The soft rays of the sun filtered through the branches of the huge tree in the center of the lush utopia. The tamers and their Digimon twitched in their sleep as they lay on the cozy hammocks suspended from the branches. The giggling of the Floramon nearby caused Maya to stir. She rolled over onto her back and rubbed her face with the back of her hands while here eyes were still shut. She opened them slowly, letting them adjust to the light and found herself staring at the lush green thicket above her. Rockymon shifted at her side, groaning softly at her movements. After a moment Maya sat up and eased herself up and off the hammock. Rockymon slowly rolled down into the middle of the empty hammock, still fast asleep.
Maya rubbed here eyes once more as she walked towards the Floramon. One of the Floramon noticed and ran up towards her, the others followed, cheering happily. “Morning!” They tugged on her arms gently.
A table was laid out with benches, the same as the setting from the previous night. The sweet aroma of the nearby multi colored bell blossoms filled the air. Maya sat herself down on the bench as the Floramon dashed off, returning with empty bowls and plates and laid them on the table.
“Oh good, you’re awake.” Kazemon flew down to the ground next to the table. “The others?”
“Still asleep.” Maya replied.
“Oh, they’ll have to wake up if they want breakfast.” The fairy Digimon turned to one of the Floramon, “Would you?”
The flower Digimon nodded and strode across to the bell blossom plants. She tugged one of the branches with a bit of force. The bell blossoms began to gently jingle and chime, waking the other tamers and their Digimon.
One by one they stirred and picked themselves up off their makeshift hammocks. Rockymon shifted and rolled over and off, quickly regaining his feline balance and landed on all fours. He yawned widely as he scratched his back and walked towards the table, the others followed. One by one they made their way to the table like zombies, groaning, stretching and yawning. Kazemon met them with a wide smile, “Morning y’all!”
They each groaned a greeting back to her and the Floramon. Once sure they were all seated Kazemon put her fingers together and whistled. A moment later a bunch of Sunflowmon and the Togemon came walking with trays of food and laid them down onto the table. The trays were filled with large fruits but one tray in particular caught their attention immediately. It was filled with large portions of meat.
“Uh…that’s meat right?” Trask pointed to it.
“Of course it is. What else could it be?” one of the Floramon replied.
Trask exchanged a look with Duke and Alex then turned his attention back to the tray of meat, “But…where did you…” after a moment he waved his hands, “On second thought, I’d rather not know.”
“What, you’ve never tasted the meat off of the meat-apple trees?” Kazemon sat her hands on her hips.
“Meat…trees?” Phoebe asked.
“Yea, where else do you expect us to get meat-apples from?”
The humans exchanged looks with each other. “This really came off a tree?” Viola asked. “Look, I can take you there right now to prove it.”
Viola gave a sigh of relief, being a strict vegetarian. Rockymon grabbed a meat-apple and wolfed it down without hesitation, Midomon did the same. The tamers took turns filling their plates with fruit and the odd meat-apples. As soon as Duke had taken a bite of it he smiled, “This is pretty good!”
The team enjoyed a hearty breakfast before helping the Sunflowmon and Togemon clear up.
Maya walked up to Kazemon, who was supervising the others. “Do you think Shurimon really met this Ivymon?”
Kazemon unfolded her arms and gave a sorrowful sigh before turning to the tamer, “I really don’t know.” There was a silent moment before Kazemon spoke again, “But we, Digimon, need something to believe in, you know? With the Shadow Lords and all, we need to believe that there’s hope and, honestly, before yesterday..before we found out who you all were, I had no hope.” Kazemon turned her head to face the Floramon, who were giggling at watching Midomon and Rockymon quarrel over something or the other. “I had put on a brave face for the others, because they seemed so happy, so confident that someday the Digimon of Origin would return just like Shurimon said.”
Maya put a hand on the fairy Digimon’s shoulder. “I am happy you’re all here now.” Kazemon smiled at her, “Now I really do believe.”
The Togemon, Sunflowmon and Floramon all waved goodbye to the team as they had left the utopia, escorted by Kazemon. They ventured through the nearby forest, then a lush meadow which opened up to a wide field. Kazemon stopped. “See there?” She pointed to a thicket of dense jungle in the distance. “That’s Samurai Village.”
‘The village is in the jungle?” Duke squinted, shading his eyes from the bright sunlight.
