Episode 32: The Only Starlight

Vulpemon opened her eyes. Cleomon smiled, nodded and disappeared. The golden orbs and Digicodes slowly faded. The last rays of sunlight filtered through the blue thicket of tall trees as Alex knelt down and laid a hand on his Digimon’s shoulder, “You alright?”

Vulpemon turned to him and blinked for a moment before giving a smile, “Everything’s going to be okay.”

The duo made their way through the small forest and back into the village that surrounded it. The parade was still going on down the street. The cobblestone roads were peppered with purple and gold confetti and the sounds of cheering echoed down along the way.

——————————————————

The team thanked Poyrumon once again for his hospitality and made their way back into the throng of parade-goers. From atop Davis’ shoulders, Vedamon spotted Alex on the other side of the crowded street. He waved his arms in an attempt to get the other tamer’s attention.

“You see em’, Vedamon?” Davis asked.

“Yea. I see Alex. He’s across the road there.”

“I wonder if they’ve found it.” Trask said. “Vulpemon’s Origin.”

“If it is hers.” Phoebe said. “I mean, I know this parade is full of fox masks and stuff but does that really mean it has something to do with Vulpemon or her Origin?”

“Maybe you’re right, Phoebs.” Yasmin replied. “From what you guys have told me, she’s not the only fox Digimon.”

“Yea. Remember Renamon?” Maya asked. Phoebe and Maaumon both nodded.

“Well, I, for one can’t wait to find out whether they’ve found one or not. Let’s go” Duke stepped into the crowd, making his way through. Elishamon promptly followed. The others held on to their Digimon and joined them. Griffmon glided smoothly over the throng and met Alex and Vulpemon first.

The tamers pushed through the throng of parading Gekomon and other Digimon. Davis felt a shove at his side, noticing a short, feline-like Digimon briskly push past him into the opposite direction. He thought nothing of it and carried on. The same Digimon shoved his way passed the other humans, through the crowd and ran away down the street.

“Hey” Alex kissed Maya’s cheek as they were reunited.

“Did you find anything? Phoebe wasted no time and practically shouted out the question.

Alex and his fox Digimon exchanged looks and smiled, confirming their theory.

“So you did find it!” Maaumon said excitedly. “Vulpemon’s Origin?”

Vulpemon nodded.

“Did you evolve?” Rockymon asked the purple Digimon.

“Not yet. But I will when the time is right.” she folded her arms.

——————————————————

The three Shadow Lords gathered around Lilithmon’s magic mirror, which allowed them to see the humans and their Digimon. Lilithmon sat back in her throne, tapping her fingers on the arm of the chair impatiently.

Plutomon felt Beelzemon’s gaze upon him for a long time, finally turning to him in frustration, “What!”

“I told you that snarky fox Digimon was next.” Beelzemon grinned proudly.

“We don’t know that for sure.” Plutomon folded his abnormally long and lanky arms.

“Who else could it be?” Beelzemon pointed at the images in the mirror. “Look! The entire place is filled with flags and pictures of foxes! That little Digimon and her human disappeared just now. Where do you think they went? They got the Origin. Only explanation.” Beelzemon folded his arms. “So now you owe me double!”

——————————————————

“So…”  Trask slipped his hands into the pocket of his jeans. “Where to now?”

“It’s getting pretty late.” Phoebe said.

“Which forest are we camping in tonight, then?” Duke asked sarcastically.

“Don’t suppose we could find a place to stay here.” Maya looked at Alex.

“Maybe we could ask Poyrumon.” Alex suggested.

“Guys…” Trask began shifting his hands in his pockets frantically.

“What is it?” Selina asked, noticing his urgency.

“I…can’t find it…” Trask searched all the pockets of his jeans in a panic. “My D-Ark…It’s gone!”

“Maybe it fell out when we were walking through the crowd,” Phoebe reached for her device, “I’ll use mine to find…”

After shifting through her own pockets, Phoebe realized her D-Ark device was missing as well. The other tamers felt for their devices.

“Mine’s gone too!” Maya exclaimed.

Alex, Viola and Yasmin were the only ones still in possession of their D-Arks.

“Where…What happened to them?” Trask was still searching his person for his device.

“Think someone took them?” Alex asked.

“But who would…” Davis paused and thought of the weird looking cat Digimon that bumped into him as they made their way through the crowd moments ago.

“That bastard!” he shouted.

“What?” The others looked at him.

