“This should be interesting” Hippolytamon murmured to herself as she gazed upon her new rival, the Ultimate level Tefnumon, who levitated effortlessly above the rooftop without having to flap her shimmering white wings. Beams of light shone through the eyeholes of the golden lionness mask that covered her face.
For the longest time the two felines faced off, each waiting for the other to make the first move. Manxmon and Leoarmon looked on from a nearby rooftop as the tamers and the other Digimon watched from Viola’s apartment balcony.
“She…She’s so beautiful!,” A smile beamed on Phoebe’s face at seeing her Digimon evolve once more.
Hippolytamon lost her patience. She roared loudly, “Pink Cannon!”
The beam blasted forth but Tefumon glided to one side and let the beam continue into the empty sky before dissapating. Hippolytamon growled and leapt towards the smaller Ultimate. Tefnumon readied herself and clawed the black feline with long, sharp claws as she jumped upon her. Hippolytamon yowled and jumped back, examining the deep cuts inflicted on her forelegs and paws.
The sky suddenly began to lighten. Crescemon and the others observed the sudden change. “Is Tefnumon doing that?” Trask asked.
“I’m not sure.” Crescemon replied.
The brightening sky caught the attention of the Digimon on the battlefield.
All at once a flash of blinding white light. Hippolytamon knelt down and shielded her gaze with her paws. Crescemon turned away and covered her eyes with her arm.
The light slowly faded. Crescemon turned around. To her surprise the tamers and rookies were missing. She turned towards the rooftops where the champions and Tefnumon were. They too had mysteriously disappeared. Only Hippolytamon remained, and she was just as surprised and confused as Crescemon was.
Manxmon groaned as he stirred. He opened his eyes and slowly pushed to his feet. Leoarmon did the same. The tamers slowly awoke, each noticing the ground they laid on was not the tiled floor of Viola’s apartment, but cold, hard ground and dirt. Each of them stood up slowly, examining their unfamiliar surroundings. The air was oddly humid and smelled slightly sulphuric.
“Where the hell are we?” Trask rubbed the back of his neck, which for some strange reason had begun to ache without warning. The tamers and their Digimon had found themselves in the middle of a dark and gloomy forest of dead trees and foliage. The sky was an eerie mix of grey and red.
“The Digital World,” Vulpemon said.
“What?! Are you sure?” Alex was nonplussed. Vulpemon nodded, her fur stood on end and her ears twitched. All of the Digimon were uneasy and alert, looking around with suspicion. They sensed something nearby.
“I don’t like this,” Maya said. Alex held her hand in his to assure her, and Manxmon stood close.
Suddenly the sound of hands clapping was heard. The Digimon and tamers immediately turned towards the direction of the noise. From the shadows of the dead tree trunks a silhouette walked towards the group. As he came into sight, the tamers and Digmon gasped. Somehow they all instantly knew who he was. That gut feeling arose in each of them of something utterly sinister. They had only felt it once before, with one other Digimon, Lilithmon.
This Digimon, they knew, was another one of the Shadow Lords. He was tall and slightly lanky, covered in black clothing with a black leather biker jacket which had a fluffy white fur collar. Sharp spikes sat at the edges of his boots. He also wore a deep purple helmet-like mask, his scheming red eyes showed through eyeholes, with a third cat-like eye in the centre. He had dirty blonde hair and pale blue-grey skin.
“Well done, guys,” the figure stepped towards them, continuing to clap his hands. His voice wasn’t as deep as they expected, but mischevious all the same.
“I thought you’d never make it back here. I thought that stupid portal would be closed forever!” He crossed his awkwardly long arms. “No need to check those little gadgets of yours. Let me introduce myself.”
The tamers couldn’t consult with their D-Arks if they wanted to, each of them were all frozen with fear.
“I am Beelzemon. One fifth of the Shadow Lords group, naturally,” he gave a small bow before continuing, “And I gotta say it’s a real treat to stand before all of you’s guys and your pathetic little humans.
Manxmon growled, “You summoned us here?”
“Me? Heck no! Unfortunately I don’t have that kind of power. Besides, didn’t your little angel friends tell you the gate can only be opened from your world?” Beelzemon began casually circling the group with his hands folded behind his back. “But, I’ll tell ya this much, whatever did bring you here has gotta get their GPS sorted out.”
“You can’t destroy us!” Phoebe yelled out.
