing in circles, singing “calu calu calu calu.”

Gigimon and Takato left to their house. Gigimon was hungry and wanted bread. “I am hungry Takatomon!” Gigimon’s belly growled. Takato smiled and caressed Gigimon’s belly. Leomon carried Juri like a damsel in distress and ran away with her towards home. “Prince Leomon,” Juri began. “You were incredible today.” Juri blinked quickly while looking at Leomon. Leomon just blushed and nodded.

The last ones were Henry, Gummymon, and Suzie. The clouds in the sky were parting and an orange and purple sky was revealed. The clouds reflected orange, yellow, and red light. There were blues and purples on the clouds eclipsing part of the sun.

“Suzie.” Henry began after everyone else was long gone. “I am sorry for not having come to you earlier.”

“Brother. Don’t worry. I am happy you came! You are my hero!” And she hugged Henry. Henry smiled and walked with Suzie while he carried Gummymon. Henry felt confidence resurge within him. He realized that he had been too rigid in his thinking about protection, and that his rigidity put everyone else in danger.

“Momantai.” Henry caught himself saying. Suzie and Gummymon wondered why Henry said that. “Everything will be fine, as long as we are together.” Henry said, breathing of relief.

“Momantai!” Gummymon repeated.

“Momantai!” Suzie followed.

Mitsuo and a degenerated Salamon saw as the child tamers left for their homes, his arm still hurting from Kyubimon’s bites. He smiled and went to his apartment with Salamon on his arms.

Chapter Text

Suko woke up with Viximon on his arms while she was nuzzled against Suko. She felt the most comfortable this way as the nights were still cold. Sunlight warmed Suko’s cheeks and his eyes began to open. Viximon stretched and yawned. Viximon and Suko had watched Dragon Ball Z the previous night. In the episode, Cell was fighting against Android 17 and then absorbed him.

For some reason unknown to Suko, the scene aroused him. Perhaps it was the sight of Cell’s tail expanding with another person inside. It was not the suffering of the cyborg, but the appearance the whole thing had. Because of this, Suko felt the need to grab a pillow on the morning and began to rub himself against it. Viximon watched as Suko did this. Suko knew this was frowned upon by his father, who would sometimes catch him and stop him from doing so. But this prohibition only fueled his need to do it, as it was considered a forbidden fruit for Suko at that point.

Viximon understood what Suko was doing and did not know how to respond. She swallowed. She was beginning to feel butterflies inside her stomach. She did not feel embarrassed but felt like she needed to do something about it. Viximon began to flush, her heart began to beat faster, and became aware of moisture and swollenness in her genital area. Suko was not looking at her, so she took advantage of this and grabbed another pillow and rubbed herself against it while watching Suko do the same thing. Suko did not notice until later, once Viximon could not control herself and moved faster. But at that time Viximon was so out of her mind that she did not notice Suko was staring at her, transfixed. She was biting the pillow and making yipping noises. She thought of Suko, then of roses and poppies on a field. She felt as if she was being taken to space, the nebulae and stars glowing in their splendor. She felt as if she was falling, freely falling. When Viximon finished she sighed of relief and laid down on her back. Suko was embarrassed to see Viximon in that state. He did not know what to say and did not expect that to happen.

“Um… Viximon?” Suko said, sniffing as he had a stuffy nose. He scratched his head.

Viximon, startled, got up and looked at Suko. She then realized what she did and blushed, sweat falling from her forehead.

“Suko! I am sorry!” Viximon said, putting her forepaws on his leg.

“My pillow is stained. My parents will think I peed on them.” He was beginning to feel upset, clenching his fists.

“I am sorry…” Viximon moved away from Suko. Her ears got lowered and felt even more flushed. This time she was embarrassed. She had good reason to feel that way as she was watched.

“My parents will think I peed on my pillow because of your fault!” Suko raised his voice.

Viximon’s embarrassment was overwhelming, and she began to cry. She felt trapped, as she did not want to tell Suko her real feelings, for fear that their relationship as tamer and Digimon would get awkward and strained. She also knew that being honest was probably the best thing to do, but the fear of her partnership with Suko getting strained and potentially broken was looming large over her. The sensation was overwhelming as she felt her heart palpitations began to increase.

“Do you know my dad will think I am some kind of retard? Do you realize that he will probably give me a beating because of you?” Suko said, pointing towards the stained pillow. “Are you daft or something?”

“N-no… I just…” Viximon began to speak, before being interrupted by an angry Suko:

“They are going to ground me again because you did some dirty thing on my pillow, you nitwit!”

Viximon got bothered at Suko calling her a Nitwit and squinted her eyes at him, looking at him with that sarcastic gaze characteristic of her.

“I am not a nitwit, you scatterbrains.”

“I am not a scatterbrains! You are just mad because you know I am right.”

“No you are not! You jerk!” Viximon said, raising her voice.

“My parents will hear us you idiot!” Suko said, putting his index finger over his mouth.

“You don’t shut me up.” Viximon glared at Suko.

“Bah!” Suko said. “Whatever you say, Viximon.”

Suko got dressed and brushed his teeth. Meanwhile, Viximon took a deep breath and relaxed. She thought that maybe she was not angry at Suko per se, but it was the embarrassing situation which made her tense up. “Viximon, relax.” Viximon thought, eyes closed. “Suko just needs more tact. That’s all.” When Suko got out of the bathroom he just came back to the room and picked up his digivice and cards, ignoring Viximon.

“Suko, I am sorry for having called you that stuff.” Viximon said, looking to the side. “And, I am sorry for your pillow.”

“Yeah I am sorry about my pillow too.” Suko said as he exited the room. Viximon frowned and followed Suko. Once they were outside, they did not speak a word to each other. Viximon felt hurt that Suko dismissed her apology. “Why is he so mean to me?” Viximon thought. She felt hurt because she knew that what she did back at Suko’s room was something that emanated from her true feelings. She did not stain his pillow out of malice or mischief. Viximon simply kept on walking and put those thoughts on the back of her mind.

Viximon and Suko reached the park where Guilmon was usually caged and found Takato and a group of other two boys who Suko recognized from School. “I am not sure if those guys would take your being here all that well, Viximon.” Suko said. “Maybe you should go back home or hide in here.” Suko pointed to one of the bushes.
“I can become invisible.” Viximon said, her voice was laconic. “Don’t you remember I can turn invisible?”

“Oh yeah, that’s true.” Suko chuckled. The chuckle, combined with his forgetfulness about something she was proud of being able to do, and the circumstances they were in set Viximon off.

“How can you be such a jerk to me?” Viximon raised her voice. “After all the stuff I have done for you, like carrying you, biting Mitsuo out of anger, confessing some deep secrets about my life, and fighting for you, you treat me like I am garbage!”

“Viximon! Shhht! They might hear us!” Suko was getting nervous.

“You just don’t get it do you?” Viximon began to tear up again.

“What’s wrong with you, Viximon? You are usually calm and collected.” Suko frowned and crossed his arms. He was scratching his head and began to look to the sides.After taking another deep breath, Viximon closed her eyes. She then looked at Suko and apologized.

“I am sorry for snapping at you like this. I-I just thought you already knew about my skill.”

“That set you off? But I know about it!” Suko kept frowning, not understanding what was going on with Viximon. “Why are you mad all of a sudden?”

“I am not mad. I just…” Viximon looked away from Suko. “I just… Leave me alone!” Viximon blushed and snapped her eyes shut.

“You are a weird case, Viximon. I think you are weirder than I am.” Suko said as he made a circular motion with his index finger around his ear. Viximon squinted her eyes again and glared at Suko. After thinking for some time, she came up with a comeback:

“Nobody can be weirder than you.” Viximon put the emphasis on the “you.”

“On that you are right, as I am always too much for others.” Suko smirked and looked to the side, rubbing his fist against his chest.

“I adh adhays doo mucth fo otheth.” Viximon said in a mocking voice and rolled her eyes. Suko began to laugh at Viximon’s imitation.

“What in the world? I had never seen you talk like a short bus rider.” Suko could not stop laughing. “Do it again!”

“Oh, shut up.” Viximon rolled her eyes. “You seem to know a little too much about short buses and those who ride them.” Viximon said, putting emphasis on the “too.”

“Yeah, for instance, I know people with your intelligence quotient level like to ride them.” Suko said trying hard to suppress laughter but he could not contain it.

“Do you even know what intelligence quotient means, or are you just parroting things that you hear adults say?” Viximon kept looking at Suko.

“I know what it means. It’s a number that shows how smart you are in relation to people your age. It’s basic stuff.” Suko said again with a smug smile.

“Ith bathic sthtuf. Whatever.” Viximon stuck her tongue at Suko, blushing.

“You really are funny, Viximon. You are soooo hilarious.” Suko covered his mouth to hide his laughter, however ineffective that approach was.

“Just shut up already, ok?” Viximon said, turning away from Suko. She was still blushing and felt flustered with all of this.

“Come on Viximon, don’t be a party pooper. Look.” Suko said as he pulled out his cards. “We can play with them, and you can watch and have fun from the safety of your invisibility. Are you down?” Suko said, smiling. Viximon was not responding. “Look, I don’t know what I did to set you off. But I will apologize: I am sorry for getting mad at you about the pillow stuff. I really am. It’s just, my dad will go nuts when he sees that. He really will. He will probably belt me and take some stuff away.”

“Does he really do that?” Viximon asked, somewhat concerned.

“Well, he has threatened me before.” Suko shrugged.

“I am sure you will be fine, Suko. Don’t worry too much about it.” Viximon smiled and got closer to Suko. She made contact with him and rubbed herself against him. “I am sorry for being mean to you.”

“I will admit I was also being a bit of a schmuck to you as well. I am sorry.” Suko said, blushing and caressing Viximon. Suko and Viximon looked at each other for some time, smiling.

“Let’s go and see who they are.” Viximon said and turned invisible. Suko went over and waved at Takato.

“Hi machine gun!” Suko said, looking at Takato.

“Machine gun?” The kid with dark green hair and glasses said. “Who is this little boy, Takato?”

“Hi Suko!” Takato said, holding six Digimon cards on his hands. “Yeah what’s up with the machine gun thing?”

“You know, Takatakatakatakato.” Suko said, giggling. “Your name sounds like a machine gun onomatopoeia.

“Onomato-what the fuck?” The other kid, who had a visor cap and a black shirt with a golden cross asked, raising his eyebrow.

“Onomatopoeia.” Suko repeated.

“You are weird man.” The kid with the black shirt said.

“He is cool. He also collects Digimon cards! Right? Show them.” Takato moved to the side to make a space for Suko. Suko pulled out the rest of his collection and put it on the floor.

“I got so many of them. They are really cheap when you buy them at Akihabara.” Suko said.

“Well, do you want to team up with me?” Takato said. “Let’s make teams guys.”

“Takato, you want to do that only because you always lose to me.” The black shirt kid said. “Right Kenta?”

Kenta fixed his glasses and nodded. “Hirokazu, you do win most of the time, but not always.”

“I always win! You are supposed to agree with me!” Hirokazu said, pulling Kenta back and forth from his shirt.

“Ok ok! You ALWAYS win.” Kenta said, scared.

“Takato, we can take them down with my ability to play.” Suko said with a straight face. Hirokazu and Kenta were speechless for a second, then they began to laugh so loud while hugging each other. They even teared up from how much they were laughing. Even some of the birds in the park flew away because of how lout their laughter was.

“A little boy like you? Take us down?” Hirokazu said. “Don’t make me laugh kid!”

“I am not a little boy! I am six!” Suko stomped his feet.

“I mean, you are a little boy. Look at how small you look!” Hirokazu said.

“And look at your hair! It looks like a failed Harry Potter potion exploded in your face!” Suko began to laugh as well.

“Shut up! This is the special Hirokazu hairstyle!” Hirokazu got up.

“Hey there!” Suko kept laughing. “You are blowing up on me! If you know what I mean…” Suko said, pointing his index finger at Hirokazu.

“Shut up you shrimp!” Hirokazu was the one who was angry now.

“Ok, you guys stop it already.” Kenta said. “Let’s continue with the game and move on.” Hirokazu rolled his eyes and sat down again.

“He started it!” Suko said, pointing at Hirokazu.

“Just let it go, man.” Kenta shook his head and sighed. The boys played cards and forgot about that small skirmish. Hirokazu would often answer curtly to Suko, as he was not happy with what he perceived to be an intrusion into a game with his two friends. But Takato and Kenta were enjoying the game. Kenta went against Suko first. Suko and Kenta tended to use direct attack cards, and it became a little repetitive for them. Eventually Suko won. It was then Takato’s turn against Hirokazu.

Hirokazu and Takato had a thrilling game, as Hirokazu was on top of it and knew his cards well. His knowledge of them was encyclopedic, as Suko would describe it. Eventually Hirokazu won the game against Takato and then went against Suko. Hirokazu was not so thrilled at this, but still followed the agreement. Hirokazu won, and his mood changed.

“I won! I knew I would win!” He got up and threw his fists up to the air. “I won the entire game.”

“Well, at least you got that going.” Suko said.

Hirokazu frowned at Suko and whispered to Kenta: “This kid is a bit arrogant!” Kenta shook his head and rolled his eyes, sighing.

The topic of the Digimon attacks came up. Kenta said it was all over the news and that the area was being repaired. There were more policeman patrolling the area either in cars or in helicopter. This made Takato nervous. Takato began to stutter and this made Kenta suspicious. Kenta thought that maybe Takato was involved, but he dismissed the thought as a flight of fancy.

“Oh! so you saw the Digimon?” Suko said. “You know that Digimon are real things?”

Kenta nodded. “Yes. Why do you ask with such an interest?”

Suko began to chuckle. He was blushing and was unable to speak when being requested to answer by Kenta. Kenta began to feel flustered and annoyed by Suko’s lack of response.

“Suko! Shhht! Please don’t say too much.” Takato whispered to Suko.

“What are you two hiding?” Hirokazu put his hands on his hips, looking at Takato and Suko suspiciously.

“Nothing! Nothing really.” Takato laughed nervously.

“Takato and I have something to share with you.” Suko said, laughing mischievously.

“Suko no!” Takato grabbed Suko by the shoulders and began to beg. “Please no!”

“You see guys, we were involved in that.” Suko said. Takato wanted to choke Suko but restrained himself from doing so. “We were close to the building and we almost got in trouble because I walked in too close to the scene. But Takato rescued me.” Suko managed to fix a potential mistake of telling the two friends about their Digimon companions.

“Oh really?” Kenta asked, raising an eyebrow. “Is that why you were laughing so nervously?”

“Yeah! We don’t believe that is the reason!” Hirokazu said, frowning at Takato. “Come on Chumley! Tell me what is up!”

“The sky.” Suko replied.

“Shut up you tadpole!” Hirokazu pointed at Suko and then turned towards Takato: “You can confide in me!”

“Just say it Takato.” Suko continued. “That you found what you thought was chocolate, but it was actually a chunk of dried bird shit.” Suko kept trying to invent something to divert Hirokazu and Kenta.

“Yeah! It was disgusting!” Takato made disgust noises with his tongue and shut his eyes. “But I was really hungry.”

“Really? You ate shit?” Hirokazu’s mouth was wide open and then he began to laugh hysterically. “You ate shit!” Kenta began to laugh as well. “I didn’t think you were that weird Takato!” Hirokazu continued. “Eating shit is on a whole different level!”

“Sure it is.” Takato said, looking at Suko smiling. Suko smiled back and winked at him.

Hirokazu and Kenta gathered their cards and packed to leave. “We will see you at school Chumley!” Hirokazu continued.

“It was nice meeting you Kamikaze!” Suko waved goodbye to Hirokazu. “Bye Kenta!”

“It was NOT nice meeting you at all, you weird midget!” Hirokazu said to Suko. “Goodbye.”

Once Hirokazu and Kenta were out of sight, Viximon became visible again, to Takato’s surprise. Takato then shook Suko by the shoulders and began to wail: “Why did you do that Suko?! Why?! You almost got us discovered!”

“I was just messing around.” Suko said, shrugging. “I wanted to actually tell them, because I figured ‘hey they already know about Digimon. What’s the worst that could happen if they discover we have Digimon?’ But then something told me it was not time to do so yet, so I pulled that out of my ass.”

“Be careful man!” Takato said. “The last thing I want is for my parents to discover it because Hirokazu blurts it out in front of the wrong person. You know?”

“I get you. That’s why I felt like it was not a good idea.”

Suko and Takato talked about the fight they had last time, and about the man in black. “I can’t believe that man is a tamer!” Takato said. “You saw him with that Salamon?”

“Before we left, I did notice it. He tried to take away my digivice!”

“That is terrible. But I think that had to do with Neodevimon, and not with him.” Takato began to think. “He did not come after us to take away our digivices after Neodevimon was defeated. And his Digimon helped us fight.”

“No, because he was scared to death of Kyubimon.” Suko said, patting Viximon. Viximon smiled and sighed. “She told me how she got so furious that she attacked him. His name is Mitsuo apparently.”

All of a sudden, Suko’s and Takato’s digivices began to make an alarm sound. Suko got startled, making Viximon giggle. Takato pulled his digivice out and checked it.
“It says to go to the shrine in Shinjuku park.” Takato said. “But why?”

“I dunno.” Suko shrugged. “Maybe they will slash our throats and sell our organs to kids in Indonesia.”

“Don’t say stuff like that!” Takato was startled by how graphic it was, coming from a 6 year old boy. “It must be in connection with Digimon somehow. We should go and see.” Takato went to Gigimon, who was hidden in the cage.

“You cage him even in this state?” Suko asked.

“Yeah! He might run around and get caught by someone!” Takato hugged Gigimon protectively. “I wouldn’t want my Gigimon to get hurt! He is my baby!”

“Takatomon is Gigimon’s mom?” Gigimon asked. “Takatomon!” Suko and Takato went to the shrine in Shinjuku Park. To their surprise, Henry and Juri were also there. Suzie was there too. Henry mentioned the message, and the group wondered what was going on.

“I remember I entered another world through this shrine.” Suko said. “Renamon was with me and we spent some time on there.” Everyone was in disbelief. Suzie was impressed that Suko had visited another world, and when he described it she said it sounded like something from Alice in Wonderland. Viximon corroborated everything and said that was not the digiworld but some other place.

“But why are we being called here?” Henry asked. “Oh wait! It says something else.” Henry read the screen and it said “Please wait…”

“Well, all we have to do is wait.” Takato said.

“Momantai! We will be ok guys!” Gummymon said.

“Takato, I am hungry. Gigimon wants guilmon bread!” Takato asked Gigimon to wait.

“Suko, are you ok?” Viximon asked after everyone had been waiting in silence. “You seem too focused on something.”

“Don’t worry. I am ok.” Suko said, smiling. But Viximon was not convinced. She still decided to put that on the back of her mind and ask more later. Everyone was tensing up, until Henry’s digivice dial said to position the digivices in a cross format. When the children did that, the digivices glowed and a hologram appeared. The hologram was a very old man whose eyes were almost closed and whose eyebrows consisted of just three hairs. He had a thick and long moustache and wore blue and red clothing.

“Greetings my children!” The old man in the hologram said. “Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Gennai.”

“Hi Gennai, I am Suko. Nice to meet you, old man.” Suko said casually. Viximon patted Suko with her tail as if telling him to quit it.

“Hi there!” Gennai waved back. “I am glad to meet all of you. I brought you here together for a very important reason. It has to do with Digimon, and your world.”

“With Digimon, and our world?” Viximon thought.

“What do you mean Gennai?” Takato asked.

“You might have asked yourselves why you met your Digimon. Well, before I explain the main topic, I will give you some background.” Human and Digimon partner looked at each other. Suzie simply looked at her virtual pet toy, with Lopmon on it. She wanted Lopmon to become a real Digimon like the rest. “You and your Digimon partners met because of a quantum entanglement between your life circumstances and those of your Digimon. You have that connection with your partner because you probably share an important virtue with that Digimon.”

“A virtue?” Henry asked.

“Yes. Each of you is a child and you are in your growth process. You must discover what that virtue is, and you must also help each other out in finding it with your Digimon. Discovering this will unleash a power in your Digimon that has remained untapped and remains untapped without a partner.”

“This is interesting.” Suko said, rubbing his chin and smiling.

“Your virtue is going to be the key that will save your world and that of Digimon. But first you must find the other hidden tamers.” Gennai continued. “Your team is incomplete.”

“Incomplete you say?” Leomon said. Juri looked up, surprised.

“That’s right. There are other two tamers. They are either in this world, or on the digiworld. But you must find them before it is too late.”

“Too late for what?” Viximon asked.

“You successfully defeated Neodevimon, and I congratulate you for it. However, you have not defeated the origin of the evil. There are other Digimon much more powerful and threatening than Neodevimon, and I am afraid to tell you that Neodevimon was just a stooge of one of those powerful Digimon.”

“He was a stooge?” Juri asked, afraid. Leomon embraced her with his muscular furry arms, which provided her with warmth.

“He was just a soldier of one of those Digimon I am talking about, and you must be prudent and careful when finding the other tamers. Eventually you will have to make a trip to the digital world. So, you must prepare for that.” Gennai said. Everyone looked at each other, perplexed. How would they reach the digital world? Would they be able to do it through the shrine? Suko asked this to Gennai.

“You must be careful with these random portals, as they can take you to unknown realms that are not the digiworld and it can be difficult to exit them. I do not know how to access the digital world; I am afraid to say.” Gennai said.