“The village IS the jungle.” She turned to the tamers, “This is as far as I go, guys. I’m sorry I can’t take you any further.”
“You’ve helped us out quite a bit, Kazemon. We owe you and the others.” Alex said.
Kazemon smiled, “You are always welcome by my village. Remember, don’t be strangers!” and with that she flapped her butterfly-like wings and lifted herself up off the ground. The tamers and their Digimon waved as she soared off back to her home, a light breeze followed her.
The tamers turned their attention to the jungle thicket in the distance. “Samurai Village.” Max said.
“We should have some of you guys evolve, incase there’s trouble.” Alex looked at his Digimon.
“Griffmon?” Yasmin looked at her partner, who nodded. Rockymon, Vulpemon, and Maaumon stepped forward.
“Rockymon evolve to…”
Rockymon’s glowing red form was replaced by a tall, muscular black panther Digimon with boxing gloves.
“Maaumon evolve to…”
From pink light the little calico colored cat stood ready.
“Vulpemon evolve to…”
Vulpemon’s yellow silhouette grew to a massive sized purple fox Digimon with nine tails.
“Griffmon evolve to…”
Griffmon’s purple form grew into a lion sized griffin with a large mane. Two large wings sprouted from his forearms.
The team made their way to the jungle. As they reached it, Manxmon’s ears twitched. He looked around anxiously, but didn’t see anything, nor did he catch the scent of anything. All the Digimon, and their tamers for that matter, were alert and unnerved by the total silence of the jungle. Leoarmon walked on all fours, his wings folded at his sides, his long, lion-like tail swished from side to side as he thought he heard a noise. Yasmin clenched a tuft of his mane as she walked along next to him.
Youkomon suddenly stopped, her ears twitching back and forth frantically. “What’s wrong, Youkomon?” Alex felt his heartbeat quicken.
She gave a low growl, “We’re being watched.”
Manxmon, Mikemon and Leoarmon growled as they looked around, in the thicket nothing could be seen, until the shuddering cry came…
Scores of jet black feathers blasted out from a nearby tree towards the group. Youkomon leapt immediately towards it.
The flames on Youkomon’s paws and tail tips spread, engulfing her body in a golden emblaze. She hurled herself forward like a meteor, the flames absorbing the dagger-like feathers. As soon as she landed Leoarmon leapt in the direction of the source of the attack.
Leoarmon’s wings ignited into purple flames. He flapped them, hurling the fire into the trees. The sound of branches snapping was heard before a Digimon flew out of the trees. It was a large, black, crow-like Digimon that wore a purple mask and armor. The tips of its wings were singed and smoking slightly. It held two golden swords in its talon arms.
“Karatenmon. Wizard type Digimon. Ultimate Level.” Viola checked her device. The rookies stood close to their tamers, ready for an attack. Manxmon snarled, baring his teeth.
“What strange creatures!” Karatenmon said, in a light, masculine voice. He stared at the tamers, examining each one in turn.
“What do you want?!” Maya yelled at him.
“Me? I’m simply defending my home. The question is: What do You want?”
“Your home? Samurai Village?”
“Is there any other?” Karatenmon descended, landing on the ground before them, his swords held firmly in his claws.
Maya hesitated for a moment then stepped forward, Manxmon closely next to her. “We’re looking for Shurimon.”
“Everyone’s looking for Shurimon. What is your business here?” the crow Digimon turned his bird-like head slightly to the side, examining Maya fully. “What are you?”
“Human.” Maya said confidently. “We’re tamers, the partners of these Digimon. The Digimon of Origin.”
Karatenmon’s eyes widened, “Digimon…of Origin?” He shook his head, “Impossible!” Slowly he examined each of the Digimon; the rookies and the champions. After a moment his eyes narrowed, he was unconvinced, “How do I know you’re telling the truth?”
Maya looked at Manxmon. “We are the Digimon of Origin!” Manxmon said.
“Prove it!” Karatenmon said as he raised his golden swords.
“I’ll prove it alright!” Manxmon swung his arm in a windmill motion, stretching his muscles.
“Karatenmon no!” an unfamiliar voice called out from up ahead. A four-pointed ninja star, a shuriken, whisked through the trees, hitting a tree next to the crow Digimon, who didn’t even flinch. An odd Digimon ran up from behind Karatenmon, it had a spherical body with a red mask and a sword sheathed on his back.