Beelzemon stopped and sighed, “Actually little girl I can. I’m just choosing not to right now. Wouldn’t be fair. None of you’s Digimon are strong enough to put up much of a fight. But I’ll give ya a chance. There’s five of us Shadow Lords, right? And there’s ten of you’s Digimon of Origin. Which means two Origins a piece. I’m gonna give you a chance to prove which two Origins I should take eventually. Which two Origins are worth the great and all powerful Beelzemon having!”
“What?” Alex said.
“What, your little Digimon don’t have any fight in them?” Beelzemon smiled.
“Oh they’ve got fight in them alright!” Maya retorted.
“And they’re gonna prove it!” Yasmin added. Each tamer held up their device.
“Manxmon matrix evolve to…Pantheromon!”
“Leoarmon matrix evolve to…Harpiamon!”
The rookies rushed forth, each engulfed in the colors that represented them. Their champion levels flashed, briefly taking their places before beginning the evolution process once more…
“Heraldimon matrix evolve to…Rosatimon!”
“Elishamon matrix evolve to…Hesperimon!”
“Midomon matrix evolve to…Iliamon!”
“Tulamon matrix evolve to…Demeramon!”
“Vedamon matrix evolve to…Asvimon!”
“Equimon matrix evolve to…EpiCentarumon!”
“Vulpemon matrix evolve to…Zerdamon!”
The ten ultimates surrounded their tamers. Beelzemon looked unimpressed as he examined each of them, some of which were pretty massive in size compared to himself. He crossed his arms, “Alright, impress me.” And with that Beelzemon turned around and walked away slowly.
“Iliamon, Demeramon and Hesperimon, protect Maya and the others,” Pantheromon ordered.
The three ultimates nodded and remained as they were. The rest charged forwards, the ground shaking under their bulk.
Rosatimon dashed forth, dagger in hand. She slashed at Beelzemon with lightning speed coming to a stop ahead of him. “Hmph.” She turned around, “Wha-?” noticing she didn’t even leave a scratch on the mega.
Zerdamon came up behind Beelzemon, tossing a handful of the spelltags in her hand. As soon as the tags made contact with him each exploded. The smoke subsided, but Beelzemon was still smiling his wicked smile. “Two down, eight to go!” he said.
“Try this! Trojan Blade!”
EpiCentarumon leapt forth, summoning a sword of red light in his hands. He slashed away at the mega Digimon, who merely leapt forwards and drop kicked the centaur, sending him tumbling to the side.
Harpiamon let out a deafening cry. The ground vibrated under the frequency. The sonic waves didn’t as much as harm Beelzemon, but the sound alone annoyed him, and he covered his ears, “Ugh, that’s terrible!”
Tefnumon flew up and began her slashing assault. By now Beelzemon had grown irritated. He let his fist fly, slamming into Tefnumon and sending her flying towards her comrades. EpiCentarumon was able to catch her.
“Ugh! The five of you’s are completely useless! Your Origins can go to any of the others! Pathetic!” he waved his arms in the air, slightly frustrated. “Okay, let’s see what the rest of you got”
The Ultimates exchanged looks with each other. “Not even a scratch.” Rosatimon said. “What are we going to do now?”
“We need to find a way out of here.” Zerdamon said.
“We don’t even know where ‘here’ is.”
“Not even so much as a dent on this guy!” Trask said from where he and the other tamers stood.
“We gotta find a way out of here,” Alex said as he looked around on his D-Ark’s screen.
“I got a feeling if Beelzemon so much as flicks his finger at our Digimon they’re toast.” Davis said.
“Remember, he can’t kill them, not yet.” Phoebe said.
“Maybe not our Digimon but he can certainly kill us if he wanted.” Viola added.
Asvimon took a deep breath, finally exhaling a torrent of fire from his mouth. His four palms also blasted forth streams of flames. The flames engulfed the mega, surrounding him in a deadly fiery tornado.
After a moment the flames died down, but Beelzemon still stood, his clothing slightly singed and an unimpressed look on his face, “Gee, getting a little hot in here, don’t cha think?”
Pantheromon summoned a ball of dark energy in his maw, releasing it straight at the mega. A dark explosion followed as it struck Beelzemon, but a moment later he stood yet again, “Alright, that one tickled a bit.”
Beelzemon dusted himself off as the ultimates and their humans looked on in terror. “You’s guys got enthusiasm, I’ll give ya that. Ya just lack a little something. Now what was it again? Oh yea! Power! It seems like you don’t know what that is. So I’ll show you!”