“This old geezer just came here to scare us with old wives’ tales.” Suko said, exasperated. “You don’t even know how to go to the digital world!”

“Suko, that was very rude. Apologize.” Viximon said. “I am sorry, Gennai. He is just young and…”

“Ohohoho! Don’t worry! Age is just a number! Besides, I really should know this information as I am an agent in charge of overseeing human and Digimon relations. I am sort of an ambassador. It’s just that the digital world and your world tend to be separated, but as of late they have been interacting more. Hence why you met your partners.”

“I am sorry Gennai. I was rude.” Suko said, lowering his head.

“Don’t worry lad!” Gennai said, then he turned to everyone. “Well, my friends, I want to summarize what I said: First, find those tamers. Focus on the ones in your world. Second, find a way to come to the digital world and then we will move forward from there.”

“It sounds like a plan.” Takato said, looking at everyone. “Let’s find those tamers first, guys!” Takato’s excitement was so contagious that everyone got up and, in a chorus, they yelled “Yes!”

“I will say goodbye for now. And until next time!” Gennai said, disappearing. The tamers looked at each other smiling. This is the first time they felt a sense of mission as a group, a mission larger than themselves. Henry thought of everything. He thought of the first time he met Suko, then Terriermon, of how he met Juri because of him, and then Takato. Was everything a coincidence? Things seemed to not be a coincidence and there seemed to be a common thread to all of this.

Juri was ecstatic about the prospect of going to the digiworld with her prince Leomon. She wanted to know new places, and of course, the place of birth of Leomon. She also longed to get away from home, as her father had become stricter after her mother passed away. Juri then remembered the time and realized she was going to be late for home.

“I have to go guys. Sorry!” Juri said, running away with Leomon.

“She was in such a hurry.” Henry noted. “What’s wrong with her?”

“She told me she has a strict curfew.” Suko said. “Apparently her dad gets really angry if she gets late.”

Meanwhile, Juri was running home. Leomon followed her, but then he turned a corner so that he could climb to the roof next to her window at her house. He decided to wait for Juri there. Juri lived with her father on a small house that also served as a tavern. Some customers would come in drunk and would harass Juri. Some would go beyond cussing at her and would outright flirt or even touch her. Juri never complained about this to her father, as she feared he would dismiss it as the lies of a spoiled child. As expected, Juri’s father also had a drinking problem. Ever since his wife passed away, he fell into a depression that sunk him down emotionally, and that’s why he has been relying on Juri to help him manage, and also why he has a strict curfew.

When Juri came into the tavern she saw her father attending some customers and then he motioned her to come to him. Juri gulped. The look her father gave her sent chills to her. Her father yanked Juri by the arm and pulled her into his room.

“Explain to me why are you thirty minutes late!” Her father said, pointing to the watch.

“I… I am sorry dad. I for…”

But Juri was interrupted after her father slapped her on the face, sending her to the floor.

“You don’t forget that stuff! Not again! Hear me? No again!” Her father said, slightly incoherent.

“Dad, you should not drink anymore. It is not help…” But her father picked her up and squeezed her arms with his big hands. Juri began to cry and feel pain on her arms. Her lower lip was bleeding.

“You don’t order me you little one. You don’t order things in this place!” Her father then picked up a Sake bottle and gave a gulp. Juri saw the silhouette of her father lifting the bottle to his mouth against the window, with the sky growing darker.

“I am sorry, dad. I will make sure I am early next time.” Juri cleaned her tears and left the room. She climbed the stairs for her room and got in. Her room was dark, and you could only see some of the objects’ silhouettes. There was a glass cup on the floor that was shattered. Leomon was sitting outside, his back towards her. Juri did not pay any heed to him and laid down on bed to cry. She had to endure this even when she was early, as her father’s unpredictable mood changes could strike at any time. Juri wished she was away, for good. She wanted an exit. She didn’t realize it but Leomon was inside the room by now, huddled because of his prodigious size. He sat next to Juri’s bed and put his hand on her head, caressing her. Leomon sighed. Juri realized Leomon was inside, and quickly went towards him for comfort.

“Juri, I am sorry.” Leomon said, eyes closed. Juri seemed to grow calmer each second, which also calmed Leomon. His big arms embraced her small body and Juri slowly but surely regained her composure and began to feel relieved. She remembered that she was not alone. She cuddled to Leomon, closing her eyes. Their breathing got synchronized, and both Leomon and Juri fell asleep.

Chapter Text

Juri had a normal day at school. She pushed her home life to the back of her mind and merely focused on the positive things surrounding her: she had new friends, she had Leomon, and there was a purpose added to her life. This purpose was in part thanks to Leomon, as the Digimon partnership enabled her to have adventures beyond her normal life. Juri enjoyed Suko’s and Suzie’s company during recess, and they would often play cards together.

“Juri, what’s up with your lip?” Suko asked.

“I fell. Nothing to worry about.” Juri responded, smiling. Suko bought this and continued the game. Nobody suspected the kind of life Juri was leading, and everyone simply believed her to be a happy and cheerful person that had nothing to worry about.

“Juri, you are such a sweet little girl!” Her teacher would comment. “You are an example to this classroom because of how excellently you behave.”

Juri got attention from many boys. The boys loved Juri’s looks: her white skin, her smile. But no other boy liked Juri as much as Takato. Takato was always nervous whenever he spoke to Juri, and Juri would notice this but simply smile and pretend she did not notice it. Whenever Juri dropped something, Takato would come to her aid, like a white knight. Suko came to tease him about it at some point, as was inevitable.

“You are like a Quixote. You are always on the lookout for your Dulcinea.” Suko would say.

Juri did not have much time to think about her feelings, as her life was charged with her father’s alcoholism and the beatings to which he would subject her. Juri’s stepmother did not know how to respond, as she was also abused by Juri’s father but depended on him to support herself and her biological child. She loved Juri, but her child and herself came first and foremost. Juri understood this but nevertheless resented it.

On another day, the tamer children were at the park playing cards. Juri decided to go to the restroom, and Viximon followed. They had been looking around the city for clues of another tamer as they were tasked by Gennai, to no avail. The children were tired and thus needed their proper break time, which meant an afternoon of cards. No wild Digimon were appearing in the city at this point as Neodevimon was not in control of Mitsuo and the portals were being taken care of properly.

“Juri, I want to speak to you about something, in private.” Viximon said.

Juri was surprised and assented. “Of course. But after I finish at the restroom.” Juri went inside the restroom building, and after about two minutes she came out.

“Please. Please promise me that you will not speak about this to anyone. Ok?” Viximon said as Juri emerged from the building, looking to the side and blushing.

Juri was intrigued and reassured Viximon she would not say anything to anyone.

“Have you ever, you know, felt something for someone?” Viximon asked.

“Yes. Since Kindergarden.” Juri still did not know where this was leading to.

“I see.” Viximon blushed.

“Why? What’s up? Is there someone you like? Terriermon? Or perhaps Guilmon?” Juri was getting excited.

“No. Not them.” Viximon frowned and shook her head.

“Do you… like Leomon?” Juri wondered, nervously.

“Not him either.” Viximon blushed even more.

“Well, there are no other Digimon we know of other than Gatomon, unless you are… you know…” Juri shrugged and looked to the side, fearing she could offend Viximon “Gay?”

“No. It’s not Gatomon either.”

“Then who is it?” Juri urged, frowning and smiling. Her curiosity could not grow more at this point.

Viximon gulped. Her heart was racing, and shame was beginning to surge through her. “Please promise me you will not tell anyone. Please.” Viximon asked again. She was sweating.

“You have my word.” Juri said. “Pinkie promise?” Juri extended her pinkie. Viximon took it.

“I like…” Viximon started and then paused. She felt a knot on her throat. Juri waited, patiently. The seconds began to feel like hours to Juri. Viximon began to tear up.

“What’s wrong?” Juri asked. She put her hands close to her chest. She was wondering what was going through Viximon’s head, if she had been hurt by someone or something.

“I just feel so ashamed!” Viximon continued.

“But… there’s nothing wrong with liking someone. I like someone too!”

“But it’s not a Digimon!” Viximon continued crying.

“Well… I have a confession to make as well. As long as you promise you will keep it between us.” Juri said. Viximon then felt as if a weight had been lifted from her.

Did Juri like a Digimon? Was she really going to confess that to her? Viximon thought about these questions in the moment. Viximon then replied nodding, saying she would not say anything.

“I think Leomon is really handsome.” Juri said, looking to the floor, blushing. “He is so… I don’t know how to describe it. He is always there for me and is really protective of me.”

“Really?” Viximon was surprised. She did not expect that to happen. Here was a human girl she had barely talked to and only seen in the context of the tamers fighting against other Digimon, confessing a secret to her. Viximon took a deep breath. She felt more relaxed and decided to spit it out.

“I really like Suko.” Viximon blushed, looking to the floor. “He is so cute and so sweet, even though he can be a jerk at times.”

“You like Suko?!” Juri beamed with excitement. “You do?” Viximon nodded.

“Eeeeeeee! Oh my god!” Juri laughed. “I knew it!”

“Shhht!” Viximon blushed and looked at Juri.

“Sorry!”

“How did you know?!” Viximon said.

“Are you kidding me? It’s soooo obvious!”

“Really?”

“Yes! You stare at him a lot, and you blush a lot at times. It’s not noticeable at all whenever you are in the Renamon stage. I just think that because you are in the ‘in-training’ stage you have a harder time hiding emotions that well.”

“I just feel ashamed of those feelings. I don’t think he likes me back because I am a Digimon and he is a human, and he is just a little kid. I feel so ashamed of it. We are of a different species, and we also have different amounts of experience in life. I don’t understand why I feel this way. It’s so difficult. And I am scared it will drive Suko away at some point, or that he will get hurt somehow.” Viximon looked to the floor. “I wish life didn’t hand me this. It makes things so complicated.”

“Tell me about it.” Juri said, looking up at the blue sky and remembering her problems at home. Juri pushed those thoughts to the back again and tried to appear more cheerful. “But you never know how things could turn out. Maybe Suko feels something for you too. Have you seen how he blushes whenever you hold him as Renamon?”

“Yes. But I have always thought it was because of embarrassment, especially when you teased him that he was a little baby.” Viximon smiled and then giggled. Juri giggled as well.

“True, but he has blushed at other times as well. When we split up to find Suzie. He was also blushing right now when he caught you staring at him.”

“Do you think he notices that I like him?” Viximon quickly turned to Juri.

“I don’t think so. I don’t even think the other guys ever noticed. They are so caught up in their boys’ card games that they can’t fathom what we are up to as girls.” Juri said, proudly pushing her hair to the back and smiling.

“Well, maybe you got a point.” Viximon said, blushing. She was hopeful that one day her feelings could be reciprocated. Viximon was also glad she had someone she could talk to about these things. This did not alleviate the general feeling of shame, but she felt like she was not alone. Now the question remained: how were they to eventually express their feelings? Juri thought about Viximon’s questions.

“I would not tell Suko anything. At least not yet.” Juri said, holding her chin. “I feel like it would not go well if I told Leomon about my feelings right now. I just feel afraid of how it would affect our relationship.”

“I am scared it will affect my relationship with Suko. That he will stop talking to me, or that he will become distant and only treat me like a tool to fight against other Digimon.” Viximon said, blushing. “Or that he will abandon me, like other people have done so before.” Viximon closed her eyes, remembering her memories of school: how she was ostracized because of her differences, and how she got betrayed by those who called themselves friends but were just fake people. Juri attempted to pat Viximon, but Viximon flinched. Her eyes were crying and Juri gasped.

“I am sorry, Juri.” Viximon said. “I just don’t like to be touched that much.”

“I am sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you.” Juri blushed, embarrassed. “I feel you though.” Juri said, remembering her father and the pain he had been inflicting on her. Juri then began to suspect that Viximon was not revealing everything that was going on her mind. Juri thought that Viximon was the type to keep most feelings and memories to herself, as that was more evident in her Renamon form. She was still appreciative of Viximon opening up to her about her feelings for Suko and let her know this verbally and with a wide smile. Viximon reminded Juri of her promise to keep the matter between them, and Juri did remind Viximon of the same thing.

“I want to cuddle to Leomon and have him hug me tightly.” Juri said, blushing and blinking. Viximon smiled and thought of cuddling to Suko too or cuddling him in her Renamon form. Juri and Viximon returned where the other tamers were at. Suko was making a big deal about a victory against Takato in the card game.

“I am the king of the cards!” Suko pointed at Takato and Henry, who were perplexed by Suko’s obnoxious display of arrogance. “Nobody can surpass me at this game, or any game. And I will win and win and nothing more but win!”

“Ok, Suko. Calm down.” Henry said, tilting his head. “Winning isn’t everything.”

“Henry, you haven’t seen enough of the world to know about how important winning is!” Suko said, his voice raising. It sounded ecstatic. “Winning is what drives the world. If you win, people flock to you like sheep. People have been beating me down for a while. But no more!”

“You got a little overexcited just because you won one round against Takato. It’s nice and all, but you shouldn’t take it this far.” Henry continued.

“There’s a song by ABBA that is called ‘The Winner Takes it All.’ Have you heard it?”

“Yes. It’s really old.” Henry said.

“Well, there you have it.”

“It’s just a song, man.” Henry shrugged. “It means nothing.”

“That’s what a loser would say.” Suko said, pointing at Henry and smiling.

“Suko, just stop it.” Viximon said, sighing and shaking her head. “You are just taking this to unnecessary lengths.”

“But what’s necessary? Who defines that?” Suko asked Viximon.

“Just be quiet and sit down.” Viximon countered.

“Ok ok…” Suko said and sat down. “You took too long. Are you ok?”

“Don’t worry.” Viximon smiled. “I just had a hard time finding a secluded spot.”

Juri had to go home as it was getting late, and Leomon followed. Juri asked Leomon if he could carry her on his shoulder. Leomon nodded and placed Juri on her shoulder. She felt in heaven whenever she was on Leomon’s shoulder. It was as if she was a giant herself, and she felt the protection.

“Leomon…” Juri broke the ice. They had not spoken for most of the way home. It was rather empty on the streets save for a few stray calico cats and some crows.

“Yes?” Leomon answered.

“How do you really feel about my father beating me up?” Juri asked. “Do you think I deserve it?”

Leomon was astonished by Juri’s questions, especially by the second one.

“Absolutely not! Who would deserve that kind of treatment?” Leomon said, looking at Juri.

“Sometimes I feel like I am a bad girl. That maybe I am doing something wrong.” Juri continued.

“Juri… You are one of the kindest people I have met. If not the kindest.”

“You think so?” Juri blushed.

“Yes, Juri.” Juri felt happy that Leomon appreciated her. No one else in her life appreciated her like he did. It was, in fact, the first time someone had told her that. Juri thought about how, for the rest of her life, she would treasure those words with the strength of all of her being and that those words would be like a rock for her to hold on to during any storm, no matter how strong. That is how juri saw Leomon, as a rock she could count on. Juri loved her mother so dearly and had lost that source of sustenance essential to everyone. Her father had lost himself to drinking and thus could not be of support to Juri. All she had was Leomon, and she felt Leomon was more than what she needed. Thus, Juri did not want to lose that source of support.

“Leomon, you will stay by my side forever, right?” Juri asked as they approximated her house.

“I will always be with you, Juri.” Leomon bowed. It was a solemn promise. Juri felt the seriousness in each word Leomon pronounced, even when he said her name.

“I wish that we could go away from all of this. From home and all of that. I would miss Takato, Suko, and my other friends. But I think it’s the ideal scenario for me.” Juri said, playing with her fingers and not looking directly at Leomon, looking instead at the distance. The skyline of Tokyo was reflecting the little sunshine that was left, and the honking of cars could be heard at a distance. The blue and orange sky was speckled by altocumulus clouds. The sirens of an ambulance could be heard, and nobody knew that inside was a ten-year-old child who committed suicide because his parents disowned him due to low grades. He had swallowed all of his mother’s sleeping pills.

“But, Juri, you need a home. Even if it’s not the best, it’s what you got now. Where would you go?”

“I don’t know. But it’s something I have been thinking about lately. I want to leave and only let the people closest to me know about it. I would leave with you and never come back.” Juri said as she took a deep breath. She felt a weight being lifted from her chest. Leomon scratched his head. He was conflicted about what he had heard his tamer say.

***

Viximon saw Suko as a rock too. Suko was little and needed protection, true. But little by little, Viximon realized that Suko was a strong guy. Today Suko told Viximon about how he tried to talk to Hirokazu and Kenta at recess. They were playing cards with Takato. But Hirokazu groaned and told Takato he did not want Suko around as he was a “freak” and an annoyance. Suko fired back, calling Hirokazu a hare-brained and facile simpleton. Hirokazu laughed at Suko, saying he did not even know what that meant and that it didn’t affect him at all. Eventually Suko left them and went to eat lunch on his own. For Suko, Hirokazu’s presence was something to be avoided even if Takato was around. The feeling was mutual. Suko would instead draw on his notebook. He would draw monsters, characters, and classmates in funny ways. Suko even invented an imaginary friend that he could talk to during recess. His name was Joel and he was a boy just like Suko but with light brown hair and hazel eyes.

“But how come you have a made-up friend? Do you need one for real?” Viximon asked. She was worried that Suko was trying really hard to avoid pain of some kind.
“I don’t need one. I just think it’s cool to have one. Joel also likes cards and video games like me. He also tells me you are amazing.” Suko told Viximon as he kept playing Super Mario World. Mario mounted Yoshi and Yoshi would eat fruits and jump above Koopas. The happy melody of the game permeated the background of the conversation. Viximon was not sure how to feel about this Joel character Suko would talk to. “Am I not enough for Suko? Am I failing as a partner?” Viximon thought.
“Do you really feel alone during recess? What about Juri, Takato, Henry, and Suzie?” Viximon asked.

“Eh.” Suko shrugged. “Suzie talks to me sometimes, but sometimes she goes with her girl-friends to talk about girl stuff. Henry and the rest are sometimes monopolized by Hirokazu and you know how that goes.”

“But sometimes they are not with Hirokazu. Why not approach them then?”

“I feel like I annoy them sometimes and I don’t want to drive them away completely.”

“What makes you say you will drive them away? They seem to enjoy your company.” Viximon was confused.

“Even my mom has said that she hates me.” Suko said. Viximon was shocked. “One night, I played a little too rough with my small cousin and she cried. We were throwing dry leaves at each other and one hit her eye. She went to her parents and my parents were there. It was around that time when they were transferring me to the new school because of what we talked about last time. My mom took me back home and grounded me. She was crying and was angry and told me that she hated me.”

Viximon took a deep breath. “Maybe she did not mean it. She was still recovering from the shock of what happened at that old school.”

“No, she did mean it. She was genuinely upset. My dad too. He has said he hopes I can make him proud one day. This was before the school transfer. After it, I have noticed he became more distant from me, as if he is ashamed of me.”

“I am sorry.” Viximon looked at Suko. He continued playing the game and was losing by falling to a precipice. Viximon nuzzled herself against Suko. “I am sure your parents still love you though.”

“I don’t know that. I don’t care. I just want to win at this game.” Suko pressed continue after the Game Over screen appeared. Viximon thought about this for a moment. Suko was withdrawing from his friends at school, and he went to the point of creating an imaginary friend to play with during recess. He also had a strained relationship with his parents. This was a big burden for a small child like Suko, Viximon thought. The thought filled Viximon with a sadness and a desire to make it all go away and make things better for Suko. “I wish I was at school with you.” Viximon blushed. “I would play with you for the entire duration of recess.”

Suko pressed the START button to pause the game. He took a deep breath. “You would?”

“Yes. I just feel worried that you feel lonelier by the day. You know I have been there, and I don’t want that for you.”

“I don’t annoy you? Sometimes I feel like you are annoyed by me.” Suko looked at Viximon, blushing.

“You annoy me at times, and I think you can work on that a little. But I just think you are really funny and smart, and I like being with you. I wish you didn’t have to go to school so that you could stay with me, or that I went to school with you.” Viximon blushed and smiled. She regarded Suko’s brown eyes and his small button nose. “You don’t need an imaginary friend. You have me. I am real and I enjoy every second I spend with you.”

“You are just saying that.” Suko smiled, blushing and playing with his hands. He would wriggle them and feel every one of his fingers. Viximon would giggle at these ticks of Suko.

“I am not. I think it’s so cute how you always carry a book or something else with you. And I like how you smile and how you talk and how you care about others.” Viximon could not hold herself. She then realized what she was doing, but she was relieved that Suko’s child-like naivete kept him insulated from knowing her true feelings.

“You think I care about others?”

“You worry about me whenever I get hurt. You also worried about Henry when he was depressed. At times you have a tactless way of going about things. But I know that deep down inside you feel a lot of compassion towards others, even when it is not obvious.”

Suko thought about this for some time to digest it. He nodded and said: “I see now.” He then remembered how Hirokazu said Suko was a snarky asshole, but Viximon said that while it might be true to a degree, that he was not a total asshole, that he was just misunderstood.

“Can I hug you?” Suko asked. His eyes were tearful, and he was blushing. Viximon was surprised at this and said yes. Suko and Viximon hugged each other tightly. She felt Suko’s arms and his breathing. She was happy to be so close to her Tamer and wanted to stay in that state forever. Suko did not fully understand what he was feeling, but all he knew is that it was a good feeling and that he had never felt it before. He just understood that he wanted to spend more time with Viximon now.