“I’m handling this, Ninjamon.” Karatenmon said, still poised for attack.
“Attacking the Digimon of Origin? Now there’s a story.” The Digimon said. As he raised his arm up towards the tree, the shuriken shook slightly, ripping itself out of the bark and flew back into Ninjamon’s hand. “Don’t mind him.” He turned to the humans and their Digimon, “He’s the guardian of this jungle. Please, follow me.” Karatenmon lowered his swords, letting the group follow Ninjamon deeper into the jungle. He turned around and jumped up back into his post in the tree, “Hmph.”
The group walked for a good few minutes before reaching a clearing in the jungle. Before them they were able to witness the full majesty of the trees without the dense foliage in the way. There were wooden hut-like houses built into the trees, high above the ground with bridges made of rope and wood connecting each house to another. Groups of Ninjamon were leaping from tree to tree, carrying on with their business. They were too high up to notice their comrade below with a group of strangers. When they did notice, however, they all stopped immediately and gazed down at the group of Digimon with some strange creatures. They began to murmur and whisper amongst themselves.
“How exactly do we get up there?” Phoebe asked.
Ninjamon turned to face them, realizing that they might not be able to climb up. “Uh…well…I hadn’t thought of that.” He scratched his head.
“We’ll fly up.” Leoarmon said, turning to Elishamon. “We can take turns.”
Duke nodded, “Activate evolution!”
“Elishamon evolve to…”
From the dark pink light Elishamon grew into a large, dark pink dragon.
The rest of the champions reverted back to their rookie forms. Leoarmon and Enumamon took turns flying the humans and rookies up to a platform in front of one of the houses. Once everyone, including Ninjamon, were on the platform they reverted back to Griffmon and Elishamon. The other Ninjamon whispered to each other as they gazed at the unfamiliar Digimon and their tamers. “Get on with your business!” Ninjamon shooed them with a wave of his hand.
“This way,” he gestured as he made his way to the end of the platform and crossed the unsteady bridge.
“This doesn’t look safe.” Trask tested the small rope bridge. He took the first step lightly, tightly holding on to the rope at his sides. Equimon followed, treading carefully with his four hooves as they clanked against the wood. One by one tamer and Digimon crossed, each giving a sigh of relief after reaching the other side. Ninjamon lead them to an opening inside the bark of a huge tree. The tamers hadn’t realized just how massive the tree truly was until they were inside it. It was hollowed out to the size of a large room. There were even two windows carved out at the end. The room offered enough space for all the tamers and their Digimon. There was hardly any furniture, just a Japanese style low table at one end. In the center was a large tatami mat upon which a Digimon sat with its back towards the team.
Ninjamon walked over to him, whispered something and turned and walked out of the room behind the others. The Digimon slowly raised himself up and turned to face them. He was as tall as a man, with spring-like vines as arms and legs, each tipped with 3-pointed ninja stars. He wore white ninja-like with a mask covering his head and face, only revealing his glowing yellow eyes. On his back was a large 4-sided shuriken.
“I am Shurimon.” He said and gestured to the small table at the end of the room. “Please.”
The tamers exchanged looks before heading over and sat themselves down in traditional Japanese fashion. Shurimon waited until everyone was seated before he knelt down himself. “It is a great honor to be in the presence of the Digimon of Origin” he said. “What brings you all here?”
“We’ve heard your stories.” Maya began. “The tales you’ve carried with you after meeting with Ivymon.”
Rockymon’s eyes narrowed in slight suspicion, it suddenly dawned on him at all this mumbo jumbo about this Ivymon and the Forest of Fairies could be false. He looked at Maaumon, who seemed to be listening intently to Shurimon. He turned to each of the others, who were also engulfed. So he turned back to Shurimon with all his attention.
“We wanted to hear the stories from you.” Alex said.
“Yea, tell us.” Rockymon snickered.
“Who exactly is Ivymon? And who are the other elders of the Digital World?” Phoebe asked.
“Well, Ivymon is the queen of the Forest of Fairies. Her domain is that of earth and it is almost impossible to locate.”
“Why do you say that? You’ve been there yourself.” Trask said.