The Ultimates tensed up. The tamer’s D-Arks began to go wild, flashing and beeping with Ophanimon’s voice sounding, “DANGER! Opponent Limit Activated!”
In the dead silence, the sound of roaring and footsteps were heard in the distance. The ground began to tremble as the sounds became louder and louder. The Ultimates surrounded the group of tamers once more. The humidity that lingered in the air ceased and the air grew cold. Five great shadows became apparent as the footsteps became louder. The rushing sounds of steps ceased as the summoned creatures were finally upon the group, five great skeletal, winged beasts, black vapors resonating from the bright red DigiCores behind their ribcages.
“Ain’t they beautiful?” Beelzemon squealed.
“SkullBaluchimon, Ultimate level Undead Digimon. They once roamed the Digital World in great herds until a great evil destroyed them…”Alex read out his D-Ark.
“Wait, wait! I know this one!” Beelzemon interrupted, ” ‘A great evil destroyed them and placed a curse which revived the data of their dead corpses.’ That’s my favorite part!”
“You’re insane!” Maya shouted.
“Hmm, nah. Not insane. Just…greedy. Very, very greedy! But enough talk! Get em’ boys!” Beelzemon ordered. The SkullBaluchimon inched towards the group.
At her will a barrier of light surrounded the humans, shielding them. The ultimates each leapt forth, two upon each SkullBaluchimon.
Pantheromon and Rosatimon’s attacks hit home, causing less damage than they had expected. “But- they’re Ultimate level, like us. They shouldn’t be that powerful.”
Demeramon let loose torrents of icy cold water from her palms just as Iliamon slammed his fists into one of the SkullBaluchimon. The creature tumbled over without so much as a groan. But slowly pushed to its feet again. “They’re nothing but puppets!” Demeramon said.
Harpiamon leapt into the sky, the feathers on the tips of his arms lighting up. He threw them masterfully at the behemoth, each exploding in purple light as it made contact. EpiCentarumon leapt in and slashed with his sword. Dents and a deep impression were left on the bones of this SkullBaluchimon’s legs, but it didn’t make a sound. “The core.” EpiCentarumon said. “We must target their DigiCores!”
Hesperimon flapped her wings as she inhaled deeply. A blast of molten rock flew forth from her maw, engulfing the creature she faced in molten lava. Following that her maw summoned a blast of frozen air, solidifying the lava instantly.
Tefnumon flew up and outstretched her arms. six beams shot forth from the tips of her six claws, aimed right at the SkullBaluchimon’s DigiCore, which glowed slightly through the ice. The light penetrated the ice, causing it to crack and whine. But the beams went through the DigiCore, and it exploded in its rib chamber. SkullBaluchimon exploded into data fragments.
“What?!” Beelzemon’s eyes widened. “No! My baby!”
Beelzemon absorbed the data fragments before Hesperimon or Tefnumon could. He growled, “Well don’t just stand there, attack them too!”
The remaining four SkullBaluchimon rushed forwards, each tackling the larger ultimates, Pantheromon, Asvimon, Iliamon and the much larger Hesperimon. Being a master of wrestling, Iliamon caught and held the creatures forelegs, pushing it back and holding it there. Rosatimon saw her chance, “Flora Dagger!” She threw her blade straight and true, sending it right through the narrow ribcage and through the DigiCore. The second SkullBaluchimon exploded into data.
Maya looked on as Pantheromon’s large, invisible tail swung forwards, crashing into the unsuspecting SkullBeluchimon, knocking him over.
Harpiamon took the opportunity to leapt in, sending his blade-like feathers towards the fallen enemy. Another SkullBaluchimon down.
Beelzemon screamed. “That’s it! Darkness Claw!” He leapt towards the panther Digimon.
“Pantheromon!” Rosatimon jumped ahead of her comrade, only to be clawed by Beelzemon’s hand, which glowed with black vapors. Rosatimon let out an eery scream. Viola broke into a run, but was held back by Zerdamon’s barrier.
“Rosatimon!” the tamer yelled.
The plant ultimate glowed in her green light before falling to the ground as Rilkemon, her In-training form. Harpiamon caught her just in time.
Beelzemon’s course was unhindered and he reached Pantheromon, who had readied himself with a ball of dark energy already building up in his mouth. As the mega reached him, he let loose. An explosion of black energy created a sonic boom that caused the ground to shake uncontrollably. A flash of red light later and Rockymon was caught as he fell by Iliamon. Pantheromon’s attack shielded him from some of Beelzemon’s, but the damage was enough to revert him back to his rookie form.