“I really care about you.” Viximon said.

“I really care about you too.” Suko caressed Viximon. He felt the back of her head, her back, and enjoyed the softness of her golden fur. Viximon felt Suko’s body with her small paws. They felt ecstatic when they embraced each other. But Viximon, upon remembering Suko’s species, got that sinking feeling again. She thought about how her wishes might never materialize and began to feel empty. Viximon still did not want Suko to suspect any of this, so she kept this to herself and thought that perhaps there was a reason for all of this.

“Do you want any chips?” Suko said. “I am hungry.” Viximon nodded and Suko ran downstairs. When Suko was out of sight, Viximon’s tears could no longer be held back. Thunder could be heard outside, followed by the pelting of the roof by water droplets.

Chapter Text

Renamon stayed in Suko’s room for the entirety of the morning of March 1st. She was thinking about what had happened a few days prior. Suko’s cousin, Atsuo Nakamura, came to visit that weekend. Atsuo was for all intents and purposes a problem child. He was 2 years older than Suko at the time, and he had an influence on Suko because of this age difference. Atsuo was tall, strong, and physically imposing compared to Suko, who was thin and short for his age. Atsuo had a penchant for destroying things, stealing, and bullying other kids. Suko mentioned to Renamon how Atsuo would steal tips left to servers at restaurants. If any suspicion was raised by Atsuo’s grandparents, who raised him, Atsuo would simply say the server had already taken the tip and they would believe him. He often looked down on Suko for not being as “cool” as he and his other friends. For Atsuo, being “cool” meant stealing, lying, and bullying other people.

Suko’s and Atsuo’s grandparents had been important people in Tokyo politically. They were well-known as the grandfather, Riichi, had been Tokyo’s governor when Suko’s father was a child. Riichi had also been raised in a military school and fought during World War II. Naturally, the family possessed a large house and could afford to buy any toys Atsuo wished provided he was a good kid. However, Riichi had glaucoma and it was easy for Atsuo to get away with many things. But whenever Atsuo got caught, Riichi subjected Atsuo to the severest of punishments, including beatings with a belt. For example, one day Atsuo was doing homework and his grandfather was so frustrated with his inability to complete basic math problems that he would slap the child and call him a failure. Atsuo would cry and his grandmother would try to defend him but to no avail. It was this grandmother, Reika, who would mostly spoil Atsuo by buying him games and toys without him deserving them as his grades were rather dismal or, if high, were due to a teacher being permissive.

Atsuo grew up away from his parents because his father, who was also named Atsuo, had a drug addiction and was bouncing from rehabilitation facility to rehabilitation facility. Atsuo’s mother simply disappeared. Nobody knew where she went and what happened to her. Atsuo’s father had met her at a brothel and because the father had failed to use protection, Suko’s cousin was born.

Suko liked Atsuo because he was available and sometimes they would have fun together. Henry did not like Atsuo too much because of how he would treat Suko and how he would only hang out with him whenever his friends were not available. But Henry respected Suko’s wishes and simply observed. Suko and Atsuo had a younger female cousin named Midori who they would bully together. They would push her, or take her dolls away and hide them, and even call her a whore. But Suko only behaved this way whenever Atsuo was around. Whenever Suko and this female cousin were alone, Suko would get along with her quite well. They shared a similar interest in books and would sit together to read, much to the annoyance of Atsuo who considered reading boring and a waste of time.

“If you take away her book and throw it out to the street, I will let you play with my new game.” Atsuo would often bribe Suko this way. If Suko refused, Atsuo would simply tell Suko that he would never play with him again and that he would stay alone because he had no real friends.

“That Henry guy is much older than you and he cares little for a little kid like you. I am your cousin, remember that.” This had an influence on Suko, as he knew many people did not want to spend time with him and that it was true that Atsuo was often willing to spend time with Suko. Whenever Suko performed the act of mischief Atsuo requested, Atsuo would blame Suko for it and Suko would take the punishment as his parents would not believe him. Suko would get upset at Atsuo, Atsuo would wait some time and act nice to Suko, who by then had forgotten what Atsuo would do, and was willing to spend time with him if Henry was not available. It was a cycle.

Once Suko met Renamon, things changed for the best and naturally Suko drifted away from Atsuo. Suko also met Juri and Takato, so Atsuo was seldom in his mind now. Suko was beginning to form real connections with the tamers, and Renamon was a source of comfort and care. It was a real connection with his Digimon. Suko was aware on some level of how the quality of these relationships differed from the relationship with Atsuo.

When Atsuo visited Suko last time, Renamon was hidden in other areas of the house, hearing most of what happened in vague detail. Suko told her that Atsuo had burnt Yuki, his plush rabbit. Atsuo convinced Suko that he was too old for stuffed animals and that cool guys did not play with them past four years old.

“You are six, and you are almost turning seven. Aren’t you ashamed of it?”

“I guess…” Suko said.

“So, to celebrate your passage into coolness, let’s say goodbye to this little friend of yours, who isn’t even alive.” Atsuo said, taking out a box of matches he bought from the store with money his grandma gave him specifically for potato chips.

Suko’s face reflected the orange light of the fire where Yuki was burning. A tear rolled down his cheek as he saw Yuki’s small round face being scorched by the flames. He remembered cuddling Yuki while Suko was cuddled by Renamon and realized that this would not happen ever again. Suko had left behind something dear and close to him for the sake of something ephemeral like being “cool.”

“Why are you crying? Are you a girl or a man?” Atsuo asked, a smirk on his face and unblinking eyes focused on Suko. Suko then woke up and realized what Atsuo had done. Suko tried to hit Atsuo but Atsuo tripped him up.

“What? Do you want me to tell my aunt about how you started a fire to burn the toy she bought you?” Atsuo then chuckled after saying this. “You are a poor loser and you will never have any real friends because you still cling to stuffed toys.”

“Shut up!” Suko replied as he was getting up but Atsuo pushed him down again. They were at an alley close to Suko’s house. A police car passed by and turned on the sirens.

“Let’s run!” Atsuo said. The cousins ran away, and the police officers got out of the car to follow them. But Atsuo found a dumpster where they could hide. The police were far behind them and eventually gave up the chase as they could not find the pair.

As it was predicted, Atsuo told Suko’s parents that Suko had burnt one of his stuffed animals and that he tried to stop him but couldn’t. This led to Suko being grounded for the rest of the weekend.

When Suko finished telling this story, Renamon sighed. Not because she had no patience for Suko, but because she felt the pain of the loss Suko experienced. Renamon knew it was a stuffed animal, but also that it was dear to Suko as he had Yuki since he was three years old.

“But why did you try so hard to appear to be cool to him?” Renamon asked, confused.

“Because I want to be accepted!” Suko said, slamming his fists against his legs. “When will I be fully accepted by people?”

“Are you still afraid that Hirokazu will steal your friends?” Renamon asked, looking at Suko, who was looking to the other side of the wall. Suko nodded and let out a faint yeah. “But you are already cool. You are a tamer, and you do have friends. You also have me. I accept you for who you are. Nobody can steal your friends if they really are your friends. That’s something I learned the hard way.” Renamon hugged Suko and nuzzled herself against his head. “Also, you don’t have to do anything to be cool for me because I really care about you.” Suko could not contain the tears anymore and cried his heart out. Renamon hugged Suko more tightly. She felt Suko’s despair and sadness and fought back the tears.

Renamon then remembered how secure she was in herself overall, but at the same time how insecure she was about any potential friend she encountered. Other Digimon would want to talk to her, but all they would encounter was a mysterious stoicism that would diminish anyone’s patience at any point. Renamon met Blackgatomon at school, and both Digimon hit it off well. Renamon remembered how eventually Blackgatomon wanted to know more about her, but she would not relent and would only answer cryptically or with “I’d rather not talk about it,” or “it’s personal, I can’t tell you.” This would drive Blackgatomon mad, as he was rather impatient, and he wanted to get to know Renamon better. But Renamon believed it didn’t matter if she talked or not, as she thought nobody liked her. Then Blackgatomon got murdered. Metalseadramon murdered Blackgatomon because Metalseadramon had dated Renamon in the past and Blackgatomon confronted Metalseadramon. Metalseadramon was relentless about Renamon returning to him, but Renamon wanted nothing to do with him as he had caused enough pain to her.
Metalseadramon was one of those people who took themselves too seriously. He mostly spoke about himself and had many enemies. Renamon, in her former naivete, believed Metalseadramon was “cool” and attractive. Metalseadramon was older than Renamon. He had finished school and Renamon was in the middle of her higher studies. Metalseadramon would often run smear campaigns against his enemies and would victimize himself whenever they would retaliate against him for his abusive actions. Metalseadramon used the school’s rules to bully others. He would cite them to make accusations against other Digimon who stood on his way to being the most popular Digimon at the school.

“These other Digimon have nothing but crap to bring to our school. They don’t deserve to be class president!” Metalseadramon would say before his last year in school began, when Renamon met him and was beginning to feel something for him. Metalseadramon was also intelligent, which is why Renamon found him appealing for the most part. But that intelligence was wasted on Machiavellian schemes that served no other purpose than to prevent others from becoming president of the school. Renamon believed all of Metalseadramon’s lies about others. She backed him up whenever her parents would warn her about him. Metalseadramon would fuel this by creating situations that would drive others away from Renamon, thus isolating her even more. Metalseadramon would often reassure Renamon that she was amazing, that he wished he was as fantastic as her and that people who left her were just idiots who were jealous of her, or simply assholes. For example, one Digimon who respected Renamon attempted to call Metalseadramon out, but he twisted this by saying that Digimon was making sexist remarks. Metalseadramon easily achieved this because the accusation was that Metalseadramon treated Renamon as his maidservant. All Metalseadramon had to do was take the word “maidservant” out of context and claim he called Renamon a maidservant, which inflamed school officials who decided to suspend that Digimon and keep him from running for president. When that Digimon stopped contacting Renamon, Metalseadramon claimed he harbored a deep sexism inside of him that he wanted to keep hidden and simply left like a coward because he didn’t want to be discovered. This was effective on Renamon because of many sob stories Metalseadramon would tell Renamon about him being lonely or crying crocodile tears saying he was a terrible person and didn’t deserve someone so amazing as her. All of these behaviors made Metalseadramon seem genuine when he was not.

Many other instances of such strange behavior occurred, and Renamon began to notice something was off once nobody would speak to her except Blackgatomon. Blackgatomon and Metalseadramon had not met, but Blackgatomon had heard enough rumors about Metalseadramon, and Renamon’s descriptions, that he warned her multiple times about him. The instance that made Blackgatomon and Renamon fight for the first time was when Renamon said Metalseadramon attempted to force his metallic cloaca inside of her when they were patting each other. Renamon kicked Metalseadramon away.

“You are a cunt. You know that? After all that I have done for you that’s how you repay me?” Metalseadramon would say whenever Renamon did not want to engage in intercourse with Renamon. Blackgatomon was fuming with anger and he told Renamon he would defeat Metalseadramon in a fight. Renamon told him that it was unnecessary, that she would be ok. But Blackgatomon would insist until Renamon lost all of her patience and told him to mind his own business. After this disagreement, Renamon would not talk about anything pertaining to her life or relationship with Blackgatomon. She was especially suspicious of Blackgatomon’s motives, as she felt like he had a crush on her like many other Digimon. But she couldn’t have been more wrong, as Blackgatomon merely saw Renamon as a friend and he already had a crush on a Gatomon. The truth as Blackgatomon saw it was that Renamon was justifying her decision to stay with a psychopath by twisting the truth and finding excuses for his behavior. For the attempted rape, Renamon rationalized it saying he really loved her and that he was still young. But Blackgatomon disagreed and said he was old enough to know it was wrong to try to do that sort of stuff. Eventually, Renamon would not speak much with Blackgatomon and their conversations degenerated from talks about books to talks about the weather, talks which both Digimon abhorred. Eventually, they grew to be strangers. Renamon would just wave to Blackgatomon but sit elsewhere during lunch hours, by herself. Other female Digimon such as Floramon, Vegimon, and Biyomon, would gossip about Renamon and call her a cold-hearted sorceress, or a stuck-up cunt. But Blackgatomon would still defend her and say she knew what she wanted in life but that she often wanted the wrong thing from a lack of experience. Blackgatomon believed that her zero-in focus was a double-edged sword as it could be focused on the wrong thing as was the case with Metalseadramon.

Renamon eventually ended things with Metalseadramon when he caught him speaking with another female Digimon, one of the Floramon that would gossip about her. Metalseadramon referred to Renamon as her “toy.”

“Sometimes the toy bites, but I know how to keep her in line.” Metalseadramon chuckled.

“When will you come with me and dump that poor devil? Stop wasting her time!” Floramon giggled.

“Don’t worry Floramon. That disgusting furry bitch is nothing but a pawn I am using so that the school sees that I am of higher status, as Renamon tend to be of high status and their power carries a certain prestige. But she is nothing more than a mere pawn to me. However, I do love you.” And then Floramon and Metalseadramon kissed. Renamon’s heart sunk and her whole world crumbled. Then the rage surged from within her and decided to confront them.

“That’s how I wanted to see you, Metalseadramon.” Renamon emerged from her hideout at the beach. It was a large boulder. “Look at how pretty you two look.”
“Renamon! What are you doing here?” Metalseadramon said, raising his voice in protest.

“I don’t owe you any explanations you treacherous snake. You are nothing but a con artist and everyone warned me about you. How stupid of me to not have believed them.” Renamon said, shaking her head.

“Watch what you are saying you idiot!” Metalseadramon got closer to Renamon.

“I listened to you, I believed you, I defended you against everyone else.” Renamon said, trying to keep herself calm. “But you just proved everyone’s point. I can’t help it but call a spade a spade.”

“Shut up!” Metalseadramon slammed his tail against the sand. “You are nothing but a disgusting idiot who believed me. And you know what? Your smell causes me nausea, I can’t stand the sight of you, nor your voice, nor you touching me!”

Renamon sighed and turned away. She did not bother to respond to Metalseadramon’s temper tantrum.

“Hey! Where are you going?” Metalseadramon’s voice raised. “Hey! You!”

Renamon would cry inside her room from that day forward. She remembered telling metalseadramon about her insecurity regarding her smell, and the fact that it was used as an insult was a tremendous blow. She had trusted him with all her heart and there was no other heart to trust hers back. The days passed and Renamon grew numb to this pain. She remembered how whenever she would notice something didn’t add up, Metalseadramon would divert her attention or claim it was all on her head. She specifically remembers a time when he said he would have come back at a certain time and more than an hour passed. She wondered what was happening during that hour, and the rumors of Floramon and Metalseadramon had began to spread. When questioned, Metalseadramon would simply call everyone else crazy and say Renamon was too naïve to believe them. But Renamon now realized her intuition was on the mark and that she knew on some level that something was not right. This made Renamon feel like a patsy, which was a further blow to her self-esteem. The lies Metalseadramon had made about others, which isolated her even further. The attempted rapes and the cheating. All of this was a cocktail of pain that Renamon wanted to get rid of but couldn’t. All of the good things Metalseadramon had said about her were nothing but a house of cards to keep her around. All the lies he said about others had been nothing but machinations to keep her to himself. Was she really the bad person here? Perhaps she was evil because she chose to associate herself with an evil being. These thoughts drove Renamon to further isolate herself.

After Blackgatomon was murdered all the Digimon at the school blamed Renamon for it. Even other Digimon who had formerly expressed interest in her had began to give her weird looks.

“Get away from me or I will scream.” One female Gomamon said when Renamon tried asking for the time.

“I feel a connection to Suko.” Renamon thought. “But this is not any kind of connection. I know what that insecurity he feels inside is like, and I see so many parallels between Atsuo and Metalseadramon that it’s scary.” Renamon thought of Suko suffering as much as she did and the thought made her feel a sense of loss she could not describe.

Renamon then remembered Yuki. She wanted Suko to have his friend back. But she did not have any money to go and find another stuffed rabbit, and she doubted any of the tamers would trouble themselves in asking their parents for money. She also did not want to bother them by asking them to go to the store. Renamon then decided to speak with Juri as soon as saw her. At the park, they worked a similar plan as last time. They pretended to go to the restroom and instead talked. Renamon told Juri the gist of what had happened to Suko with Yuki and said she really wanted Suko to have the rabbit back.

“Perhaps I could make one for him if you could give me some materials.” Renamon said, scratching her head. She hated sewing as she knew she was not born for such an endeavor, and she wanted to do a good job.

“Of course! I can bring you some old shirts and needles and string for you to make the rabbit. I can draw you some patterns for you to follow.” Juri said before pulling out her dog puppet. “Woof! Juri made me by following a pattern she found online! Woof!”

“Thank you, Juri.” Renamon bowed. “Also, I know Suko’s birthday is happening pretty soon. Perhaps this should be a birthday gift for him.”

“I agree!” Juri beamed.

“I also thought of making a small birthday get-together for him. I know Takato’s family owns a bread store. Maybe they can make us a cake. The only thing is that we don’t have money.” Renamon looked to the distance, thinking.

“I can bake something. I am good at baking.”

“That would be fantastic. Could you make something with chocolate? Suko loves chocolate.”

“Of course!”

Renamon smiled at Juri. She was happy that Suko had a genuine friend who was willing to do something as laborious as a cake for him. Renamon had never had a friend do that to her, but she still wanted Suko to experience that. “Please keep it between us.” Renamon said. Juri nodded and winked at Renamon.

The next day Renamon received the materials from Juri and Renamon placed them on the old abandoned shrine she used to sleep at. Renamon spent a good while trying to make the rabbit. Luckily Juri had given her two shirts she could use. Renamon prickled herself often, as her big fingers were not suited to holding a needle. Once the basic form of the rabbit was done, Renamon had to sew the eyes, mouth, and nose of the rabbit. The eyes were two red buttons Juri found on a drawer. They had been from an old doll’s dress she had and lost. The eyes were not a challenge to put on the rabbit. Neither was the nose. For the mouth she had to carefully trace a “w” shape for her to follow while sewing with the black string. Once the plush was done Renamon placed it inside a birthday bag Juri had also given her.

Renamon asked Juri upon turning the material left-over back to tell Henry and Takato about her plan, which Juri brought with them at school. Henry and Takato were extremely surprised by Renamon.

“I never thought Ms. Stoicism was so warm and fuzzy on the inside.” Henry said. “She never struck me as the type to do all that for someone.”

“Renamon struck me as a bit of a stuck-up when I met her. But this is unexpected!” Takato said.

“She is one of the kindest and sweetest people I have ever met, guys. She is just very selective with who she shares her feelings.” Juri said. “She is not as mean as she seems.”

When March 6 arrived Takato, Guilmon, Henry, Terriermon, Juri, Leomon and Suzie with a new Digimon named Lopmon were at the park next to the building where Takato would hide Guilmon. Guilmon smelled the box where the cake was, and his mouth salivated. Calumon accompanied them as well.

“Is this Guilmon bread?” Guilmon asked. Renamon turned towards Guilmon, glaring at him: “Please don’t touch it.” She said to Guilmon, who was being held back by a nervous Takato.

“Brother,” Suzie turned towards Henry, “When will Suko arrive? I want him to see my partner!” She then squeezed Lopmon so hard that Lopmon groaned. Terriermon giggled at Lopmon, who then glared at Terriermon.

“He was probably taken out by his parents right after school and will be here soon.” Henry reassured Suzie. The new tamer turned out to be Suzie, and her Digimon was Lopmon, the virtual pet she had all along. Ten more minutes passed and Renamon decided to go to Suko’s house to look for him. After a few more minutes, she was back with Suko, who was surprised to see everyone there, looking at him and smiling.

“W-what is going o-on, Renamon?” Suko frowned.

“Happy birthday!” Everyone said. Renamon picked up and hugged Suko and whispered to his ear “Happy birthday, super Saiyan.”

Calumon was doing her happy dance and calooing. “Happy birthday Suko!” Calumon would sing. Renamon put Suko down and took him to Guilmon’s hideout. Inside, next to the door, was the box with the cake Juri had baked.

“I made this cake for you. Check it out!” Juri said, smiling. When Suko opened the cake, his frown turned into a big smile.

“I got chocolate cake! Yes!” Suko beamed. “How did you know I like chocolate?” Suko turned to Juri. Juri told him Renamon had organized this for him, and that’s how she learned about his favorite cake flavor. Suko looked at Renamon, who smiled at him and turned away, embarrassed.

“Calu! Renamon has another surprise for Suko!” Calumon got close to Suko and pulled him by the sleeve of his jacket.

“What is it?” Suko said, excited. Renamon took the bag and handed it to Suko.

“It’s an old friend of yours, saying hi again.” Renamon said as Suko was pulling out the home-made Yuki.

“It’s…” Suko’s eyes were getting moist. Suko then began to cry and hugged his new Yuki stuffed animal. “Wow! It’s Yuki again!” Renamon simply stood there, looking at Suko and feeling happy that Suko had his old toy back, even if it was slightly cruder than the previous version.

“Renamon made it for you.” Juri said, putting a hand over Suko’s shoulder. “She asked me for all of the materials.”

“Really?” Suko said, his voice shaking because of how happy he was. “You made it for me?”

Renamon nodded, holding her own hands in front of her. Suko ran towards Renamon and hugged her tightly. “Thank you! Thank you!” Renamon caressed Suko’s hair and smiled at him. Takato was surprised by seeing Renamon act this way, even though Renamon was still holding so much emotion back. Juri was moved by this, and her eyes got some moisture but not enough to cry.