“Yes, but believe me, I was half dead when I found it.” Shurimon leaned back a little and closed his eyes, the memories swiftly flowing back to his mind. “I was roaming the Digital World, as always, for that is the life of a ninja warrior. I’ve traveled to the farthest reaches of the Digital World, from the frozen Ice Continent in the Northern Plains, the serene Toucan Island in the far west. One day, whilst trekking through a forest in the far Eastern Plains I was attacked by a band of brigands. I fought with all my strength, but alas, I fell.”
The tamers leaned in slightly, enthralled by the tale.
“I woke up, thinking that I might have been reborn and back at Primary Village, the village of all Digimon’s beginnings. But I was still me, a Shurimon. When I stood and looked around me, I was surrounded by magnificent pink flowers. Their stems though, as well as all the foliage that surrounded me wasn’t green. It was a striking blue. The leaves on the trees, the vines and creeping plants entwined around the purple tree trunks. Everything was oddly colored. And yet, it was the most beautiful a surrounding I’d ever seen. This was confirmed once I noticed the sky itself was a soft green. The flowers swayed as a gentle breeze passed me. It was almost as if they were beckoning me down a stone path ahead. I walked the path. As I did some of the flowers had changed their hues as I passed them, each giving off a pleasant aroma. It was sometime before I reached a clearing; a vast and beautiful blue field of pink and orange flowers.”
Shurimon shifted, adjusting his position to get comfortable.
“I was led my some mysterious fairy Digimon to a lavish, green garden palace. That’s where I met Ivymon. She had revealed to me the purpose of my being kelp from disintegration when I was attacked. She had explained to me that my purpose now was to relay the stories she shared with me to the rest of the Digital World. That Digimon now needed hope in the face of the Shadow Lords return. I was to settle in a village of my own and wait for the fateful day when the Digimon of Origin would seek me out so that I may reveal to them their destinies.”
“Intense” Duke leaned back a little, taking it all in.
“So this village, it’s yours?” Alex asked.
Shurimon nodded. “One by one, more ninja Digimon passed by here and decided to stay, giving up their lives as wanderers. Instead they hone their skills by helping each other, each doing their share to take care of the village.”
Shurimon quickly composed himself and cleared his throat, “But you’re all here to hear the actual tale are you not? I shall begin from the very beginning;
When the Digital World was born, Patamon was the first Digimon. After him, more and more Digimon came into being. One day an infection entered our world, threatening to destroy it. Patamon evolved into Seraphimon to defeat it, but alone he was unable to. That’s when the other Holy Angels were born. But by the time they combined their efforts it was too late. A handful of Digimon were infected by the mysterious enemy, a worm, the Shadow Lords.
In an epic battle between good and evil the Digimon Lords, or Holy Angels realized that they could not win. And so they willed their powers into nine newly created Digi-eggs, along with one stolen from the Shadow Lords. The ten eggs hatched into ten Mega level warriors, Gods of the Digital World and threatened to put an end to the Shadow Lords. They succeeded, but the source of their evil remained, threatening to spread into and corrupt the human world. The ten warriors sacrificed themselves in a desperate attempt to rid both worlds of the infection, but the Digital World had to be sacrificed along with it.
The Creators of the Digital World, five humans, saved the data of the ten Digimon who, in themselves held the data for all other Digimon of purity, but their contact with the Shadow Lords also meant that the carried with them the data of all Digimon of evil intent. They became known as the ten Digimon of Origin.”
“Intense.” Yasmin commented. She looked at Griffmon at her side. Selena also exchanged looks with her Digimon, “All this really happened?”
“It’s all true.” Alex replied. “A friend of ours accidentally unleashed the Digital World back into cyberspace. He and his partners, the new Creators, created all our Digimon’s forms leading up to Mega level.”
“You see, when the Digimon Lords created our Digimon’s eggs, they willed into them all their powers, their data, their very existence. The eggs hatched into Mega level Digimon. All their other levels, rookie, champion etcetera, had to be created. And here they are.” Trask added.
“Wow” Selena said.
“The stories Ivymon told you…” Viola said.
“Ah yes. We were getting to that.” Shurimon began once more. “Ivymon had told me about the story of the Digimon of Origin, and that one day they would return, but in their lesser forms. The Digimon of Origin would be born to ten chosen humans, who would assist them in progressing to their Mega forms, so that they would defeat the Shadow Lords.” Shurimon took a moment, then looked at each of the tamers in turn, “Tamers, in order for your Digimon to attain their remaining levels, you and your Digimon have to proves yourselves worthy of your Digimon’s Origins.”