“This weird Digimon bumped into me earlier. It looked like a cat, I think. Could’ve been a monkey…”

“Now that you mentioned it,” Trask thought back, “A similar Digimon bumped into me too.”

“Same here,” Maya looked at Phoebe, who nodded.

“Why would it take our D-Arks? What use would it have for them?” Yasmin asked.

“We gotta get them back.” Alex raised his device and tried to locate the other D-Arks. The icons of the D-Arks began to pulse in one location a while away from Alex’s yellow icon.

“They’re still here in town, somewhere,” he said finally.

Just then a scream was heard down the street. The tamers and their Digimon instantly turned their attention to it. Then more screams and suddenly an explosion whose blast echoed through the town. The throng of Digimon stampeded back up the street and in the direction of the group.

“Something wrong with the parade?” Davis was ready to turn around and run.

“We should see what’s going on,” Alex suggested, “It’s in the same direction as the D-Arks”

“Why do I have a bad feeling about this?” Max said to himself. Midomon nudged at his tamer’s leg.

The tamers made their way down the street to the source of the blast. Gekomon and other Digimon were scattered in all directions, screaming and clinging to each other. Phoebe ran up to one that had tripped over itself in panic and lay frozen on the ground. She raised him up, “Are you alright? What happened?”

“I…I don’t” Gekomon struggled with is words. “He came out of nowhere!”

“Who did?” Trask ran over.

Alex and Maya exchanged looks. “Shadow Lord?” They thought.

“Ba…Bar…bamon,” Gekomon managed to say.

“Barbamon?” Phoebe repeated.

Viola checked her device as the image of the Digimon appeared instantly, “Barbamon, a Demon Lord Digimon. Mega level…” Viola’s eyes widened as she read it, “Mega?” She held little Rilkemon close to her.

“You must run! You must get out of here!” Gekomon pleaded, “He…He’s gonna destroy everything!”

Other Digimon screamed for them to run as they passed the group.

Rockymon’s ears twitched and his fur stood on end, “This is gonna be bad…”

“I don’t think we have much of a choice. Without our devices…” Phoebe looked to Trask.

He sighed, “We gotta go”

Just then the remaining D-Arks began to beep wildly, affirming the tamer’s panic,

‘WARNING! Opponent Limit Attack activated!’

“You’re right.” Alex agreed.

“We’ll have to come up with a way to get our devices back,” Max said.

And with that the group helped the fallen Gekomon and other Digimon to their feet and up the street. The town Digimon left their homes and joined in the run. Some of the merchants grabbed suitcases and whatever else they could carry. Even Poyrumon joined in, wheezing as he hobbled in a panic.

The tamers scattered across the street, making sure the buildings were empty and leading the last of the town Digimon out of the village. As soon as the last of the tamers reached the entrance of town another explosion was heard, this time louder than the last. A rumble sounded and soon the ground beneath their feet began to tremble. The Digimon continued up the hill, the group of tamers and their Digimon of Origin stayed where they had stopped, a few meters from the town entrance. The ground shook more violently now, cracks began to form. The tamers tried to steady themselves, hanging onto each other and their Digimon until, by the shaking of the ground, they all lost their balance.

A large cloud of smoke mushroomed up into the sky from the centre of the town. Alex exchanged a look with his fox Digimon. Suddenly a blaze of red fire spread out from the centre, engulfing the buildings and streets, its circumference widening towards the outskirts.

“We need to get further!” Trask said as he helped Phoebe to her feet and he and the others carried on up the hill and back towards the forest they were in hours ago. The blaze ended abruptly at the dead end of the town and began to die down.

The tamers and their Digimon turned back around, taking in what they were seeing; the fires had all but died down, cinders and ash mixed with burnt confetti and streamers were blown across the sky by a light breeze as smoke began to rise from the centre of the remains. The town that was just here a few minutes ago was now no more.

It took a few moments for everyone to grasp what had just happened.

“I…I don’t…believe it…” Yasmin gasped at the sight.

“How…Why would anyone…destroy this place?” a tear rolled down Phoebe’s cheek.

“At least the all the Digimon made it out ok” Davis said, his glimpse falling onto a group of Gekomon clinging to each other on the hill, gurgling sobs and wailing at the sight of their destroyed home.

Alex raised his device once more, examining the screen to locate the others devices, “The D-Arks…They’re still in there.”

“But so is whatever blasted the town to hell,” Maya added.