“I brought utensils and plates guys.” Takato said.

“Yes! Let’s eat! I want cake!” Suko said, his voice echoing inside the building’s cave.

The tamers then each got their own slice and ate to their heart’s content. Suko noticed that Suzie was sitting next to Lopmon and adding two and two he realized she had her Digimon partner now.

“I am glad for you, monkey girl!” Suko said. Suzie stuck her tongue at Suko and Lopmon just scratched her head. “So, that means there’s one more tamer to go.”

“Yes.” Henry began. “I didn’t expect this to happen but Suzie is one of the tamers.” Henry said, uneasily. He was nervous because he didn’t want his younger sister to be exposed to danger. But she was a tamer now, and there was nothing anyone could do to change that. According to Henry, Lopmon appeared once Suzie began to cry when Terriermon did not want to play with her that day. Lopmon appeared to be more docile towards Suzie and allowed herself to be played with slightly more.

“So now we need to find the second tamer, and we are complete!” Takato said. “But I have looked elsewhere and I have not found any other tamer yet.”

“Maybe Takatomon can make the tamer out of bread!” Guilmon said, enthusiastically and with cake still on his mouth.

“No, Guilmon! Don’t be silly!” Takato frowned at Guilmon. Everyone on the space laughed.

“Well, how are we to go to the digital world if we have to go?” Juri asked. “Is there some kind of portal we can use?”

“I am not sure. But this will be difficult because we can’t just disappear without telling our parents about this, and our Digimon.” Henry said. Everyone then realized that they had not told their parents about their Digimon partners. How would their parents react? Would they approve of their Digimon? Would the dynamic between tamer and Digimon be affected in a positive or negative way? These were not easy questions for the tamers to deal with.

“I will never be parted from Guilmon. My parents will have to accept him.” Takato said, hugging Guilmon. “I promised Guilmon we would never part.”

“Yeah, I don’t want to part from Prince Leomon.” Juri said, blushing and snuggling with Leomon, who seemed slightly embarrassed. Juri did this out of genuine emotion for Leomon, and also because she knew that Leomon was the only secure attachment she had in her life.

“Terriermon is my best friend. I would never cave-in to my parents if they didn’t accept him. But something tells me my parents will be okay with Terriermon.” Henry smiled and patted Terriermon.

“Momantai Henry!” Terriermon said. “I also have a presentment that they will be ok with me and with Lopmon.”

Suko looked at Renamon, who looked back at him. Suko looked down and hugged Yuki. “I am not sure what my parents would say about Renamon. It’s a coin toss.”

Suko did not want to part with Renamon or change the routine they had developed. Changing that routine was a devastating thought for Suko, who craved that stability. Renamon sensed what Suko was feeling and held him close to her.

“We won’t part ways. There’s a reason why we met, Suko.” Renamon said. Renamon’s voice soothed Suko, and he closed his eyes and smiled while snuggling himself against Renamon.

“That’s true. We met our Digimon for a reason, and the little old man said so.” Suko said.

“Takatomon. Guilmon is happy to have met Takato!” Guilmon said, cake coming out of his mouth. Renamon winced at this.

“Yeah guys! Cheer up!” Takato said. “Let’s enjoy this delicious cake.” Takato was enjoying himself, as the cake was made by Juri. He wondered what other delicious things Juri could make, and the thought gave him butterflies in his stomach. He craved more of Juri’s company, but he did not know how to approach her without it getting awkward.

“I am happy to have my own cute little bunny!” Suzie said, squeezing Lopmon’s cheeks. Lopmon gently removed Suzie’s hands from her face and continued eating her cake.

“Calu calu!” Calumon flew over Suko’s head and positioned himself above it.

“What are you doing you miscreant?” Suko giggled. “You tickle me!” Calumon laughed at this. “Guys, maybe Mr. Yamaki has a clue about this digiworld odyssey we are having.” Suko said, rubbing his chin. “After all, he is a god that can open many doors, to this world and the next one with his sorcery.”

“Dude, he is not a sorcerer or a god.” Henry shook his head and chuckled. He genuinely found Suko’s exaggeration to be funny.

“I was just being hyperbolic. But yeah. Let’s go and ask him.” Suko suggested.

“Suko, we can’t just step into the building and ask him. He seems to be some kind of government official.” Renamon said.

“We will find a way. Either way Suko is right. He must know how to enter that world. He probably has gone to it already.” Takato said.

“Yeah, he has a Salamon as his partner. I am intrigued by this.” Henry said.

“Well, in any case, we have a clue of how to go to the digiworld. Perhaps we will find the other tamer there.” Takato continued.

The tamers parted ways as soon as it was getting dark. Guilmon stayed in the small building, while the rest of the tamers left with their Digimon. Juri dreaded going home, while Suko simply wanted to rest and play video games with Renamon. Henry and Suzie went to the store to buy some drinks and then left home, carrying Terriermon and Lopmon as if they were stuffed animals.

Suko’s worries had left him this night. He was happy that the tamers had gone to his party. But even more, he was grateful that Renamon had organized all of this for him, and that she recreated Yuki for him. “Thank you, Renamon. I really love this new Yuki.”

“It took me quite a few hours to make. I am happy you like it.” Renamon said.

“You didn’t have to, though. My parents had bought me a new video game and a few figurines.” It was Zelda Majora’s Mask and the figurines were miniatures of Dragon Ball Z. “It’s not like I didn’t have any gifts.”

“I just… I didn’t want you to feel sad without Yuki.” Renamon said. All she wanted to do was make sure Suko did not feel like some kind of freak, to make him feel like he belonged somewhere, even if it meant doing things she felt embarrassed doing. She saw Suko and it pained her to know that he felt alienated and rejected. Renamon also wondered about Suko’s parents’ reaction to her. She knew she would not be separated from Suko, not through his parents, as Suko would always find a way to see her. But she did not let those thoughts bother her any further and she decided to enjoy the rest of the night with her tamer, exploring his new game. Calumon followed them, and she seemed to want to spend the night with them.

“Calu! Suko and Renamon are so close!” Calumon sang. Renamon turned to see Calumon, and she nodded at her in acknowledgment. Suko looked at Calumon and motioned to her to go over his head.

Meanwhile, the sky was beginning to show a strange pattern to it. The lights of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building began to flicker.

Chapter Text

Impmon was walking down an alley of Shinjuku. He was alone, thinking of what mischief he could cause. He had been watching the tamers from a distance and was gathering as much information about them as possible. He also knew about how they needed to travel to the digital world. Impmon had no idea of how to go back, as he desperately wanted to go back and fight strong Digimon. He deemed the tamers’ Digimon as weak and pathetic. Impmon, despite his small size, saw himself as more powerful than any Digimon.

Impmon was also disgusted by the tamers’ bond with their Digimon. He loathed seeing Juri pursuing Leomon. He was disgusted by Renamon’s affections towards Suko. He felt his stomach revolting when Henry aided Gargomon with his digivolution to Rapidmon. He saw Guilmon as a blubbering idiot and blamed his human partner for it. He wanted to punch Suzie in the face for how childish he thought she was.

“Humans make Digimon more gay the more they interact with each other!” Impmon thought one day, when he saw Renamon cuddling Suko at the central part in Shinjuku while Suko slept.

When Impmon got to the park he was hoping to find the tamers and maybe play them some pranks. He could not find them anywhere. To his relief, he found Calumon walking by herself. “I will scare that little shit.” Impmon thought, his fingers on fire. Impmon lifted his hand and the flames flew towards little Calumon.

“Calu!” Calumon screamed, jumping away from the flames. “Who goes there!” She cried.

“Calu calu calu! Is that all you can say?” Impmon emerged from the bush he was hiding at.

“Calu! Why did you attack Calumon?” Calumon said, raising her voice and shaking her small paw.

“Oh look at you! You think you seem threatening to the great and powerful Impmon? Well, I did it because I want to see you cry!” Impmon raised his voice and prepared more fires. “Take this and this!” The fires were shot at Calumon, who avoided them. Calumon raised to the sky with her ears.

“Where are you going you cowardly thing!” Impmon said, shaking his fist. “Come back down! I just wanted to play!”

“No!” Calumon said, and flew away, in the direction away from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building.

“Meh! She can go and fly away for all I care.” Impmon said.

“Hey you!.” Impmon heard a young boy call him. He turned in the direction to see who it was. To his surprise, it was Suko, the boy he tried to dupe once, the one who he fought against on another occasion.

“What do you want, human?” Impmon crossed his arms and turned away from Suko.

“Why do you bully others?”

“Mind your own business boy!” Impmon walked away. He got inside a path that was dark as many trees were covering it. The air inside was cool and birds could be heard singing. When Impmon could still hear Suko’s steps he turned back. “Why are you following me?!” Impmon hissed.

“I just…” Suko scratched his head, trying to come up with a lie. “I just want to make sure you don’t do more evil stuff.”

“Ugh! Mind your own business! I do not need a human like you supervising me!”

“Why do you always refer to me as ‘human’? My name is Suko.” Suko did not quit. Impmon was taken aback by this. He shortly recovered and answered:

“I do what I want! Don’t come here to correct the way I speak, you filthy human!”

“Why do you hate humans so much?” Suko continued, which irritated Impmon even more than he already was.

“Why do you have to ask so many questions?! I hate humans because they are pathetic! They think they have the right to control us Digimon. But they are nothing! And the Digimon that let themselves be controlled by humans? I think they are even worse! They disgust me, they make my stomach revolt, they are an abomination, and I feel sorry for them! They are trash, they are scum!”

“Renamon’s not that.” Suko said, frowning and looking at Impmon as if he was delirious. “She is a badass. She has fought incredibly well before! I wish I was awesome like her.” Suko looked up, remembering all of Renamon’s battles and her elegant and graceful movements.

“You say that because you have never seen how powerful a Digimon without a human, like myself, gets when they digivolve!” Impmon said, pointing to himself.

“I’ve seen them. And I will say that I am not impressed.” Suko said. Impmon clenched his fists and was saying no more. “I mean, look at yourself. Have you digivolved before?”

“Shut up already!” Impmon raised his voice, scaring away some birds that were perched on a nearby tree. “Leave me alone! I need no one! No one! You hear me?! Much less a human! You will see that I will digivolve and I will scare everyone with my power!”

“I will believe it when I see it.” Suko smirked.

“What’s up with the smirk?! I will teach you a lesson you little runt!”

“But you are smaller than me!” Suko laughed, pointing at Impmon.

“I am warning you!” Impmon hissed, fire starting to lit on his fingers.

“If I am a runt, then you are what? A microbe?” Suko kept laughing.

“Screw you!” Impmon threw his fires at Suko. Suko was paralyzed as he saw these approach him. But all of a sudden these disappeared, as if a strong wind took them away. Impmon was surprised as well. Before Impmon could say anything, he felt as if something furry and long had sent him flying away. It was Renamon who had used her tail to attack Impmon.

“Are you okay, Suko?” Renamon asked. “Did he hurt you?” Renamon knelt down to grab his shoulders. Suko noticed Renamon’s worry and smiled to reassure her.
“I am okay, Renamon. Thank you!” Suko said as he hugged Renamon.

“Why were you provoking that Digimon?” Renamon said. Suko gulped as he saw Renamon frowning at him. “He could have hurt you, or worse.”

“Well, I just saw him bullying Calumon and I thought I would ask him what is his deal against humans and why he bullyies others.” Suko told Renamon about the rest of the exchange. Renamon sighed.

“Please don’t interact with that Digimon alone again. It’s dangerous.” Renamon said, her voice soft and concerned.

“I am sorry, Renamon.”

Suko and Renamon left that spot to look for the other tamers. Renamon and Suko arrived at the spot where Takato and his two friends, Hirokazu and Kenta, would play cards. They decided that it was best not to bother them as Hirokazu was still hostile towards Suko. Renamon and Suko went to look for Henry instead. Luckily for them, Henry had not arrived home from school yet and they caught up to him.

“We need to find Mitsuo Yamaki and ask him how to reach the digital world.” Suko said. “Do you think we can go in and ask?”

“Don’t think of entering casually to that building. I doubt he will be readily available to us.” Henry said.

“Momantai! Henry, what’s the worse that could happen?” Terriermon asked.

“They would kick us out and get us in trouble and our parents would find out about you guys.” Henry gently bumped his fist against Terriermon’s head. The other tamers joined Suko and Henry. Suzie had stayed with Juri to talk about Sailor Moon, and Takato, after ending the game with Hirokazu and Kenta, had followed them thinking he would see Henry and Suko. None of them had any idea yet about how to enter the digiworld.

All of a sudden, Guilmon starts sniffing. “Guilmon, are you okay?” Takato asks, worriedly. Guilmon acquired a feral appearance and looked in the direction of the government building. The tamers looked in that direction and saw a pillar of dark energy rise and end at a large circle of light. The circle of light was surrounded by a ring of square shapes that appeared and disappeared. These squares were of various colors and Suko remarked that it was like a “mobile rainbow”.

“Let’s go and see what is going on!” Takato said. “Follow me!” The tamers followed Takato, but Guilmon got ahead on them, running. Takato was taken aback by this. “Guilmon!” He called, his voice loud. Other people had seen guilmon and were scared. Some were also pointing at the circle and were making comments about it. “Guilmon! No!” Takato kept running.

“What’s up with Guilmon?” Henry asked Takato as the team ran towards the government building.

“Takato didn’t give him the right kind of bread.” Suko said, giggling.

“Suko…” Renamon said, squeezing Suko as they moved.

“Sorry!” Suko giggled.

“I am not sure, Henry. I think he feels threatened by something up there. I do sense something evil coming out of there.” Takato said. “But why does Guilmon have to do this? He always does unpredictable things like these that worry me!” Takato said, irritated and worried. Takato had created Guilmon from scratch. Even though Guilmon was a rookie Digimon, he acted like a baby, and tended to have a harder time controlling his impulses. This caused Guilmon to be nearly discovered once, as Guilmon went to school while hiding inside a carboard box.

“Aha! So that was what was inside the box! I get it now.” Suko said. “I remember that episode. People were saying that ghosts were haunting the school.”
“I got angry at Guilmon that day for having nearly exposed himself. I just…” Takato said, tearing up. “I just don’t want Guilmon to get hurt! I don’t want him to be discovered either, as that could mean people might separate us.”

“Momantai!” Terriermon said. “Guilmon can take care of himself, Takato!”

“Sometimes I don’t think that’s the case.” Takato said, imagining Guilmon being trapped by government agents who then studied and dissected him. The thought added dread to Takato and made him run even faster. Takato was perspiring and panting as he ran, saying Guilmon in decreasing intervals. “Guilmon!” He shouted.
Once the tamers arrived to the building where the white circle was looming, they found Guilmon staring at it intensely. Guilmon was growling at it, his body vibrating. Takato was afraid of getting closer, as Guilmon did not seem to be himself.

“Guilmon! Get out of there! What are you doing?!” Takato called. Juri held her arms close to herself, afraid of what would happen. Leomon put a hand over her head, somewhat calming Juri. “Guilmon! It’s me! Takato!” Takato called once more. All of a sudden, a powerful beam of light emerged from the portal, aimed at Guilmon. Guilmon avoided it and the beam hit the ground, leaving a small crater. Henry looked at the circle, and he made a comment saying it seemed to be some kind of portal.

“Maybe we can go to the digiworld through this!” Suko commented, clenching his fists.

“But this is not our time, not yet.” Renamon said. “Look, someone is emerging from it!” Renamon positioned herself, ready for combat. Terriermon got off from Henry’s shoulder and positioned himself for combat as well. Meanwhile, Leomon produced his sword and Lopmon jumped towards the spot where Terriermon was standing, the two small Digimon standing side by side.

The Digimon emerging from the white circle let out a loud chuckle. The chuckle was raspy, it sounded as if it was on echo as well. “I am scared, brother!” Suzie said to Henry, getting closer to him. Henry placed his hand above her head. Calumon was flying nearby, and landed somewhere close to a tree, observing.

“Calu…” Calumon’s ears retreated.

The Digimon that emerged was rather horrible. Its body was a red skeleton, with a black skull and bat wings. The Digimon was holding a long staff with a green jewel at the tip. Guilmon shot a fire ball at the Digimon, but this Digimon disintegrated the fire with his beam. The Digimon landed, perching himself on the roof of one of the jutting entrances to the building. The tamers and their Digimon regarded this figure with dread.

“I can feel something sinister from this guy.” Suko said, shaking. Renamon nodded.

“I can feel it too.” Renamon replied.

“The chosen ones, I see now. You are the special kids!” The Digimon said. He then turned towards Guilmon and stared at him for some time.

“What are you staring at my Guilmon for?!” Takato said.

“The Digital Hazard…” the Digimon said. “This Digimon has the Digital Hazard. What are you doing with these puny human beings? You do not belong with their ilk!”
“What are you talking about, Guilmon is…” Takato was saying, but before he could continue Guilmon shot another fire ball at the Digimon, who simply avoided it and landing closer to Guilmon.

“Guilmon, huh?” The Digimon said. “My name is Skullsatamon.” Skullsatamon bowed to Guilmon. “A powerful Digimon like you can very well be part of my army!”
Guilmon’s paws were then surrounded by fire, and he pounced on Skullsatamon, but Skullsatamon tripped Guilmon. Guilmon hit himself with a stair from the metropolitan building, but quickly got up. His eyes still had that feral appearance to them. Guilmon then shot a fireball but Skullsatamon avoided it. To the tamers’ dismay the fireball was going to hit Takato, who was paralyzed by fear.

“Renamon! Destroy that!” Suko pointed towards the incoming fire ball.

“Terriermon!” Henry followed.

Both Digimon used their respective attacks, koyousetsu and petit tornado and the fire ball was destroyed.

“It looks like Guilmon is not himself. And he is not aware of the damage he can cause or that he can hurt his friends.” Henry said. “Takato, get away from there!”

“Yes, get out of the way!” Juri and Suko said simultaneously.

But Takato decided to get closer to Guilmon. However, Skullsatamon shot a beam at Takato. Guilmon then woke up from his feral state and shouted Takato’s name.

“Guilmon!” Takato’s digivice shone bright, and Guilmon digivolved to Growlmon. Gorwlmon quickly destroyed the beam with a fire blaze, which almost scorched Takato.

“Look at what we have here! Barney the dinosaur has digivolved!” Skullsatamon shot a beam towards Growlmon, toppling him.

“Guys let’s help Growlmon out!” Henry held his digivice and Terriermon digivolved. Suko did the same, allowing Renamon to become Kyubimon. Leomon and Lopmon lurched towards Skullsatamon, Leomon attacking him with his sword and Lopmon using a small tornado of dark energy. These efforts were useless. Skullsatamon laughed, his chuckle echoing:

“How pathetic! You ants do not know what you are facing!”

“Koenryu!” Kyubimon’s fire dragon was aimed at Skullsatamon and combined with Gargomon’s gargo pellets. Skullsatamon spun his staff, dispersing the attacks aimed at him. Skullsatamon received a fire blast from Growlmon, but it did nothing to him.

“Let’s all combine our attacks!” Suko suggested. The other tamers nodded. The tamers each slashed a card through their digivices, allowing all the Digimon to increase their speeds. Kyubimon used her koenryu, Growlmon his fire blast, Gargomon his gargo pellets, Leomon his fist of the beast king, Lopmon her dark twister. These attacks combined formed a huge dragon of red, orange, blue, and purple energy, which, combined with Gargomon’s pellets, hit Skullsatamon and created an explosion.

“We did it!” Suko jumped, smiling.

The smoke took a while to dissipate, and when it did the tamers were dismayed when they saw Skullsatamon was still alive. Skullsatamon regarded the tamers’ Digimon with disdain, shaking his head.

“My my… You folks think that I am like that other fool, Neodevimon?” Skullsatamon placed his staff on the ground. All of a sudden he was toppled by a ray of light.

“When will you guys stop using my workplace as a way to come and harass us?” Yamaki’s voice was heard. Yamaki was right next to a female Digimon. Suko’s digivice read “Angewomon.” Yamaki and Angewomon looked nice together, Juri thought.

“You… You blasted monkey!” Skullsatamon said. Skullsatamon was startled to see Angewomon. “What?! Angewomon is here?!”

“Heaven’s charm!” Angewomon produced a huge cross of light. Its light filled the tamers with peace, while Skullsatamon shook in fear.

“No!” Skullsatamon lamented. “No! No!” He then avoided the attack.

“You tamers will see what I am truly made out of. For now, I retire!” And he flew into the white circle. Yamaki went towards the tamers, and they witnessed the circle expand into a sphere. The sphere was surrounded by a ring of golden zeros and ones in addition to the multicolored squares. The zeros and ones would change to their counterpart on a semi-regular basis as the ring slowly orbited the white sphere. The sphere then turned into a dark color, with tendrils of red and blue appearing and disappearing as if they were electricity. There were darker, thicker shapes swirling in the sphere.

“What in the name of God is that?” Suko exclaimed, mouth agape.

The sphere then elevated itself at increasing speeds. Once it reached a certain altitude it began to envelop itself with a fiery veil. At some point it appeared to be a small point of orange light. The lights of the metropolitan government building began to flicker, and multiple employees emerged from the building, frightened.