“Wait, what now? Origins?” Trask asked.
“The Origins are the essence of your Digimon’s Mega forms. It is said that they are scattered across the ten realms of the Digital World.”
“Great, we should just go find them then.” Max crossed his arms behind his head.
“Did you not hear what Shurimon just said?” Alex glared at Max. “Only if we prove ourselves we can find them.”
“I heard what he said.” Max retorted, “But who says we haven’t proved ourselves yet? We’ve fought so many Digimon already.”
“We?” At this point Alex was almost leaning over the table, his voice rising. “You practically just joined this club yesterday! You don’t even know of half the battles we’ve fought before you came along!”
Selena, Yasmin and their Digimon shifted backwards in their seats a bit. Selena looked at Viola, who shook her head slightly and folded her arms.
“Well why don’t you tell me about half of the Digimon you’ve fought!” Max leaned from across the small table.
“Why don’t I just show you?” Alex rose to his feet and clenched his fists.
“Bring it!” Max shot out of his seat.
“GUYS!” Maya jumped up, Rockymon rose to his feet beside her. “What the hell is wrong with the two of you?” she shot a look at Alex and Max, then sighed, “We have to work together, we’re a team, whether we like it or not.”
Alex and Max glared at each other for a moment until Shurimon cleared his throat. The two sat back down slowly, turning their attention back to the ninja Digimon. Maya and Rockymon sat themselves back down as well.
“Attaining each level of evolution requires you to pass a test. But each test is unique to the Digimon and tamer, therefore I cannot tell you what is required.” Shurimon rose to his feet and walked across the room and looked out of the window. Duke, Trask, Selena and Yasmin glanced at Alex and Max, the tension of the standoff still lingering.
“Is there anything else you can tell us, Shurimon?” Maya asked.
“Hmm…I’m afraid not.” Shurimon turned to face the group, “I believe I’ve relayed to you that which you need to know. I haven’t more information for you. I trust you will relay all that you’ve learnt to the final members of your team?”
“Of course.” Phoebe smiled and nodded.
Maya sighed. “Where do we go from here?” she asked the group.
“We gonna search the entire Digital World looking for the last tamer and Digimon of Origin?” Trask voiced his thoughts.
“That’ll take forever!” Phoebe sighed.
“Where do we even start?” Yasmin added.
“Never give up!” Shurimon walked across the room back to the table. “Don’t ever give up. No matter what, there’s always hope, always.”
The team had thanked Shurimon, the Ninjamon and even Karatenmon as they left the tree-house village and the lush jungle in which it was hidden. Alex held up his D-Ark device, accessing the compass function. After a moment he pointed to the opposite direction to the one from which they came, “We go that way, north.”
“How do you know?” Trask asked.
“I’m not sure why exactly, but I have this hunch…”
“Great, a hunch…” Max said quietly.
“I feel it too.” Vulpemon said.
“Good enough for me.” Duke said, Elishamon nodded cheerfully.
“Wait a second, who the hell made him team leader?” Max said.
“Max, calm down.” Viola said.
“Calm down? This place is riddled with Digimon we probably can’t defeat yet. We’re gonna get ourselves killed over a hunch?”
“Max, it’s alright.” Midomon tried to assure him, tugging at his jeans.
Maya shot a look at Max, knowing he was going to make a scene. She turned to Alex, who was clearly trying to distract himself by still looking at the compass on his D-Ark. Maya quickly placed a hand on his shoulder and felt him shake slightly with rage. “Just ignore him,” she said. “He’s all talk.”
She turned to the others, “Let’s go.” She, Alex, Vulpemon and Rockymon began walking in the direction Alex had decided to go. One by one the others followed, leaving Max and Midomon still standing in the same place.
“You believe this? He just decided on a random direction and they followed him like puppies!” Max vented to his Digimon.
“But Max, we’re a team. We need to stick together.” Midomon said.
“Team? That’s not a team. A team works together, that idiot just decided to be the leader, and they let him!” Max flailed his arms.
Midomon sighed, “Max, we can’t get stronger without them. I can’t become stronger without them. Please, let’s just go.”
After a moment Max gave a long sigh, “Alright.” And with that Max and Midomon followed the rest of the team.