“Hmph!” Beelzemon dusted his hands off in triumph, only to turn around and find that Hesperimon and EpiCentarumon had defeated another one of his puppets. “Nooo!” He drew his weapon from the holster on the side of his left leg; a double barrelled shotgun, Baranjena. The tamers threw themselves against the barrier that Zerdamon created. They yelled for their Digimon as they saw the Shadow Lord raise his gun and aim.
A dark bullet exited the chamber of the gun at lightning speed, swiping Hesperimon on the side of her arm as she tried to manouver out of the way. The bullet may have grazed her, but the Dragon’s agony was made apparent to all around her. Her comrades and the tamers could hear her thoughts, she screamed.
Another shot fired, this time at EpiCentarumon. And another, and another. Soon all the ultimates had succumbed to the barrage and reverted back to their rookie forms. For all Beelzemon’s frustration he had held back on his attack.
The rookies and Rilkemon lay scattered on the battlefield, groaning from both pain and defeat. The barrier surrounding the tamers faded and they each sprinted towards their Digimon.
“Pathetic, really.” Beelzemon returned his gun to its holster. “Can’t even put up a decent fight. I should just kill you’s all now. What’s the point in keeping all of you’s alive, anyway? We can find the Origins by ourselves. I’m sure of it.”
“You’re nothing but a big…a big…” Phoebe fumbled in finding the right word as she cradled Maaumon in her arms, “Meanie! Yea, that’s what you are!”
Beelzemon placed his hands on his hips, “Oh, that hurt my feelings, really.” He smiled, “Pfft, come on! Is that all you got? Man, even your insults are a joke! How you little weaklings ever got ‘chosen’ to have your pathetic Digimon is beyond me! I mean really -”
Before he could continue, Beelzemon spotted a light dot in the red sky. “Huh?”
In an instant there was a blinding flash of light as two angelic forms appeared before the tamers; two woman-like Digimon, one wearing armor of blue and silver with shimmering golden wings and long blonde hair. She stood in attack stance facing the mega, a sword of pink light formed from the tip of the shield on her left arm. The other wore heavy green and gold armor, she had four sets of solid gold wings and shorter blonde hair. In one hand she held a golden javelin.
The blue angel swung her sword, creating an arc of light that blasted forth, instantaneously eradicating the final SkullBaruchimon.
Beelzemon grimaced and quickly withdrew his gun once more
“Stand back, fiend!” the angel in the green and gold armor warned Beelzemon. The tamers recognized her voice immediately.
“Ophanimon?” Maya asked.
The angel turned and gave a reassuring smile, “Let’s get you all away from this place”
And with that another blinding light, Both angels and the entire group had vanished.
“I wasn’t finished!” Beelzemon yelled.
“Where are we?” Maya asked, holding onto a dazed Rockymon.
“In a much safer place,” Ophanimon smiled.
The group no found themselves in a seemingly endless field of brightly colored flowers. As they all stood up Trask noticed movement in in the flowers nearby. From the corner of his eye he saw something else pop up and then quickly back into it’s hiding place between the tall flower stalks.
Soon, little heads began to pop up all around the group, then back down.
“It’s alright, little ones. You can come out now,” Ophanimon said gently.
Once she spoke, the little heads slowly raised up over the flowers once more. One by one the slowly made there way closer to the group and the two angels.
The little Digimon resembled puppies, small, pale yellow fur and ears that just lopped down the sides of their heads. Each of them wore a Holy ring around their necks.
Davis checked his device, “Salamon. Rookie level. A Holy species Digimon.”
“They’re so cute!” Phoebe said as she knelt down and petted one. A dazed Maaumon smiled slightly as she was held in her tamer’s arms. The Salamon stepped closer to Phoebe, placing its nose of Maaumon’s head, as if planting a kiss on her. As she did, Maaumon’s glazed eyes widened and she blinked a few times.
“I…I feel much better!” she said.
“What did it do?” Max asked.
“These Salamon have healing powers. That’s why we brought you here. Let them heal your Digimon,” Ophanimon replied.
Each of the tamers knelt down and let one of the Salamon ‘kiss’ the energy back into their Digimon. Rilkemon hopped down from Viola’s arms and was engulfed in soft green light.
“Rilkemon evolve to…Heraldimon!”
Viola smiled as she placed her hands on her rookie’s cheeks. “You were very brave to jump in on Beelzemon’s attack like that. Heraldimon’s cheeks blushed a bright pink.