“Look!” Juri exclaimed, pointing to the sky. What the tamers saw was something they would never forget. The small orange dot had increased in size, and more and more rings of binary code and multicolored squares accreted around the sphere, which was of a golden color now. Black and white squares would appear and reshape themselves into circles or triangles. This seemed to be further away from the moon, as the moon seemed to be eclipsing part of the gargantuan portal. The zeros, ones, and colorful squares all orbited the golden sphere, the shape resembling a galaxy.

“It’s a naked singularity.” Yamaki said, stupefied. Angewomon looked at him.

“A naked singularity?” Angewomon asked. Yamaki nodded. “Our equipment is not advanced enough to deal with this. A naked singularity means… it is a point at which reality as we know it breaks apart and the laws of physics as we understand them do not apply.”

“What does that mean?” Suko got closer to Yamaki, followed by Kyubimon.

“It looks like this is an entrance to the digital world, created by that Digimon, somehow. What worries me is how will this affect our world. The disruption will be tremendous if nothing is done about it.”

Henry rubbed his chin, sweating of worry. Juri did not know what to say and Suzie seemed confused. Perched on a different tree from Calumon, Impmon witnessed what unfolded and was shaking. He could not believe his own eyes when he saw the portal that developed in space.

After moments of regarding the portal, Suko turned towards Yamaki.

“Thank you for coming to help us, Yamaki!” Suko said.

“Thank you, mister!” Juri said, smiling.

The tamers turned around towards where Takato was. They heard him scolding Growlmon, who then degenerated to Guilmon.

“This is the second time you do something like this!” Takato exclaimed, crying. “Guilmon, why?! You could have died!”

Guilmon lowered his head, and his ears which resembled small bat wings were lowered too. “I am sorry, Takatomon…”

“Takato… I don’t think Guilmon is at fault here.” Henri said, approaching Takato. But Takato continued crying, clenching his fists and looking away from Guilmon or Henry. The other tamers and their Digimon looked at the scene, worried.

“Momantai! Perhaps Guilmon needs a stronger control.” Terriermon said. Takato turned towards Terriermon, gasping. His eyes became more tearful, and he ran away.

“Terriermon!” Henry said. “That was offensive to Takato.”

“Momantai!” Terriermon said, not minding what happened. Guilmon’s eyes became tearful as he saw Takato leave.

“Takatomon… Guilmon is bad Digimon.” Guilmon said as the tears rolled down his scaly red cheeks.

“Guilmon…” Juri said, getting close to him and placing a hand above his head. “It’s ok… He was just worried about you. He needs some time alone.”

Guilmon’s nose was beginning to ooze boogers: “Buh Guilmon bad Diwimoh!” Guilmon’s speech was getting more incomprehensible. Kyubimon felt sorry for Guilmon, but she knew things would get solved between him and his tamer. She wanted to move on to the plan at hand but waited out of politeness. Suko did not know how to react, other than thinking that this was a similar situation to that between Henry and Terriermon. He felt sorry for both Takato and Guilmon. Suko then remembered he had a chocolate bar inside of his pants’ pockets and decided to see if it was there so that Guilmon could have it. Luckily it was not as badly molten as he thought, and it was still new.

“Hey Guilmon, you can have this.” Suko showed Guilmon the candy bar. “Just save some for me.” Guilmon sniffed the candy, boogers sticking to the cover of the chocolate. Suko make a grimace when he saw his chocolate was covered with boogers, and Guilmon left.

“Guilmon! Wait!” Juri called out.

“Let him be for now, Juri.” Leomon said, getting close to Juri and placing a hand over her shoulder. “This is what destiny had in store for them. It’s not up to us to change that.” Juri nodded and lowered her head. She did not want to see Takato and Guilmon part like that. She noticed how close they were and she felt happy whenever she saw them together. But this did not make her day. Juri checked the time, and startled, realized she needed to be back home a while back.
“I am sorry guys!” Juri said, agitated. “I got to go!” She then ran away, Leomon following her.

Yamaki did not pay attention to anything that had transpired, as he was still fixated on the portal. His fists were shaking. The words of his father ringed through his head again. “You are a failure!” He imagined his father’s figure, eclipsing the light coming from the long window of his studio. Angewomon sensed what Yamaki thought and embraced him. Light came from her arms, enveloping Yamaki, and he felt slightly better afterwards. “Let’s go.” Angewomon said to Yamaki in a soothing voice, still holding him. Yamaki nodded, and Angewomon carried Yamaki away.

After a few moments of awkward silence, Suko said: “This awkward silence signals the birth of a disabled gay jewish nazi.”

“What?” Suzie looked at Suko, raising an eyebrow and regarding him as if he was a weird bug.

“Whenever an awkward silence ensues,” Suko said, lifting a finger as if saying something of utmost importance, “some oddity or chimera is born!”

“Suko…” Kyubimon said, quietly giggling at Suko’s response. Suko found a nearby trashcan and dumped the booger-ridden chocolate bar, grimacing holding it with the tips of his fingers.

From the park where Impmon was hiding, Impmon began to giggle and rub his hands. “That dummy dinosaur is my next prey! I will make sure those two separate from each other!” Impmon said, rubbing his hands. Impmon then walked away, chuckling and jumping from tree to tree. He then tripped himself with a branch and fell to the ground, hitting himself with a bench.

“Goddamn humans and their benches!” Impmon punched the ground with his fist.

Chapter Text

Government helicopters were flying above Tokyo, filming and photographing the “strange circle” as people would call it. Footage of the portal would appear on the news.

“We are still clueless as to what’s this strange phenomenon. Is it associated with the monsters that appeared a while back?” The news anchor said while holding a microphone and pointing at the sky where the portal was. Suko was with his parents in the T.V. room next to their living room. The floor was carpeted. The room smelled like roses as Suko’s mother had aromatized the room before. She was a very particular person when it came to scents.

“Be careful out there, Suko.” She said. “I am glad you are ok after those monsters attacked the city.” Suko’s mother said, holding her cheek.

“I am sure Suko will be ok as long as he is with Henry and the other guys.” Suko’s father said. He caressed his own bald, shaved head. Suko often described his father as being similar to “the bald guy from the ‘Barbie Girl’ song.” The difference was in the eyes, which were dark brown like Suko’s and the singer from “Aqua” had light colored eyes.

“But what is that, dear?” Suko’s mother asked. “Is it a black hole or a government project?”

“It appears to be some kind of portal. Other anchors have said they saw other monsters emerge from it.” Suko’s father said, rubbing his chin.

Renamon was inside Suko’s room. Her acute hearing allowed to hear the conversation even though Suko’s room was on the second floor and the house was spacious. It had 3 rooms, Suko’s, his father’s, and his mother’s, and the living room was quite large. Suko’s parents slept separately as they often did not enjoy watching the same programming and it was the source of many arguments.

Renamon was thinking about the portal, and how would they reach it if it was in outer space. She was thinking about a way to defeat Skullsatamon before he recruited reinforcements, which was likely given what she heard about “other monsters coming out of the portal.” Suko thought about Renamon, and how to eventually bring her up to his parents. As of now, she was an “imaginary friend” as far as they were concerned. But seeing her in person might be quite a shock for them as Suko had drawn some semi-accurate portraits of Renamon, at least for a 7-year-old child. If the parents saw that the creature from the drawings was real, it would be an even stronger shock. Suko decided to hold off on telling his parents about Renamon and saved it for the time when he and the other tamers would definitely have to travel to the digital world. The question was: how would they take the news about the trip to the digital world? Would they accept Renamon as well?

There were instances when Renamon was almost caught. For example, Suko’s mother thought she heard steps on the floor above. As far as she was concerned, they were steps which sounded as if an animal of some kind was walking. But she would never be able to find out who it was as Renamon would become invisible. On another occasion she thought she heard an adult female voice that did not come from a T.V. and that was clearly inside Suko’s room. But again, she could find nothing. Suko’s father dismissed the mother’s concerns.

“You work too much, dear.” He would say.

“I think this house is haunted.” Suko’s mother would say. “But I could be wrong.”

On another occasion she swore she heard someone sigh, the same female voice as before. But these concerns would be dismissed as tiredness or as “the wind”, as was typical. Renamon was aware of Suko’s parents’ reactions to her movements. She thought she was being subtle but Suko’s house was somewhat old and the wood would creak more easily. To that effect, she tried to be more subtle about this by exiting through the window instead whenever they would go out on an adventure. Whenever they were inside the house, Renamon would try to walk swiftly to not make much noise. Renamon would also try to whisper instead of talking at normal volume whenever his parents were on the second floor. If they were downstairs, she felt more comfortable talking in normal volume as Suko’s room was at the opposite extreme of the house, away from the living room where his parents often spent time. She still had to be very attentive about his parents’ movements.

Renamon still believed that at some point Suko would have to reveal the truth to his parents. She nevertheless respected his decision to wait until the trip to the digital world was imminent. She understood and could relate to Suko’s fears of them being forced to live apart and Suko having to see her outside the house.

“You deserve to live in a comfortable house! Forget that old dusty shrine.” Suko said when he decided to allow Renamon to live in his room. Despite much hesitation, Renamon accepted and that is how tamer and Digimon had been living since then. Renamon felt grateful to Suko for sharing his bed with her, which was warm and comfortable. Suko also wanted to sleep with someone because he would be afraid of the dark at times, even though he enjoyed watching horror films.

Henry’s and Suzie’s situation was easier, as Henry’s family still saw Terriermon and Lopmon as toys. There was one occasion when Henry’s mother thought Terriermon opened his mouth, but she dismissed that as an illusion of lightning, as they were in a room that was dark, and the only light source was the T.V. screen. Juri knew that Leomon could not stay for long inside her room as he was too big for it. Her house was small and Leomon felt uncomfortable staying inside her room for more than an hour. He would instead sleep on the roof of the house. Takato had the hideout in the Shinjuku park, so he had nothing to fear except Guilmon’s impulsive antics. When Guilmon had gone to the school inside the cardboard box, Takato’s mom had seen the box moving around and went into hysterics, but Takato’s father had no concern whatsoever, much to her chagrin.

After the tamers had left from the battle scene with Skullsatamon, Juri was welcomed by another beating from her father. He had used a belt to hit her, leaving a red long mark on her back. Leomon inspected it and caressed Juri, who was tearful. Juri wanted to escape her home so desperately, even if it meant staying in the digital world for good. Leomon did not know how to respond to Juri, except that he believed it was up to destiny. That was not to say he wasn’t glad that she wanted to be with him. Calumon was with them this time, and Calumon would also console Juri.

“Calu… Juri don’t cry. Calumon and Leomon are with you.” Calumon would say, hugging Juri the best she could as her arms were small.

Juri yearned for Leomon’s embrace, and whenever it would happen her world was put back together. All her problems disappeared whenever Leomon’s muscular and enveloping arms would embrace her. She felt as if she was inside a fortress, a fortress that not even her dad was capable of providing. Whenever they would embrace each other, Juri would fall asleep, dry tears on her eyes. Leomon would carefully place Juri on her bed, put a blanket above her, and leave.

On another day, Suko had gotten in a fight with Hirokazu. Suzie was present. Suko was tired of losing to Hirokazu and being insulted and humiliated by him.

“You can’t play with the grown-ups, little baby.” Hirokazu would say.

“Hirokazu, when are you going to stop your animosity towards Suko?” Kenta would ask, looking at Hirokazu as if he was from Mars. “He’s just a little kid. It looks pathetic whenever you two fight.”

“I am not pathetic!” Hirokazu would say, pointing to himself. “Pathetic are those who lose on a constant basis and think they can defeat me!” Hirokazu said pointing at Suko and Suzie.

Suko had enough and it was his turn “to have the last laugh” as he would say.

“Psst! Suzie!” Suko called Suzie from a bush. “Come here!” Suzie came to Suko.

“What’s up Suko?” Suzie said, wondering what mischief Suko had under his sleeve. “I hope it’s not another one of your pranks.”

“No no! It’s not a prank, Suzie!” Suko said. “Pranks are for plebeians.” Suko said with a pretend affected air, closing his eyes and smiling an exaggerated arrogant smile. “They are sch-emes.” Suko said, enunciating each letter and savoring it like the chocolate he had eaten at school.

“Ok…?” Suzie said, frowning. “So, what is your ‘sch-eme’?”

“You see those shoes over there?” Suko said, pointing at Hirokazu’s shoes. They had taken them off as they wanted to play with the cards more comfortably. It was getting hot outside now. “Bring them!” Suko said, smiling that mischievous smile Suzie was most familiar with. Hesitantly, Suzie went for the shoes and brought them to Suko.

“You see that ant hill on there?” Suko said, pointing in the direction of an anthill. It had many red ants emerging. “If I put this candy,” Suko said, pointing at a peppermint, “inside the shoe, and we put some ants in, I am sure that Hirokazu will be an emotional punching bag for those angry ants!” Suko giggled as he finished saying that.

“Suko no!” Suzie said, gasping. “That’s really mean!”

“Hey, he also made fun of you when you lost. He called you a baby, and you are no baby, right?” Suko said. Suzie lowered her head and nodded. She did not want to participate in what Suko was doing as she thought it was petty and stupid.

“But you will get in trouble.” Suzie said, worried.

“What is he going to do? Make another potion and explode it in my face so that I get his same hairstyle?” Suko said, and Suzie laughed, nervously. Suko went towards the anthill, and using a nearby stick he put some of the dirt inside the shoe after having removed one of the coverings from it, which was lose. Hirokazu’s shoes smelled really bad and Suko had to pinch his nose.

“These shoes are made out of cheese! Jeez!” Suko said as he placed the peppermint inside. He then asked Suzie the put them back where they were and to come back. After Suzie did as Suko said, Suko reassured Suzie that Hirokazu would not even bother looking at the shoes before putting them on.

When the group decided to leave, Hirokazu put his shoes on. “Hey Chumley, you did well! But not as well as me, as is nat…” Hirokazu stopped himself after feeling the peppermint inside. “What the…?” He said, looking at his shoe and frowning. He then let out a loud “ouch” as the first ant stung him on the foot. Then another ant and another one and many more began to angrily bite at his foot.

“Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!” Hirokazu would jump with the other foot while holding the other. Suko started laughing at Hirokazu, pointing at him. Hirokazu then tripped himself, his face falling on a turd that was nearby.

“Not only are you good at Digimon cards, Kazu!” Suko said, laughing. “You are also good at dancing and making me laugh!”

“Suko! Don’t laugh! He is in pain!” Takato said. Takato then ran towards Hirokazu to help him take off the shoe. Kenta killed some of the ants and Hirokazu some others. Hirokazu cleaned up some of the excrement that was on his face and shook his hand to make it fall back to the grass. Suko then realized that perhaps it was not a good idea to have gone that far. When Hirokazu checked his shoe more deeply, he found the peppermint, which he held between his thumb and his index finger. His hand began to shake, as he was becoming enraged.

“Kazu… take it easy brother…” Kenta said, putting a hand over Hirokazu’s shoulders.

“Who did this?!” Hirokazu said, pointing at Suko and Suzie. Suko could not resist and he giggled. “So it was you?!” Suko then began to laugh even more.

“Dude! Why?!” Takato said, looking at Suko. He was distraught and putting his hands on his head. Henry just face palmed himself and shook his head, sighing.

“I am going to kill you!” Hirokazu said, and he ran towards Suko. Suko began to run and laugh. Suko had an advantage over Hirokazu as his small size gave him agility, but Hirokazu was taller and his legs had more reach. He was still behind Suko and Suko thought he would never reach him. Suko could see Hirokazu’s rabid face and that made him laugh even more as it reminded him of a Chinese dragon. He had gotten even after being humiliated, but something still did not sit right with him. The tamers were also chasing Hirokazu, being led by Henry who did not want Hirokazu to beat up Suko. Henry’s approach was always the peaceful one. Suko got into a small fair that was happening at the park, where there were many stands of fruit, sushi, sashimi, and antiques. Suko would get inside the tables and crawled through them to hide away from Hirokazu. As he crawled through them, some of the antique wooden buddhas and Shinto statuettes would shake. A small Inari figure remained where it stood.

Impmon had been watching the whole scene from afar, and he was shocked. “What in the world? That human is something else!” He said, aghast. Impmon then changed his expression and thought it didn’t matter as he was more mischievous than the human.

Suko kept crawling through the bottom of the stands, and when he finally exited, he faced Hirokazu, who grabbed him by the leg. “Come here you little runt!” Hirokazu said, fuming, but Suko kicked him in the face and Hirokazu let go. Suko kept running and Hirokazu did not give up the chase.

“Hirokazu! Stop!” Takato called. “Just give it up!” But Hirokazu did not relent. Hirokazu then finally caught up with Suko and pushed him to the ground.

“You will pay!” Hirokazu said, hitting Suko on the face. Suko was shocked by the punch.

“Hirokazu!” Henry’s yell was deep and loud enough to startle Hirokazu, who turned to look at him. Suko took the opportunity and punched Hirokazu back.

“Take that you idiot!” Suko said, pulling at Hirokazu’s hair and hitting him more times with the bottom of his fist on the face. Hirokazu and Suko tried to grab each other’s hands in order to block the other from punching. It came to the point where both Hirokazu and Suko were pushing each other’s faces away from the other. Henry lost no time and pulled Hirokazu’s collar to remove him from Suko.

Hirokazu was on the ground, holding himself up with both hands and panting. Suko was panting as well. Kenta dropped the shoe next to Hirokazu, who just grabbed it and put it back on. “You are a problem!” Hirokazu said, pointing at Suko. “Everything was fun until you joined!” Hirokazu’s index finger shook with rage. Suko took this in, each and every sentence. “Everything was fun until you joined.”

“Hirokazu, that went too far.” Kenta said, sighing. Suko began to tear up and left running away.

“Suko!” Suzie said, following him.

“You didn’t need to hit him, Hirokazu!” Takato said, shaking Hirokazu by grabbing him from the arms. “You have been a bit too hostile towards him.”

“He thinks he is the shit and that he is better than us! He is not normal like us!” Hirokazu said.

“You are the one who thinks is better than everybody else. I don’t like it when you make fun of me for losing at the game. I think you take it a bit too seriously.” Kenta said, adjusting his glasses.

“Both you and Suko are wrong, Hirokazu.” Henry said. “You for taking this game too seriously and Suko for being so petty about it. Both of you take this game too seriously guys.”

“Oh, so I am a villain now just because I punched that little freak in the face like he deserves!” Hirokazu said.

“Stop calling him that.” Henry said, firmly. Takato sighed. He did not like how things were going now. Guilmon had been sad after their fight the other day, and now Suko was angry as well. A question that resurfaced in Takato’s mind was if he was a good enough leader.

“What would Taichi Kamiya from Digimon Adventure do in this situation?” Takato asked himself as he and Henry walked in the park. Hirokazu and Kenta had gone their own ways. “Henry…” Takato said.

“What’s up, Takato?” Henry replied.

“Do you think that I am a good enough leader?” Takato asked. Henry took his time to respond.

“Why do you ask?” Henry thought that Takato’s motivations for asking were an important factor in considering his response.

“I feel like I am not doing a good job at keeping our team of tamers together.” Takato said, lowering his head.

“It’s surely a rough start.” Henry replied, shrugging. Terriermon was on his shoulder, while Guilmon was still inside his hideout.

“Momantai!” Terriermon said. “People will take their time to mature. It’s really not up to you.”

“That’s right. People have their own issues and as a leader you can’t expect to fix everything for everyone. But I do hope that Suko learns his lesson as well. He is a kid, but he is a tamer and he will learn.” Henry said, smiling. “Why don’t you go with Guilmon while I go with Suko to talk to him?” Takato nodded and both friends parted ways.

Suzie was sitting with Suko. She told him that she knew all along it was not a good idea. Suko took a deep breath, thinking she was right. “At least I gave him a lesson.” Suko said.

“No… That’s not right, Suko. It’s just a game. It’s so that you all have fun.” Suzie said. “We also have fun together.”

“Yeah but you don’t make fun of me as bad as he does.” Suko said, hands on his cheeks. Lopmon was next to Suzie. Suko looked at his digivice and hoped Renamon would come back. Renamon had told Suko she would be meditating, as she needed to. It was a routine she had which enabled her to retain her focus and increase her strength. Renamon had finished a while back and decided to go to the park as that is where she was told they would be at. When she saw Suko, she knew something bad had happened.

“Suko, what happened?” Renamon said, kneeling down to be at Suko’s level. Henry arrived as well, and they were about to talk when they heard an explosion. They all turned around towards the direction of Guilmon’s hideout.

“Let’s check that out, guys!” Henry said. The tamers ran back in that direction, and when they arrived at where the fair was, they saw the people running away from someone. It was Guilmon. He was furiously attacking the tents with his fire balls and his claws. He had the same feral appearance as before.

“I will stop him.” Renamon said, frowning. “Suko, speed! I need speed!” Renamon’s voice was quick and agitated, as Guilmon was charging towards them. Suko snapped out of his preoccupied state and swiped the speed card. Renamon managed to avoid Guilmon’s headbutt and jumped above him. Renamon then locked Guilmon with her arms. She had Guilmon under her control for some time, until he charged against a tree and hit Renamon on her back.

Renamon was fine after the hit. “Terriermon!” Henry said, looking at Terriermon. Terriermon nodded and used his petit tornado to distract Guilmon, who predictably followed him. Renamon took this chance to punch Guilmon on the head. This knocked Guilmon out. Renamon was panting, and she thought she heard a movement in the bushes behind her. She thought it was Skullsatamon. A minute later Takato came running towards them, crying.

“Guilmon!” Takato said, running towards Guilmon and hugging the unconscious dinosaur. “Guilmon Guilmon! What happened to you?!”

“Why was he acting like that again?” Suko asked.

“I think Skullsatamon was behind this.” Renamon said. “I think I saw him hiding behind…” But before she could complete the sentence, she saw Takato being hurled away by Guilmon’s tail. Guilmon was awake again.

“Bwahahaha!” The tamers heard the same echo laughter as before. It was Skullsatamon. He emerged from his hideout, his staff glowing. “I am afraid this virus Digimon is joining my army of ghouls.” As Skullsatamon said this, a trio of Snimon emerged from the trees. Some of the Snimon destroyed the tents of the fair, causing more panic.

“Terriermon! Time to digivolve!” Henry’s digivice glowed and Terriermon became Gargomon.

“Renamon!” Suko said, and Renamon became Kyubimon again.

“Those digivices are mine.” Skullsatamon said. “Hand them over and give up.”

“Another one of those.” Suko said, grunting. “Kyubimon! Show them what we are made of!”

Kyubimon used her Koenryu, which eliminated one of the Snimon. The other two produced four pink glowing scythe beams from their sickles, which hurt Kyubimon.

“Kyubimon! No!” Suko ran towards Kyubimon. He then swiped a card which gave Kyubimon more strength. Kyubimon got up and eliminated the other two Snimon with her koenryu.

Skullsatamon then hit the ground with his staff, and more Snimon appeared from behind the trees. There were too many for Kyubimon to take by herself so Gargomon used his gargo pellets to eliminate many of the Snimon. However, three of them attacked Gargomon from the back with the pink scythe beams, toppling Gargomon.

“Gargomon!” Henry cried. His digivice glowed, and Gargomon became Rapidmon. Rapidmon used his rapid fire to eliminate the rest of the Snimon. The missiles disassembled the Snimon’s information and Skullsatamon was left by himself.

“Just because you became an ultimate Digimon does not mean you can beat me!” Skullsatamon said, and he used his staff to beat the ground one more time. This time, a Monochromon appeared. Skullsatamon mounted it and charged towards Rapidmon. Rapidmon used his speed to avoid being hit.

“Do not underestimate me.” Rapidmon said.

“You Digimon raised by humans are weak! What do you expect!” Skullsatamon fired back.

Rapidmon then shot more missiles at Skullsatamon, which hurt Skullsatamon and eliminated the Monochromon. Meanwhile, Takato was trying to placate Guilmon. “Guilmon, buddy, calm down…” Takato said, backing away. Guilmon was approaching Takato, growling. His eyes had that angry feral look to them, and Takato noticed something else was not right with them.

“Guilmon… please remember me! It’s Takatomon!” Takato said. But Guilmon did not care and shot a fire ball at Takato. Kyubimon destroyed the fire ball with her Koenryu.

“Are you okay, Takato?” Suko called and Takato nodded.

“Guilmon! Please stop this!” Takato cried. “Please!” Takato put his hands together as if praying.

“Guilmon… bad…” Guilmon said, growling. Takato gasped.

“You poor fool!” Skullsatamon said. “I was able to possess Guilmon rather easily because he was so vulnerable! It’s your fault! You humans ruin everything.”

“What?” Takato said, shocked.

“Guilmon was open to my influence, because he was beginning to believe he was evil. You have yourself to blame, as you caused so much pain to this poor guy.”
Skullsatamon said in a mocking voice.

“My… My fault…” Takato said. He then remembered how he treated Guilmon that time, and his eyes got more tearful than before.

“Guilmon!” Skullsatamon called. “Finish that useless human off!”

Guilmon ran towards Takato, who was too shocked to react properly. Rapidmon got in between Guilmon and Takato and held Guilmon off for some time.

“Takato! Run!” Henry said.

“No! I will not leave Guilmon alone!” Takato said.

“But it’s dangerous now! Run! We can take care of it!” Henry replied.

Takato stayed. He did not want to abandon Guilmon. For a long time, Takato had also wanted a Digimon just like Suko. When Guilmon was born, he saw how innocent and baby-like Guilmon was. Takato felt protective towards Guilmon as was natural because Guilmon was his creation. But because of this overprotection, he hurt Guilmon’s feelings and made him vulnerable. He then remembered his questions about his leadership skills.

“I have to stay. I will not abandon my friend.” Takato said, decidedly. Henry was surprised at Takato’s resolve, and Suko smiled. But before Takato could say anything else, he was tackled by Guilmon, hurling him far and knocking him out.

“Takato!” The tamers called.

“Guilmon! Time to digivolve and take over this world!” Skullsatamon said, beating the ground with his staff. Dark waves spread around, and enveloped Guilmon. The dark energy became like strings which tied Guilmon. A dark purple smoke began to emerge. Guilmon was then covered by a purple cocoon of energy. The cocoon had red lines coming in and out, which resembled veins.

“I have a really bad feeling about this.” Suko said, gulping. Kyubimon frowned, preparing herself for whatever came. Rapidmon began shaking as the dark energy affected him.

“Brother!” Suzie went to Henry, crying. “I am so scared!” Henry was shocked by what emerged from the dark cocoon.

“Meet my new ally!” Skullsatamon said, lifting his hands to the afternoon orange sky. “Blackgrowlmon!” Blackgrowlmon loomed high above the tamers. His black body eclipsing the setting sun and his eyes glowing a menacing yellow. Blackgrowlmon then let out a loud roar that could make even the bravest of tamers shake in fear.

Chapter Text

Blackgrowlmon was led to the city by Skullsatamon. Blackgrowlmon’s size and irrational feral mind was enough to cause enough damage to the Shinjuku part of Tokyo. Newsstands, cafes, and some of the buildings would get damage from Blackgrowlmon. His tail would crush dango stands, leaving the owners of such stands jobless until the dango stand was reconstructed. One dango seller lost all his money because Blackgrowlmon’s tail crushed and destroyed all that was in the stand, the bills being shredded and the few that survived flying to the sky. Dango balls would fly off and hit people on the face.

“We can’t do anything to Blackgrowlmon. How do we stop him?” Henry asked.

“Let’s just attack Skullsatamon and try to ignore blackgrowlmon.” Suko suggested.

Takato was beginning to wake up. He turned around to see if Guilmon was there, but he saw nothing. Takato began to sweat profusely and quickly got up.

“Guilmon!” His voice ringed.

“Takato…” Suko told Takato what happened to Guilmon.

“What?! No!” Takato was shaking. “M-my Guilmon can’t be… evil!” Takato said. “Why did he fall for that?” Takato gnawed his hands and then squeezed his head with both hands. His body was shaking.

“Takato, we have to stop Skullsatamon. I think if we destroy him Guilmon will be back to normal.” Suko said.

“But what if he attacks? I don’t want him to get hurt!” Takato said, and his eyes began to show signs of tears emerging.

“We will do out best to ignore him.” Henry said, putting a hand over Takato’s shoulder. “But let’s go!”

The tamers went to look for Skullsatamon. Shortly thereafter, Juri and Leomon joined them. Takato wondered why she was out so late at night if she had a curfew. It was not difficult to find Skullsatamon as he was with Blackgrowlmon, who was causing people to scream in terror and the din of police cruisers and ambulances was loud enough to be perceptible.

“Bwahaha! You kids have come back huh?” Skullsatamon asked, mockingly. “Will you now hand over your digivices?”

“Never, you bonehead!” Suko said, pointing at Skullsatamon.

“We will never succumb to such a request.” Kyubimon followed, reinforcing Suko’s stance on the matter.

“Okay then. I guess my new friend can continue destroying your precious home.” Skullsatamon shrugged. “Go on you stupid dinosaur! Destroy the home of these puny creatures!” Skullsatamon produced a kind of energy whip from his staff and srtuck Blackgrowlmon with it. Blackgrowlmon showed some signs of pain.

“Leave him alone!” Takato got closer to Skullsatamon, who was in the air. Skullsatamon’s silhouette was surrounded by the lights of the buildings and apartment complexes.

“Shut up kid! You have no control over your partner anymore.” Skullsatamon turned to Blackgrowlmon. “Destroy this kid first!” Skullsatamon said, pointing towards Takato.

“Takato! Get away from there!” Henry and Suko cried. Juri held her hand close to her mouth, gasping.

“Takato! No!” Juri said.

Blackgrowlmon was about to strike Takato with his monstrous tail, but Suko had swiped a speed card and Kyubimon rapidly fetched Takato with her mouth and saved him.

“Takato, please run… Blackgrowlmon will murder you!” Suko urged. “We have to destroy Skullsatamon as he will keep using Blackgrowlmon as a distraction and a shield!”

“No! Never!” Takato insisted, fists clenched.

“You can die!” Suko insisted.

“I don’t care! Guilmon is my friend and I want him back!” Takato began to cry again. “It’s all my fault, Suko. I shouldn’t have been that harsh to Guilmon!”

“Rapidmon!” Henry shouted. “Attack Skullsatamon!”

Rapidmon used his rapid fires against Skullsatamon.

“Lopmon!” Suzie turned towards Lopmon. Lopmon understood what Suzie wanted and lurched forward with a dark twister. Kyubimon used her onibidama, and Leomon his fist of the beast king. These attacks combined toppled Skullsatamon. Skullsatamon was on the ground, recovering. After getting up, Skullsatamon flew and produced the same energy whip as before.

“Stupid beast! Attack those kids! Look at what happened to me because of your slowness!” Skullsatamon whipped Blackgrowlmon, who again growled in pain. Takato clenched his teeth in rage at seeing his friend was being whipped and abused like that. He didn’t deserve that, Takato thought. “Guilmon has a noble heart and he does not deserve to be treated that way!”

“Don’t whip him like that!” Takato growled at Skullsatamon.

“Shut up you monkey!” Skullsatamon then struck Takato with the whip, sending him flying back. Takato landed on his back, and he lost some air due to the hit. Blackgrowlmon saw how Takato was on the ground, hurt, gasping for air, and crying. The memories of what Takato meant to him came back upon seeing him hurt. How Takato fed him “Guilmon bread”, how they would both promise each other they would be together forever.

“Takatomon…” Blackgrowlmon said. His eyes began to change. A more innocent gaze began to appear. Skullsatamon, upon noticing this, became enraged. He pointed his staff towards Blackgrowlmon, and a dark energy began to flow towards Blackgrowlmon. This energy began to enter through Blackgrowlmon, causing him to growl. The growls seemed to be cries of pain. Veins popped on Blackgrowlmon’s neck. Saliva oozed from his mouth.

“Yes, keep absorbing this dark energy!” Sullsatamon produced more dark energy to control Blackgrowlmon. Blackgrowlmon continued crying of pain, until the cries became sedated growls. Then Blackgrowlmon became calmer, focusing his feral gaze on the tamers.

Kyubimon used her Onibidama on Skullsatamon, but he avoided it and knocked her down with a strike from his staff. Blackgrowlmon then produced a flame after roaring, which struck Rapidmon. Rapidmon was hurled back upon receiving this attack. Leomon took this chance and used his fist of the beast king to strike Skullsatamon. Skullsatamon blocked the strike and attempted to hit Leomon back. Leomon avoided the strike and produced his sword from its sheath and aimed at Skullsatamon. Both Skullsatamon and Leomon engaged in this weapon strike fight. Leomon managed to hurt Skullsatamon with the sword, slashing one of his arms. Skullsatamon clubbed Leomon and hurled him to the ground.

“Finish him!” Skullsatamon pointed at Leomon. Blackgrowlmon’s arm blades began to be surrounded by an orange plasma, and before he could strike Leomon he stopped. Takato got in between them.

“What are you doing you darned numskull!” Suko gnawed his hands in despair. Juri’s hands had covered her face, and slowly began to uncover it as the silence was prolonged. Henry and Suzie observed what was happening. Rapidmon and Lopmon too. Kyubimon was ready in case something needed to be done.

Takato looked at Blackgrowlmon’s eyes. He focused his gaze on them. The eyes of Blackgrowlmon were those of an animal, or rather, a demon. But Takato knew better. He saw in them, deep inside, a lost and scared baby. “Takato!” Takato thought he could hear Guilmon calling him. “Help me, Takato!” A vision of Guilmon emerged inside Takato’s mind. Guilmon was running towards him, scared. It was pitch black. The tamers looked at both Takato and Blackgrowlmon, wondering why they weren’t both moving. Leomon quickly got up and beheld the scene.

Suddenly, Blackgrowlmon was struck by Skullsatamon’s whip. Blackgrowlmon let out the loudest roar.

“Guilmon!” Takato shouted with all his might.

Rapidmon used his homing blast, missiles launched from his back. These were aimed at Skullsatamon. Skullsatamon was hurt by the explosion they produced, but he recovered and used his energy beam to strike Rapidmon. Rapidmon was badly wounded, his bits of information being on the brink of being disassembled.
“No! Rapidmon!” Henry was in shock.

“He will die.” Skullsatamon said, in mock sorrow. “Sorry not sorry.”

Rapidmon then degenerated back to Gummymon. Luckily for Gummymon Henry caught him in his arms.

“Are you ok?” Henry whispered to Gummymon while he closely held him in his arms. Gummymon simply replied with his customary momantai.

“Kyubimon, let’s show this ugly mofo who is the one who will die.” Suko said to Kyubimon. Kyubimon assented and used her koenryu. The attack was ineffective as it was hurled away by Skullsatamon using his staff as a fan. Skullsatamon then struck Kyubimon with his light beam.

“No! Kyubimon!” Suko said, running towards Kyubimon who was badly wounded. Her information was also close to being completely dispersed. Kyubimon degenerated to Renamon, wounds on her arms, legs, and torso. “Renamon! Are you ok?” Suko said, holding Renamon’s head and nuzzling it.

“Suko… I can’t fight anymore. I feel like my strength has left me.” Renamon said, her voice labored. She sounded like she was wheezing. “I am sorry.”

“No, don’t be sorry. It’s ok.” Suko said as he held Renamon.

“Leomon…” Juri gasped as she saw Leomon getting closer to Skullsatamon while he was distracted. “Be careful please.”

Leomon then jumped towards Skullsatamon after having bounced from one of the surrounding buildings. His fist was blazing with flames, but Skullsatamon, without bothering to turn towards Leomon, quickly fired his beam towards Leomon. The beam struck Leomon on his belly. This caused Leomon to let out a loud roar of pain. As Leomon was falling to the ground, he degenerated back to Tsunomon. Juri caught Tsunomon in her arms. Tsumomon was warmly snug against Juri’s chest as he lost consciousness.

“You did your beast, prince Leomon.” Juri said before kissing Tsumomon on the top.

Suzie’s Lopmon was retreating in fear as Skullsatamon eyed her. “S-Suzie… What shall we do?” Lopmon asked, her voice stuttering.

“Finish those two off!” Skullsatamon demanded and Blackgrowlmon went towards them.

“Suzie!” Henry shouted, terrified. “Run!” Suzie got away from where she was, pulling Lopmon from her ears. Lopmon did not enjoy the experience of having her ears pulled like that but she let it slide as they were in grave danger of being either roasted or slammed.

“Now that you are all weaklings, I will finish you all off in this instant and will obtain all of your digivices.” Skullsatamon said. He then lifted his staff to the sky, and the orb at the top began to glow.

“Now, die!” As Skullsatamon was preparing to throw his beam, he let out a lout scream. The tamers gasped as they saw an arrow of light emerge from his chest.

“Are you kids okay?” It was Yamaki. Angewomon was behind Skullsatamon preparing to shoot another arrow.

“Celestial arrow!” Angewomon shouted. The arrow flew towards Skullsatamon, who began to spin his staff. But the fanning was not enough to stop the arrow and his hand was wounded. Blackgrowlmon then surprised Angewomon with his tail, slamming her away. Angewomon quickly recovered and prepared to shoot another arrow at Blackgrowlmon.

“Wait! No!” Takato shouted. Angewomon was surprised and turned towards Takato. “This is Guilmon! He… He is just being controlled by Skullsatamon and we need to get him back to normal!”

Angewomon, in her distracted state, did not see that Blackgrowlmon lurched towards her and toppled her with a headbutt. Angewomon was hurled towards a building, her body leaving an indentation on the concrete of the building.

“Angewomon!” Yamaki cried. Angewomon thought about what to do about Blackgrowlmon. Meanwhile, Takato approached Blackgrowlmon again. Blackgrowlmon intently regarded Takato.

“Guilmon. Please. Come back!” Takato urged. “Please remember everything! I am sorry for being harsh with you before and making you feel sad! I regret doing that. Please!”

But Blackgrowlmon was having none of it. Blackgrowlmon was getting ready to attack Takato by slamming him with his tail.

“He is a dead man.” Skullsatamon said, smirking.

But Blackgrowlmon was stopped. A bright white light wrapped around Blackgrowlmon. Blackgrowlmon was beginning to recover that more innocent gaze. He began to remember his memories with Takato, like when he was brought to life, and how Takato cared for him by leaving food for him and Takato’s warm hugs. “Taka…” But Skullsatamon countered this with his dark controlling energy.

“Takato,” Yamaki approached Takato, “Angewomon’s Heaven’s Charm can bring back Blackgrowlmon to normal. But you got to do your part as well, especially as Skullsatamon is interfering.” Yamaki said. Blackgrowlmon was struggling. His head was in pain as was evident from the veins in his eyes. His roars were so loud that Yamaki had to scream so that Takato could hear him.

“What do I do?! Please tell me!” Takato urged.

“Keep bringing back memories! Anything! But do it now!” Yamaki insisted. Skullsatamon’s staff fired beams at Angewomon, who was able to avoid all of them.

“Guilmon! I was worried about you! I just didn’t want anything bad to happen to you! I care about you!” Takato insisted. Blackgrowlmon heard this, and images of Takato laughing and crying for him at night came back to his mind.

“Takato!” Blackgrowlmon shouted. Skullsatamon intensified his control beam while Angewomon intensified her Heaven’s Charm. The light was shining as brightly as it ever could, the energy of good flowing through it.

“Guilmon!” Takato said as loud as he could. “You are my best friend and I want you back! I will not leave you alone like that again!” Takato shouted after drawing in a deep breath. His shouts echoed in the city. Suko, Renamon, Juri, Henry, Gummymon, Suzie, and Lopmon all regarded Takato. Blackgrowlmon’s eyes fixated on Takato, and Takato looked deep into Blackgrowlmon’s eyes. Something that only tamers could understand was going on between them. Blackgrowlmon then began to shed tears.

“Takatomon!” Blackgrowlmon was then enveloped in the light of Angewomon’s Heaven’s Charm. The tamers covered their eyes as the light was intense. The whiteness made the city look as if it was broad daylight instead of the evening. A crowd of people oohed and wowed as the light shone.

“No! It can’t be!” Skullsatamon cried. “No! You can’t go back to that puny being!” Skullsatamon tried to use the beam one more time, but this time it was disintegrated. The light did not allow it to penetrate inside Takato’s partner.

Takato was surprised as he felt a heat in his digivice, which was glowing brightly.

“Calu!” Calumon emerged from a tree, the mark on her forehead glowing. Blackgrowlmon turned back to Growlmon. Skullsatamon’s evil could not touch him anymore. Growlmon then saw himself enveloped by a cocoon of information. His information was rearranged into that of another Digimon. He felt Takato’s friendship towards him more intensely than before, and that friendship provided him with the strength to finally digivolve. Growlmon was now Wargrowlmon.

“G-Guilmon?” Takato said, eyes humid with tears. The hairs in Takato’s arms stood on their end. Wargrowlmon felt the adrenaline rush through his body. Both tamer and Digimon let out a loud roar. Angewomon smiled.

“What? What happened?” Skullsatamon was lost. “This can’t happen to me!”

Wargrowlmon turned towards Skullsatamon. His eyes stared intensely into Skullsatamon’s. Skullsatamon began to feel the fear rush through him, and his skeletal body began to tremble. Wargrowlmon’s white hairs flowed with the wind. The metal cord hanging from his back flowed as well. But Skullsatamon was struck by Wargrowlmon’s intense focus on him.

“He is fried.” Suko said. Henry nodded in acknowledgement.

“You will come back under my control this instant!” Skullsatamon aimed his control beam at Wargrowlmon, but this beam was disintegrated. It did not penetrate Wargrowlmon nor could it control him no matter how many times Skullsatamon tried. Wargrowlmon kept glaring at Skullsatamon, who gulped.

“Take this!” Skullsatamon used his disintegrating beam, but Wargrowlmon destroyed it using his blades. The bits of the beam dispersed to the sky. Skullsatamon shook again. Then Wargrowlmon let out the loudest roar, which made Skullsatamon flinch. Wargrowlmon slammed Skullsatamon with his tail and hurled him to the ground. Wargrowlmon was going to step over Skullsatamon, but he avoided the attack and aimed another beam at Wargrowlmon.

“Wargrowlmon!” Takato cheered Wargrowlmon. He also felt the same adrenaline rush Wargrowlmon felt. “Finish him!” Wargrowlmon roared again and tried to aim at Skullsatamon with his metallic blades. Skullsatamon avoided all of these attacks. Skullsatamon flew and aimed another beam at Wargrowlmon. Wargrowlmon was slightly pushed back, but otherwise the beam did not have much of an effect on him.