“You were, Heraldimon.” Maya said. “Thank you”
Rockymon smiled widely at the plant Digimon. Heraldimon smiled back, “We’d all do it for each other”.
The tamers stood up once more, leaving their Digimon to play with the Salamon.
“The portal opened so suddenly.” Maya said.
Ophanimon nodded, “It is unclear why. As soon as Mikemon achieved Ultimate level it must’ve triggered the opening.”
“But how did we end up in that place with Beelzemon?” Alex asked.
“That I do not know.” Ophanimon then gave a sigh, “The Shadow Lords are acquiring more power with every passing second. Soon they will be able to even influence the portal to your world, if they haven’t already.”
“You saying that once the portal was opened they brought us back here, but to Beelzemon’s lair?” Max asked, “He said they didn’t have that kind of power.”
“They don’t, not yet atleast. We would’ve known immediatlely of any meddling.”
“So now what?” Phoebe placed her hands on her hips.
“Your ultimate task.”
The tamers exchanged looks.
“You mean-” Duke began.
Ophanimon nodded, “It’s time to find the Origins. The essence of your Digimon’s mega levels and the source of data from which all Digimon were recreated, even us Angels.”
“The ten Origins lay scattered across the ten realms of the Digital World, guarded by it’s protectors” Dominamon began to explain. “If you have proven yourselves and your Digimon worthy, they will bestow the Origins upon you.”
“We’ve heard some of this from Shurimon,” Phoebe said, “Remember, guys?”
The others nodded.
“Indeed.” Dominamon said, “But did he tell you where the first one was kept?”
“Uh, no he didnt.” Max pocketed his hands. “He forgot to mention that, if he knew, that is.”
“You know where they are?” Selena asked.
“Only one. It was necessary to keep the location of all of them from not only the Shadow Lords, but all Digimon, even us.”
“Not even the guardians know the locations to the other nine.” Ophanimon said. “It is said, that when the time was right your Digimon will know where to go.”
“That could take forever in this place.” Davis said.
“Each Digimon will seek out it’s essence. It won’t be easy, but only your Digimon can unlock the Origins.”
“Even if the Shadow Lords were to discover the location of an Origin, it would prove useless to them as the Origins in themselves are ‘locked’ in a sense. Only their other halves can unlock them. Each of your Digimon is the other half, the key to unlocking each Origin.” Dominamon spoke in turn.
“The Mega Digimon of Origin will be worshipped as Gods. They will assemble armies and wage war with the Shadow Lords.”
At this point the Digimon were sitting quietly and listening intently.
“Armies?” Phoebe asked, befuddled.
“War…”Maya thought to herself.
“Those who will follow the Digimon of Origin and stand with them against the Shadow Lords.” Ophanimon explained.
“We, the Angels, shall stand with you also.” Dominamon said proudly.
“The Shadow Lords cannot be allowed to survive. To ensure the safety of both our worlds, they must be destroyed, and their data must be purified. There can be no trace of the Great Evil.”
“The Great Evil,” Alex repeated, “The virus that infected the Digital World, the virus that created the Shadow Lords…”
The two angels nodded.
“Okay then.” Yasmin said. “Where’s the first Origin?”
“It is called the Forest of Fairies.” Ophanimon replied.
“The Forest of…Wait, that’s the same place Shurimon was talking about.” Duke said.
“Ivymon. Ivymon is one of the guardians!” Phoebe exclaimed.
“But Shurimon said that finding the Forest is impossible. Where do we even start?” Viola voiced her thoughts.
“We will be with you on your journey,” Dominamon said before she vanished in a flash of blue light.
“If you need our help, use your devices,” Ophanimon added before she too disappeared after a flash of green light.
“Right. You guys have any ideas?” Trask said.
“Hmm, if I remember correctly Shurimon said he was wondering in a forest in the Eastern Plains.” Yasmin placed a hand to her chin.
“Yea, before he was attacked.” Max added.
“And then woke up the Forest of Fairies.” Phoebe said.
“I think we missed this part, Vedamon,” Davis said as she lowered himself down onto the lush grass and layed back. As he did the Salamon all ran up and around him, some jumping on him, others trying to lick his face. “No, don’t. Haha, that tickles! Stop!”
Viola let out a short chortle, but quickly regained her composure and turned her attention back to the conversation.
“Well, it’s a good place to start.” Trask said. “The Eastern Plain. Everyone agree?”
One by one the others nodded.
To be continued…