“Take this you stupid beast!” Skullsatamon said as he intensified the beam’s strength. Wargrowlmon was being pushed back at increasing speed. But the beam was not hurting him. Wargrowlmon then managed to take a hold of Skullsatamon’s beam and hurled it to the sky. The beam disappeared after a few moments to Skullsatamon’s surprise.

“It can’t be! My beam was completely ineffective!” Skullsatamon said. Skullsatamon began to perspire. He realized his option, his best and only option, was to escape and call for help. He began to fly away in haste as he caught a last glimpse of Wargrowlmon’s glare.

“He is escaping!” Henry said, pointing towards Skullsatamon.

“We won’t let him get away with this.” Yamaki said. “Angewomon!” Angewomon nodded to Yamaki and produced a cross of light aimed at Skullsatamon. Skullsatamon was struck by the cross, which wounded him.

“No! Please let me go!” Skullsatamon said as he was falling.

“Atomic Blaster!” Wargrowlmon roared as missiles were fired from his chest, aimed at Skullsatamon. These beams struck Skullsatamon before he could move away, and he was blasted to bits of information, which dispersed across the sky. The bits got so far up that Suko could not tell them apart from the few stars that were visible. Most of the stars were obscured because of the light pollution.

Wargrowlmon let out another loud roar, feeling satisfied with his victory. Takato cried of happiness, and he congratulated Wargrowlmon.

“Wargrowlmon! You are amazing!” Takato ran towards Wargrowlmon. Tamer and Digimon regarded each other for a moment. Then both, simultaneously, let out a roar. Everyone present, civilians, police officers, and the tamers themselves, were in awe of the scene they beheld. All the other people began to clap and cheer Takato and Wargrowlmon on. Some of the people who were present recognized Skullsatamon and realized that Wargrowlmon was “one of the good guys”. Thus, they were not afraid of him.

Yamaki and Angewomon smiled at each other. The tamers got close to Takato and Wargrowlmon, who was beginning to degenerate to Gigimon. Once Takato saw Gigimon, he ran to pick him up and hug him.

“Takato! We did it!” Gigimon said, his voice cheerful.

“Guilmon! You are my best friend.” Takato said, tears falling on Gigimon’s cheek. The scene touched all of the hearts of the tamers. Tsunomon was barely waking up, and blushed once he realized that he was in Juri’s arms. Suko and Renamon looked at each other and gave each other a hug. Henry and Gummymon did the same, followed by Suzie and Lopmon.

Yamaki’s hand grazed that of Angewomon. When they felt this was occurring, they both looked at each other. Yamaki felt his heart was beating faster. Angewomon felt what Yamaki was feeling, and blushed. She wanted to hold his hand but was unsure and restrained herself. “It’s not time yet.” Angewomon thought.

“Takato, you were stellar!” Suko said. “Wow.” Suko made the gesture where his thumb and index finger touched each other, the other fingers spread. Takato gave Suko the thumbs up, smiling.

“Takato! You were wonderful!” Juri approached Takato. Takato blushed as Juri approached. He began to nervously scratch his head.

“Y-you think so?” Takato said, giggling.

“Yes! Of course! Congratulations to you too!” Juri said, also looking at Gigimon. Gigimon smiled back at Juri. Takato was hoping that Juri would tell him more, but she didn’t. She was more focused on the other tamers, wondering what was next. Takato felt somewhat hurt at this.

“Am I just some friend to her?” He thought. He was afraid that to Juri, Takato was nothing more than one more friend, another tamer like Suko or Henry.

“Takato!” Takato was awakened from his preoccupations by Gigimon’s cheerful and innocent voice. “Takato! Can we get Guilmon’s bread? I am hungry!” Gigimon said. Takato began to tear up again and nodded at Gigimon.

“I am so happy to have you back, my friend.” Takato squeezed Gigimon. Takato forgot about the issues he had with Juri and focused on the fact that he had his best friend back to normality.

“I am happy to be with Takato! Takatomon!” Gigimon said, nuzzling against Takato.

“You cry a lot man.” Suko said, frowning.

“Suko…” Renamon sighed. She picked the small boy up and held him in her arms. “You cry a lot as well.”

“Hey! Not as much as he does!” Suko said, pointing towards Takato.

“But you still cry a lot.” Renamon said. Suko frowned and looked away from Renamon. The tamers laughed at this scene. After a few moments, the tamers looked up at the sky. The golden portal was still up. The rings and the squares were visible and there were no indications of it disappearing or closing.

“How will we get there?” Suko asked as he saw Yamaki and Angewomon approaching them. “It’s all the way up there and now there is no way we can reach it except by space travel.”

“You guys want to enter there? But it’s dangerous! A naked singularity is not something you should treat lightly.” Yamaki said, alarmed.

“But we have to go to the digital world somehow.” Henry replied. Gummymon nodded. “We have to find the other tamer so that our team is complete.”

“It’s a risk we must take.” Takato said. Yamaki did not agree that the tamers had to expose themselves to this. The tamers then explained what Gennai had told them, and who Gennai was. Calumon was dancing around, happy. Calumon did not have any clue what was going on with the tamers and their situation. She was chasing a small mouse that was escaping from her.

“Is there any way we can use a spaceship to travel up there?” Suko asked.

“No! There is no way!” Yamaki fired back, causing Suko to flinch. Renamon frowned at Yamaki. “I will not allow Japanese citizens to expose themselves that way! No way! You kids do not understand what that is!” Yamaki said, pointing to the portal. “Reality breaks down at that point. The laws of physics as we understand them cease to operate and you could lose your sense of self or you could simply die or be transmuted into something else if you come close to that thing!”

“But how did Skullsatamon remain unscathed after emerging from it?” Henry asked.

“Yes! He did not get hurt or get transmuted in any way.” Takato continued.

Yamaki did not want the kids to get exposed to that. He felt it was his duty to prevent it from happening. What was worse was that he could do nothing about the portal, as the equipment at work could not handle such a spacetime rupture. Angewomon knew that Yamaki’s fear was still holding him back from what he knew very well was his rightful duty.

Chapter Text

Suko had another encounter with Impmon. This time, Impmon was caught peeping at some young children playing in a park. He seemed to be thinking about something else.

“Are you going to play another prank on them?” Suko surprised Impmon, who jumped startled.

“What do you want?!” Impmon snarled at Suko.

“I was just wondering.” Suko replied, raising his voice.

“Mind your own business, human!” Impmon jumped away. Suko decided to follow Impmon while riding his scooter. Impmon was jumping through the trees, seemingly unaware that Suko was following him. Suko had reflected on the talk that Renamon had with him regarding the incident with Hirokazu and the ants on his shoe. Renamon told Suko she had not forgotten about him crying on a bench with Suzie and about her question as to what had happened.

“Don’t think I forgot that, Suko.” Renamon said, crossing her arms. They were on Suko’s bed at the time, Suko hiding under the sheets. Suko was sweating and had trouble finding his words.

“What caused you to cry?” Renamon asked, placing her hand over Suko’s covered head. “You can tell me, Suko.”

Suko finally found the solution, albeit a temporary one: “Hirokazu beat me up!” Suko said, pouting. “He punched me on the face.”

“Really?” Renamon asked, surprised. “Why? What happened? Did he just do that to you?”

“No…” Suko said, hesitantly. “I mean, yes! He just got mad because he first humiliated me after I lost on the card game and I decided to teach him a lesson by putting ants on his shoes. I told Suzie to bring them to me.”

Renamon lowered her head. She knew Suko was still a quite young child, and that it will take some time for him to mature. But she wondered why he went that far. Renamon worried about Suko getting hurt because of such displays of what she perceived to be petty matters, such as a card game.

“Suko… get out of the blanket.” Renamon said, sighing. “There is no need to hide.” She knew Suko was embarrassed, because he knew he had gone too far as well. Suko slowly came out of the blankets but could not look at Renamon. After a pause, Renamon asked Suko: “Are you okay? Let me see your face.” Renamon turned towards Suko, who was looking down. Renamon caressed Suko’s cheek, and then cupped his face between her paws. Suko had his eyes tightly shut, avoiding Renamon’s gaze. Renamon thought about what to do to quell Suko’s embarrassment. She decided to first reassure him.

“Suko, I understand why you felt the need to go ahead and take revenge on Hirokazu. From what you have told me he sounds quite annoying and I know he has also been mean to you. I would also feel angry after a while.” Renamon held Suko close to her. Suko felt hesitant hugging her, but after some time he brought himself to do it. Renamon then resumed: “However, a game like that is just for fun. It is not a real Digimon battle. If you take it too seriously you will wind up hurt.”

“He said I was a freak, that I was not like everybody else.” Suko said, sobbing. “I am tired of people thinking that I am a freak! Why do people have to be like Hirokazu? Why do people have to be so judgmental of me?! I am sick tired of this stupid world!” Suko said, punching his bed. Renamon gasped when she heard her little tamer say he was tired of the world. For a while, Renamon was also tired of the world. Renamon was also reminded that Suko’s pain of being an outcast was very real and no petty matter. Renamon squeezed Suko even harder and took a deep breath, taking in the smell of banana shampoo from Suko’s brown hair. It was a sweet and innocent smell, and it pained her to see its source feel the desire to be gone.

“I am a freak too.” Renamon said. “I can’t really fit in with Terriermon, much less with Guilmon who is too childish at times. I barely know Lopmon. And I don’t really interact with Leomon.” Renamon said. “I am a Digimon and the one I am closest to is a human.”

Suko giggled. “It’s me!” He then looked at Renamon, who smiled at him.

“It’s you, yes.” She ruffled his hair. Renamon then remembered there was a lot she had not disclosed to Suko, such as her relationship with Metalseadramon, her suicidal ideation in the past as a result of the abuse she experienced, and her feelings for him as well. She felt remorse about not disclosing all of that information, but she felt it was not the right time. She hoped this would not strain their relationship as tamer and Digimon.

“Just remember to think before you act. It is easy to let your emotions get on the way of your thinking. You are a very smart boy, and I know you were fully aware of what could happen after putting ants on someone’s shoes.” Suko nodded as she said this. “And you have human friends. Henry, Juri, Takato, Suzie. They really like you. They were there at your birthday. Remember that.” Renamon held Suko by the shoulders. Suko nodded slowly, biting his lip.

So Suko had reflected what Renamon had said. There were still loose ends he could not tie, such as the meaning of being a tamer, or whether friendships could last. Even though Henry and the rest had been at his birthday, Suko was not a hundred percent sure that they would stay with him. The small possibility was something he actively fought to suppress, but the fear kept coming to mind. The experience was not pleasant at all for little Suko, and he wondered whether Impmon was going through the same thing.

“Impmon, are you lonely?” Suko asked Impmon, surprising him again and causing him to fall from the tree he was at. When Impmon recovered from his fall he scoffed at Suko.

“Lonely?” Impmon chuckled. “You think I care about being lonely?”

“Well, we all need company.” Suko shrugged. “I do, for one.”

“You do because you are pathetic! We are not equal.” Impmon replied. “I do not need any companion to be. I can be by myself and be fine.”

“I think that is a bunch of baloney. You want a partner. You just say those things because you probably can’t get one.” Suko said, crossing his arms, letting his scooter fall to the ground.

“Shut up!” Impmon shook a fist at Suko. “You think I want to be like you and that fox? You two disgust me! It’s so repugnant to see you two cuddling in the forest or you being carried or her being hugged by you. Bleh!” Impmon showed his tongue, tightly shutting his eyes. “It’s pathetic! Sad, stupid, and pathetic! Digimon are supposed to be fighting machines, not nannies!”

“We sicken you?” Suko asked, surprised.

“Yes! I wish I could kill you two so that I could not see that gross crap again! Or that dumbass dinosaur and that crybaby kid! Or that stupid dog Digimon and that blue haired fag! Or that hunk of a lion and his little stupid doll! Or that little snot nosed girl and her brown dog! Or that blonde perverted looking man and that angel whore! You all sicken me!”

“I feel like you are just jealous of us, and you want a human partner, deep down.” Suko said. “You just can’t get one and you are mad about it.” Suko smiled, triumphantly. “If you hate us so much why don’t you just kill us all already?”

“Well… Because… Because….” Impmon lowered his head. He knew full well that he did not want to kill humans, that he was merely bluffing. “Because I have not digivolved!” Impmon pointed a finger at Suko. “Once I digivolve, you are all dead.”

“You need a human partner, though. At least that would help you achieve your goal of digivolving. Renamon told me she felt more power when we fought together. Maybe that applies to you too.”

“That only applies to fags like you.” Impmon said. “I will show you all that I can digivolve and that I need no stinky monkeys for that.”

“I just don’t think you should be alone.” Suko said. “Even if you can digivolve without a human partner, it hurts to be alone. I don’t think I can be alone. I need others, and so do you.”

“I want to be alone! Do you get it? Now leave me alone!” Impmon turned, crossing his arms.

Suko felt like Impmon’s behavior was a cry for help, that whenever he said he wanted to be left alone he was actually crying for love. Suko tried one more time.

“I know! I can help you find a human partner! If it is difficult for you because, well, you are a bit scary and kinda ugly, I can give a good word for you and try and convince someone to be your partner.” Suko’s face lightened up, full of confidence and brashness.

“You called me ugly?! I will show you…” Impmon was about to lurch at Suko but he was interrupted by a boy’s call.

“Suko! What is that?!” It was Kenta, who was with Hirokazu. Suko looked at them, surprised. He then realized they had seen Impmon, who had fire on his hands. Kenta then began to shake and hid behind Hirokazu. Hirokazu was scared as well.

“Suko… is that a…” He slowly lifted a finger towards Impmon. This at first baffled Impmon, but he grew irritated and decided to attack them.

“What are you looking at?!” Impmon screamed as he ran towards Hirokazu. He and Kenta were screaming, hugging each other and crying for help.

“Mommy! Help us!” Hirokazu yelled. All of a sudden, they were carried away by two big muscular arms. When they recovered from the shock they turned to look up. It was Leomon.

“Waaaaa!” Hirokazu screamed. “Somebody help us from these freaks!”

Impmon was surprised to see Juri was there too, followed by Takato, Guilmon, Henry and Terriermon, and Suzie with Lopmon. Renamon was the last one to show up. Impmon saw himself being corralled and felt defenseless.

“Did this kid contrive of this as a trap?” Impmon wondered, looking at Suko and frowning. He then left the scene, running away.

“Get him! He is escaping!” Takato told Guilmon. Guilmon was about to run towards Impmon, but he was stopped.

“No!” Suko said, arms spread to the sides. “Don’t do anything to him. Let him go.”

“Suko, why?” Renamon asked, surprised.

“Yeah! Guilmon wants to know why Sukomon stopped him.” Guilmon tilted his head, puzzled.

“He is just…” Suko thought for a second. “Never mind that! Just let him be. He is not worth our attention.”

“But he was going to hurt you guys.” Henry said. That Digimon has caused damages before.” Suko looked to the side, thinking about Impmon. Suko had noticed the face Impmon had made, as if he had felt betrayed.

“Are you okay guys?” Juri asked Hirokazu and Kenta. They were intermittently looking at Leomon, who stood besides Juri. Hirokazu and Kenta looked at each other, as if acknowledging that they were in some kind of strange world. Takato then stepped up and decided to explain everything to Hirokazu and Kenta, his old friends.

“…and that is how I met Guilmon. The rest of them can tell you their story when they feel like it is convenient. But I am sorry for hiding this from you guys…” Takato scratched his head.

“We were just scared of you all being scared of us.” Terriermon said. “Not everyone can handle us!”

Hirokazu looked at each and every one of the Digimon that accompanied the kids he had known for some time. He was fascinated by Guilmon especially. He thought Guilmon was the coolest one.

“Is there anything you have to say, guys?” Takato said, scared he would lose his friends.

“I…” Hirokazu began, head lowered. “I… I want a Digimon partner as well!” Hirokazu ran towards Takato, shaking him from the shoulders. “Why didn’t you tell me a person could have a Digimon!” Takato could not speak as he was being shaken too strongly. When Takato was not being shaken anymore, he then told Hirokazu and Kenta that they could accompany the tamers to the digital world to find a partner.

“Maybe they can be of some use. “Suko thought.

The tamers then spoke about their imminent trip to the digital world. Henry mentioned that he had received a mysterious message last night, asking him if he was ready. The message had appeared on his digivice.

“It said that if I was ready, I could swipe this card.” Henry then produced a green card. It reflected sunlight and it depicted some kind of swirl pattern. The light it reflected gave it the appearance of a predominantly green rainbow. Only Henry had received the message so far.

“I guess it’s a matter of time when we all get it.” Takato said. The tamers wondered what would happen once they get the message and the card. Would they be instantaneously transported? Henry mentioned that it was a good idea to bring this up with their parents before anything happened. That way they were not worried.
“It’s time, guys.” Henry said, looking down. He was afraid of how his father would react, and he was not alone. Takato was relieved that at least his best friends were aware of the existence of their Digimon, so it was no big deal hiding their partners from them. The next step was their families, and the tamers had to individually figure out how to introduce their partner to their parents.

Suko had a good idea. His aunt was a woman who believed in all sorts of spiritual things. At one point she believed that Suko was a kitsune changeling because of how mischievous he was. But these beliefs were more tongue in cheek than anything serious. “I believe you are a very special kid.” His aunt would tell him. “You feel like you are alone in this world, but there is always a spirit or a deva protecting you. I can sense it.” Suko knew she would be open-minded about Renamon, and that it was a good idea to start with her. Then he would find a way to tell his parents through his aunt.

Juri had no good idea of how to bring up Leomon, and she really couldn’t care any less. She wanted to get away from her father at all costs, and if her father was scared of Leomon the better for them.

Henry thought about it more carefully. His father was a very meticulous person and he worried that his father might try to separate him from Terriermon just to protect him and Suzie. But he also felt his dad might be open minded about Terriermon and Lopmon. Takato on the other hand resolved to simply show up at his house with Guilmon like nothing was out of the ordinary. “If they see that I am casual about it, they will worry less than if I act as if Guilmon is something I must hide.” He thought.

Hirokazu and Kenta played with Guilmon, who was more than willing to be at the mercy of the kids’ whims. They would throw paper balls at each other. Renamon questioned Suko about what he was doing with Impmon again.

“I just saw he was lonely and I felt bad.” Suko said.

“But he could have hurt you again. He was going to attack the other kids.”

“I know but… I feel like he needs a companion.” Suko said, scratching his head. “He acts like that because he is jealous we have each other, Digimon and human partners.”

“You think so?” Renamon thought for a moment. “I really think you need to be careful. I don’t want you to get hurt, Suko.”

“I will be careful, but I want to look after him. He needs a human partner.” Suko said, firm in his beliefs.

Suko decided to look for his aunt and said goodbye to the other tamers. “I hope I get that message and the card. If I get it, then everybody else will. We will all go to the digital world! A new world! Your world!” Suko said, looking at Renamon, who looked forward as they walked through the alley. “Aren’t you excited?” Suko asked.
Renamon thought about the implications of Suko going to her world. She knew it was not the safest place, and that Suko would need more attention. She was concerned something bad would happen and she wasn’t sure Suko should go. But then she remembered that she needed Suko, and Suko needed her. She did not know how would Suko would react if they separated, however briefly. She felt conflicted about letting Suko go to the digital world because of the dangers, but she also knew that her tamer was indispensable for her to digivolve and become stronger. Besides, she thought, she enjoyed having Suko with her, and she would also miss him so much. Renamon decided to firmly talk to Suko, as they approached what appeared to be a big mansion. It had paper windows with wooden panes, and the roof was dark blue with shingles. It was an old traditional Japanese mansion. Suko’s aunt lived here.

“Suko. I want you to pay close attention to what I will say.” Renamon said, looking to the horizon. “We are about to embark on a very dangerous journey together. This is serious, and there is no guarantee of anything going our way.”

“Yes, I know.” Suko said, his voice subdued.

“Please promise me you will behave and you will not run around and cause mischief. We really can’t afford to get ourselves in danger.” Renamon turned to Suko as she said this. Suko looked back at her, and he swallowed a gulp of saliva. “Do you promise me that you will be nice and you will do your best at behaving?” Suko nodded, not uttering a word. Renamon’s serious tone made Suko quiet, as he did not know how to reply to how serious she sounded. Renamon knelt down and then hugged Suko, tightly. Her paw clutched Suko’s head, and she squeezed his hair. She took a deep breath and continued: “I don’t want anything bad to happen to you. That is all.”

“I will be fine.” Suko said. “I can be mature too.”

“I hope so.” Renamon said. “Anyways. I am glad we see eye to eye on this.” Renamon then smiled.

“Renamon, I am scared.” Suko said.

“I know. But we have to. At least let’s start from here.” Renamon said, closing her eyes. “You will have to tell your parents one way or another. You can’t just leave them wondering where you went. That’s not right.”

Suko nodded. He took another gulp and decided to lift his hand to knock on the wooden door to the garden with cherry trees. He placed a knuckle on the wood, which made a quiet thud. Renamon was hoping Suko would knock harder so that he could be heard. Suko’s anxiety was passing on to her and the emotion was becoming unbearable for her. She was tempted to knock herself but decided against it to respect Suko.

“Suko!” A familiar adult male voice was heard. At that instant Suko’s arm was suspended in midair. Suko’s eyes did not blink for that second which seemed like an eternity, as if eons of universes were passing by, worlds being destroyed and re-created. It was the eternal second that never ended.

“Suko, what are you doing there? And…” The voice quivered slightly, presumably when Renamon was seen. It was Suko’s father.

“H-hi dad!” Suko said this, his voice quivering. “How are you?” Renamon knelt down, eyes to the ground. It was a custom her species had.

“Who is that… fox?” Suko’s father said, frowning in curiosity. Suko scratched his head and giggled, sweating.

“Um… It’s a very long story, dad.”

Suko’s father was not as alarmed as Suko feared. Suko’s father, whose name was also Furanshisuko, wondered what his young son was doing with such a creature. “Is that one of those monsters who came out of the hole?”

“She is not a monster!” Suko said. “She has been with me for a long time already and she has protected me and taken care of me.” Suko’s voice quivered as he said this.

“But she looks familiar. I have seen her before… Now, where…” Suko’s father then remembered. “Isn’t she… your imaginary…” Suko’s father’s voice emanated surprise.
“She was not imaginary after all.” Suko lowered his head. “I am sorry, dad. I just needed to hide her. I was scared she would be found out.”

“So this is the famous Renamon you would draw.” Suko’s father said, turning to Renamon. “What are you doing kneeling down there? I am not royalty or anything special.”

“I am sorry for having stayed at your house for so long without saying anything, sir.” Renamon said, closing her eyes. “I think I should have said something. And I am sorry for scaring your wife all this time. I didn’t mean to do that.” Renamon felt so embarrassed after realizing she was speaking to the husband of the woman who would be called crazy for hearing Renamon. It was awkward for her, but she managed to sound articulate.

“I am very astonished that you exist.” Suko’s father said. “It’s not every day you get surprised this way.” After a pause, Suko’s father asked them this: “Why don’t we go to get some Ramen? I was out of work and feel very hungry now.” Suko, upon hearing this, his mood changed from brooding to joy. On the way to the ramen stand, Suko told his father of all his adventures with Renamon, or at least as much as he could before they reached the stand. He told him how they met, and about how they would stop the evil Digimon that would show up at the city. Suko’s father was relieved that Renamon had been taking good care of Suko.

“You are welcome to stay at our house as much as you like.” Suko’s father said. “You have protected my son and that’s the least I can do. You can’t stay living in that old dusty shrine! Suko’s bed is far more comfortable, right? Besides, it’s good that you keep company to this scaredy-cat kid.” Suko’s father affectionately put a knuckle on his son’s cheek. “It’s tough sleeping with him because he kicks you!”

Once they reached the stand, the cook greeted Suko’s father warmly, but upon seeing Renamon’s icy feral look he began to shake. “Wh-what is that thing?!” He pointed the ramen soup ladle at Renamon, noodles falling off from it as it shook. Suko noticed Renamon feeling uncomfortable at her being called thing. She did not feel like she belonged with humanity at large. Clenching his fists Suko responded: “She is not a thing! You boor.” Suko crossed his arms, frowning and locking his glare with the cook’s. “Her name is Renamon and she is nice!”

“Can I have the Naruto pork ramen?” Suko’s father said as he took a seat. “What do you want, runt?”

“I am not a runt, dad! I am seven!” Suko said, gnawing his hands. “I want the same thing.” Suko said, not looking at the cook.

“Say please!” Suko’s dad said, smiling. Suko’s dad noticed Renamon was still standing, unsure what to do. The other people sitting at the stand, who were talking before, all of a sudden had grown quieter. They seemed to be murmuring and making faces while giving the eye to Renamon.

“Suko, I think I better go.” Renamon said. “I don’t think I belong here.”

Suko’s heart broke when he heard this. “No! Please! Stay!” Suko’s heart beat faster. “Let’s eat together! You belong with me, even if others don’t accept you.” Suko did not want Renamon to be alone, as he knew how ugly that was. Renamon was astonished at how quickly Suko reacted. She needed that reassurance as people’s stares had triggered memories of how she was bullied in the past. She smiled and thought: “Thank you, Suko…” and then took a seat next to Suko.

“I wonder how my wife will react to Renamon.” Suko’s father thought.

Juri decided to show Leomon to her family the next day. Juri simply wanted to escape her home in any way possible and move on. So she did not care one way or another about her parents’ reactions. She was resolved on staying in the digital world if need be, and Leomon, although he disagreed with Juri about her staying there, still respected her wishes.

“If destiny so wants it, it shall be.” Leomon said. Calumon was on his head, ears retracted. She could sense Juri’s numbness but could not articulate why she felt that way. “Calu…” Calumon moaned.

Juri found her father drunk at the entrance of the bar. A bottle of sake next to him. He saw Leomon but laughed at him. Leomon was surprised at the lack of concern or even the slightest curiosity.

“What do we have here? My daughter dating this big burly lion man? What a vision!” He said, laughing. Leomon took a deep breath and realized how sad it was that this man who called himself Juri’s father did not even care about whether he was dangerous or not. He simply laughed. He was drunk, but he expected at least some surprise.

“Dad,” Juri said, her voice sharp. “I am leaving home.” Juri said, laconically.

“All bitches say that! And then they come back to us! They can’t leave without the dick! Ahahaha!” Juri’s father then spit out. “You liked it didn’t you?” Juri’s father asked. Leomon then glared at him, disgusted by what he had just heard. He then felt Juri’s hand on his forearm and turned away from him.

“Let’s go, Leomon.” Juri said, looking away from her father and Leomon. Juri then had a flashback: Her father asking her to take off her clothes.

“Let me take a good look at that cunt.” He would say. Juri remembered his breath smelling like cheap liquor. She remembered how he would put two fingers inside of her private parts. It hurt her. She was 7. Not just physically, but emotionally. He would also pin her down on bed and bite at her nipples, Juri feeling his hot and alcoholic breath crawl to her nostrils. The most recent episode was the worst for her. She had just turned 10. He pinned her down on his bed, at his dark room in twilight. As it went inside of her, he placed a hand over her mouth so that the screams could be muffled.

“Tell about this to anyone and I am going to kill you, you useless cunt!” Her father had said. He had choked her, slapped her, and ejaculated on her face. As these memories came to her, she clutched her head and screamed.

“Juri!” Leomon was alarmed. He was unsure what was going on. The monstrous memories inside Juri’s head had caused this. Leomon did not know what to do, other than tightly hug Juri.

“I will always be with you, even if no one else is.” Leomon said. “Juri, I will always protect you.” Juri’s hot tears stained Leomon’s pants, and Juri hugged Leomon, feeling his soft fur on his abdominals. She felt secure, and little by little she felt more relaxed. Her heart stopped beating as fast as it was when the flashbacks came to her. Leomon and Juri walked away and decided that the best place to stay was the old shrine.

All of a sudden, Juri got a vibration from her digivice. She read the message, exactly what Henry had read.

“Are you ready?” It read in 8-bit green letters. The green card was inside of her purse, and without much hesitation she swiped it.

“You can bet I am ready.” Juri said, cleaning her tears and looking at the distance. A dove was flying towards the setting sun.

Chapter Text

Suko’s mother was terrified when she saw Renamon. She could not believe her eyes. Her paranoia for her only child’s safety was apparent when she would try to call Suko, afraid Renamon could hurt him. But Suko clutched at Renamon’s leg, as if Renamon could be taken away from him at any moment.

“I want to go to the digital world, mom.” Suko said, his voice trembling, knowing his mom would say no, and probably ground him for suggesting such an outrageous idea. “We have to go, Henry, and other people from the school as well.”

“But you are only seven! What do you mean you will go to the digital world? How can such a place exist? Is that where this creature comes from?” Suko’s mother said, giving a brief glance at Renamon. Renamon did not take it well to be called “creature”, but she was understanding of the situation. Renamon was also hesitant about bringing Suko with her, but she knew full well that he had to go. And besides, Suko wanted to know more about it.

“Renamon will protect me. She has always protected me from bad Digimon. That invasion that happened last time, mommy, Renamon was there protecting me. Nothing bad happened to me. I am alive! She has been by my side all the time.” Suko finished saying this, sighing and snuggling against Renamon. Renamon merely looked into the distance inside Suko’s living room. The spaciousness of this place warranted such a glance. The carpet and the big TV screen contrasted much with the otherworldliness of this situation.

“But you are too absent minded, you might run off somewhere and get hurt, or worse! You are my only child!” She was crying, knowing that Suko would have to go. Somewhere inside of her she knew her son had to leave to that place that was strange and mysterious to her. “I don’t want to lose you. You are my world!”

Suko was happy to hear that, but he was not satisfied, as this was his mom, and by his reckoning, mothers had to love their children. Renamon, and his friends, did not have to like Suko. Suko wanted to be with Henry, Takato, and Juri. “I am sorry mom, but I have to go. At 12 am tonite, we have to be at the park. That is where we go and leave this dimension, mom.”

“I promise I will keep Suko safe. Even if I have to risk my own life.” Renamon said, bowing to Suko’s mom in the manner of a samurai to the emperor. This had an effect on the child’s mother. She regarded Renamon as a creature out of this world, but the pose, and her cool tone put her mind at relative ease.

“One day Suko will have to live alone. Besides, he will be taken care of and he won’t be the only one. I used to go to school at his age on my own, even though the roads were dangerous.” Suko’s father said. Suko’s mother sighed, and began to cry.

“I am sorry, mommy.” Suko thought. “Am I a bad kid for making mom cry?” He felt guilt at the sight of his own mother cry, but he also wanted to visit Renamon’s home world so bad. Renamon felt Suko’s guilt as well, but out of respect she did not attempt to comfort Suko as she would typically do. “I am sorry mom.” Suko kept thinking. “I am sorry I am sorry I am sorry!”

Suko had been plagued by guilt ever since he had use of reason. Whenever he would see his mother cry, he wondered if he was bad. He was always afraid his father would die or get killed somehow. He was afraid for their safety and well-being. Some people might say he was unhealthily attached to his parents, but in truth, Suko cared deeply for them. Suko had trouble articulating this to Renamon as he was preparing his things for their trip, but she nevertheless apprehended his meaning. He was packing a copy of The Neverending Story by Michael Ende, his Game Boy Advance with Zelda Link’s Awakening and with Super Mario World. He also packed socks, underwear, pajamas, his drawing notebook, a pair of pencils and pens, an eraser, a lamp, and a jacket in case they went somewhere that was cold in there.

“I don’t think you will have much time to play with that, Suko.” Renamon said. “But it’s up to you if you want to take that game and risk losing it.”

“Eh, I don’t think I will lose it. I will keep this bag with myself when we are out. Besides, the game is inside one of the protective pouches inside the bag.

Juri had been waiting on the park with Leomon for a while. She was asleep on Leomon’s arms, held by him tightly. She was distracted by thoughts of the digital world, and how would it be. She asked her prince Leomon to describe his world to her. Leomon described it as an enhanced Earth, with Digimon on them. Leomon in truth did not remember how and why did he come to Earth, but he chalked it up to destiny. Juri felt blessed she was having a trip with Leomon, the handsome and brave lion Digimon.

Takato faced a similar tribulation as Suko when explaining his trip to his mom. Takato’s mother was terrified of Guilmon at first. “Is that a dinosaur?!” She hid behind Takato’s father, shaking in fear. Takato’s father had no fear in him. He was captivated by the childish and puppy-like nature of Guilmon. He even dared to pet Guilmon, and he was met with a friendly smile from Guilmon.

“Dad, mom, I am sorry this is so abrupt, but, tomorrow at 12 am we have to go. It is imperative we go. Even little Suko is going. He called me to tell me as much.”

Takato attempted to explain his decision to his mom. Takato also felt guilt for having to leave his mom worried. But this guilt was in the way of him wanting to be a great leader and please his father, who was always proud of Takato. Takato’s father saw his son as a champion, and Takato did not want to let his father down. Because of this, Takato withheld his own tears and waited until he and Guilmon were alone.

“Takatomon, why is your face wet? It isn’t raining!” Guilmon asked, perplexed. “Don’t cry.” Guilmon got near Takato, to hug him. “As long as we are together we will be fine! And we got Guilmon’s bread too!” There was a small box with bread shaped like Guilmon’s face on the nightstand next to Takato’s bed.

Henry did not have any difficulties. The reasons for this are that Terriermon and Lopmon were adorable and Henry’s mom had an affinity for cute rabbit-like creatures. “I see where Suzie got it from.” Lopmon thought, reminiscing of how Suzie would play with her. What was more surprising for Henry was learning that his father was one of the men who had created Digimon.

“Are you joking dad? You, and others from around the world created these creatures? But how?” Henry was flabbergasted. Henry’s father, Janyu, explained how he and a team of people who called themselves the Monster Makers had created these creatures digitally. But that he did not think they would come alive. He was intrigued, almost to the point of wanting to go with the kids.

“Please promise me you will take good care of your sister.” Janyu said. Turning towards Suzie, he continued. “Be a good girl!”

“Momantai! Lopmon and myself will take good care of Suzie! I promise!” Terriermon said. Henry’s mother smiled at how adorable the rabbit Digimon looked to her.

Once the fateful hour arrived, the tamers met at the park. Suko had been waiting that part of the night instead of sleeping. Hirokazu and Kenta were there too.

“What are you two doing here? I thought your parents said no.” Takato said, surprised.

“Well, Chumley, what happened was that we simply escaped! We can’t let our parents stop us from finding our Digimon partners!”

“We are fried, Kazu.” Kenta said, cleaning his glasses with the bottom part of his shirt. “But I admit it’s worth it in the end.” Neither Kenta nor Hirokazu seemed to care much about what the tamers were about in their trip. All they wanted was a good time and a Digimon partner. Hirokazu saw Suko playing with the game boy. He was curious about what game Suko had brought.

“What game is that? I have one too.” Hirokazu said, coming closer to Suko to see. Suko, reluctantly, simply showed Hirokazu what was on the screen, illuminated by its own light. When Hirokazu saw Link inside a forest with octoroks, he immediately recognized what game it was. He was elated.

“What? It’s Zelda! I love that game, man! It is so cool! My favorite is Majora’s mask, because you can be many characters.” Hirokazu said enthusiastically. Suko still remembered the small skirmishes he had with Hirokazu, but his own excitement for Zelda made him forget that and he beamed with joy when he heard Kazu mention Majora’s mask.

“Yes! Majora’s mask is the best because of that! You can be a big fat goron and squeeze enemies down with a roll. What is your favorite mask?” Suko asked, his words quick as an infomercial.

“I like the zora mask best. It looks awesome.” Kazu said, thinking.

“You two are crazy, Ocarina is the best. It is a work of art. Majora’s is just a desperate attempt to re-create the Ocarina experience.” Kenta said this, fixing his glasses. This made Suko and Kazu turn towards Kenta with hostility.

“You are the crazy one!” Suko and Kazu said simultaneously, making Kenta cringe. Henry and Takato giggled at the scene. Calumon had followed them. She was on Juri’s head this time.

“Calu, Juri, are you nervous?” Calumon asked Juri.

“Are you crazy? No way I am nervous. I have been waiting for this moment for a while now!” Juri said.

All of a sudden, the park grew quiet. Not even crickets could be heard. At some points the silence was broken by the bark of a dog far away, followed by a distant car honking. Then a strong wind began to blow. It was so strong that Suko even fell on his back.

“Ouch! My ass!” Suko complained.

Then a bright light began to appear above the grass. It made a humming sound. Similar squares and geometrical shapes appeared, just as those that were on the portal in space.

“Is that a…” Takato pointed to the shape that was forming inside that light. It looked like a big saucer-like ship. It appeared to have no windows, and only one beam of white light emerged from the middle of the disk. Its texture did not appear to be metallic, or of any material known on this planet. It was a gray disk and no other feature was apparent save for the white beam of light emerging from the rim of the ship.

“Look guys! The digivice says we can go in!” Takato said, and the tamers all looked at their digivices. The same words repeated in the dials.

“You are welcome to step forward.”

This was the moment Suko and the tamers had been waiting for. At the same time, Suko’s guilty feelings resurfaced. He remembered his crying mother, and his father comforting her. He was going to leave them behind, and he did not know when he would see them again. Suko’s cheeks were all of a sudden wet with tears. The tamers turned to look at Suko. Renamon walked up to him, picking him up and tightly embracing him.

“We will be okay. They will also be okay. You are safe with me.” Renamon whispered to Suko, and then she planted a kiss on Suko’s wet cheek. The kiss was long. It came from the bottom of Renamon’s heart. She needed Suko to be calm. She wanted her tamer to be free from any guilt he felt. Thus, the kiss Renamon planted on Suko was drawn and it had a sweetness that can’t be described with words. Juri giggled to herself when she watched that scene.

“I want Leomon to do that! How can he do it? What should I do?” Juri wondered.

“Are you guys Ready?” Takato called the tamers from the exterior of the disk. Guilmon and him had already climbed up. The other tamers, Kazu, and Kenta, regarded each other, as if waiting for their approval. Then they all said yes, lifting their fists to the air.

Climbing the beam of light was easy. It was as if the light was solid.

“What is this stuff? It seemed to just be light!” Suko asked, poking at the wall of light. It felt solid to the touch, and the more he pressed on it, the more he felt a sensation of static. The climb took somewhat longer than they expected. The disk was actually bigger on the inside than it appeared on the outside. There was a hallway that forked towards the left and the right. In front of the entrance there was an opening to a bigger main room. The interior of the disk consisted of walls that were white and no other color aside from a light gray on the frames of doors. Suko placed a hand on one of the walls, and he felt the most calming warmth. Takato and the others did the same. It was as if they had been compelled to do so by an unknown force. Juri felt a calm she had not known in years. All of a sudden her troubles were gone for that moment.

The main room was spacious and circular. There was a central round table with cylindrical chairs. These chairs were stuck to the floor. At the end of the room there was a black screen, contrasting with the white background.

“I wonder what can that screen show us.” Kazu asked, hands on the back of his head. As if it was an order, the screen showed them their city, Tokyo, leaving them behind. The tamers were already in the air and they had not felt anything or any sign of take-off.

“Wow, we are on our way out already?” Takato remarked. The view of the screen then shifted towards outer space. The ship was already outside Earth. The tamers could see the white portal more clearly as the minutes passed. It turned out that that bright portal consisted of what appeared to be bits of space and time being torn apart at a constant rate. Space was so obviously distorted that it seemed as if it was alive. Asteroids would be transmuted into plasma, and then into pure light. But the ship the tamers were in was not affected in the slightest.

“Guys, is that some kind of monster?” Kazu pointed at the screen. In the screen appeared a formless entity. The tamers could tell it was a living organism because it appeared to have multiple eyes. The thing was not describable aside as a mass of tentacles and appendages. The creature then fused with space itself, after having become plasma and light. It seemed like any physical object aside from the ship that was in contact with this portal became a part of space or suffered some kind of transformation.

The ship then got to a point where there appeared to be many spheres reflecting other spheres. The spheres all showed different color patterns. It was at that moment when the tamers, in their own individual minds, realized an important truth about existence, but this truth slipped from their grip, and they grasped from something beautiful that they did not remember if it was a dream or a truth. The screen inside the ship then showed the tamers an expanse on a place very much like Earth. It was a field of dandelions. At the distance one could see mountains that seemed to be so close, but yet they were so far. Their tops were covered in snow.

“Well, it seems we are here.” Henry said.

“Henry, it is safe to step out. You should be able to breath like on Earth.” Terriermon reassured Henry.

Once the tamers were outside, they were greeted by a clean and pure air. The air was so different from anything they had at Tokyo. Juri took a deep breath and smiled. Guilmon pulled Takato’s arm.

“Takato! This is so pretty! Let’s run around!” Guilmon said, before falling into the ground with dandelions. The ship then disappeared, making the tamers fall to the ground. Renamon clutched at Suko and Takato, while Leomon managed to clutch Juri, Henry with Terriermon, and Suzie, who was clutching at Lopmon from the ear. Kazu and Kenta fell to the ground.

“What’s the deal! Are we nobodies to you all?” Kazu asked, shaking his fist.

“Sorry Kazu, we can only do so much.” Takato said, giggling nervously.

The tamers looked at the blue sky, which was different from Earth’s. It was blue, and it was a blue that seemed cleaner and purer. Perhaps Earth had a sky like this before the Industrial Revolution.

“Well guys, now it’s time to find that other tamer!” Takato announced, excitement teeming from his voice.

“But where should we go?” Suko asked, turning around and taking in everything that was around him. There were mountains on any side they could turn. It seemed as if this prairie was the middle of some kind of mountain range. Calumon floated with her ears expanded.

“Caluuu… caluuu…” She smiled as she felt the air of her home ruffle her own short fur.

“Look at who is calooing without any regard for our mission.” Suko said, pointing.

“I’d say let’s just go that way.” Takato pointed towards the direction he was already looking at. “I am sure we will find a clue of where to go. But we got to start somewhere.”

The tamers moved forward, for the first time in the digital world. Juri was curious about why everything felt so real. She picked a dandelion and she blew on it. The texture of the stem was just the same as that of an Earth dandelion. “This world is as real as yours, Juri.” Leomon said. “Why is it so, I cannot tell you why.”

Meanwhile, back on Earth, Impmon was left alone, in the park. He had seen the tamers leave. He also noticed that the portal still remained open.

“How in the world will I follow those kids if that thing is so high up there?” Impmon wondered. He wandered the streets, thinking about what mischief to cause while the kids were gone on their trip. But he was haunted by a sense of ennui that would not be quenched by harassing humans. Impmon wanted to find a way out of this world. All of a sudden, a voice from inside his mind urged him to go to the shrine in the park. Impmon followed this command without question and moved towards the shrine.