“Barbamon” Viola recalled the name of the Mega Digimon. She looked down at the plant Digimon in her arms, remembering that just yesterday she had evolved into a Mega Digimon, the most beautiful Digimon she had ever seen. And so far, one of the most powerful she’s known. But now she’s just Rilkemon, depleted of her energy and still unable to evolve into Heraldimon. Unless Vulpemon could unlock her Origin, what chance would they have against Barbamon?

“What do we do?” Trask looked to Alex.

Alex thought for a few minutes, “I don’t know. Do we need to fight this guy? Or do we run? Either way we need to get the D-Arks back first. But…how?”

“How do we know Barbamon’s still in there?” Selena asked. “I mean, he could’ve left. Maybe.”

“Hopefully” Yasmin added.

“Wait…” Maya squinted as she saw something move in the smoke. For a moment she searched for movement in the pillar of smoke from the center of the ruins.

“What is it?” Alex asked.

Rockymon gazed at the smoke, concentrating on any movement. Suddenly his eyes became slits, his ears pinned back and his fur stood on end. He gave a low howl. Maya’s eyes widened and she grabbed Alex’s arm in hers in fear.

The other tamers made out a shadow rise up from the smoke. Maaumon’s fur stood on end as her pupils contracted. Rilkemon hopped out of Viola’s arms, the leaves on her head bristled. All the Digimon were on full alert.

“Bad feeling’s back…” Davis said as all eyes were on the mysterious Digimon’s shadow that levitated motionlessly above the circle of destruction. He felt the sweat drip down his forehead.

“Is that Barbamon?” Phoebe whispered.

There was no reply. The group was as motionless as the shadow. Each of them felt a gnawing feeling of fear in their gut. A fear that froze them where they stood. Suddenly the shadow disappeared. The tamers felt a twinge of relief briefly sweep over each of them. The Digimon remained motionless, still staring in the centre of the circle. They sensed that evil was still around.

“Where is he?” Alex said finally, looking around for any trace of the mysterious Digimon.

“And why would he destroy this town?” Yasmin asked, “Does he…Is he after us?”

“They’re always after us…” Davis commented.

“He’s still here!” Vulpemon said in a hushed voice. “I can feel him nearby…”

“He’s watching us…” Elishamon’s voice was a low grumble.

Alex suddenly remembered Cleomon, and what could have become of her. Her forest was in the dead centre of the town. Only rubble and debris remained. But where was Cleomon? Could she have stopped this evil? If not, was she destroyed as well?

A fresh wave of fear washed over the humans. The sky grew dark; almost pitch black, obscuring the bright moon whose shine would usually light up the plains of the Digital World just slightly. Darkness surrounded them as their Digimon began to growl and hiss at the presence.

“Alex! Let me evolve!” Vulpemon shouted.

“Yasmin!” Griffmon signaled his tamer as well.

“Evolution!”

“Vulpemon evolve to…”

In a flash of pale yellow light Vulpemon’s form was replaced by a larger, purple, nine-tailed fox Digimon.

“Youkomon!”

“Griffmon evolve to…”

Griffmon leapt into the air as he was lit up in purple light. His body grew longer and a magnificent mane formed around his neck.

“Leoarmon!”

Viola checked her Digimon’s status on her device, but Rilkemon was still too weak to evolve. The two champions wouldn’t stand a chance if Barbamon attacked. Neither would they if they evolved into Ultimate level. They needed to get the other D-Arks. Viola checked her device again, confirming that the other D-Arks were still somewhere in the ruins. She might have a plan.

A mist slowly rolled in around the tamers feet. The growls of the Digimon got louder. Youkomon’s fur bristled, as did Leoarmon’s, his feline tail whipping restlessly behind him. Rockymon’s growl became a screaming howl as he felt the presence move closer. He stared into the darkness before him and for a moment made out a silhouette.

“There!” as he shouted, a soft laugh was heard. It grew louder and louder, eerie and cackly. Finally he appeared before them, a sinister sight; he was as tall as a man with grey skin and long, pointy ears. He had long, silver hair and an equally long, silver beard. He wore what looked like a poncho, black with red and purple patterns and had six red, bat-like wings on his back. He held a staff and wore a golden raven skull mask. His laugh subsided as he gazed upon the group through the bright red orbs on his golden mask.

“So…” Barbamon began. His voice was deep and menacing. “You’re the bunch that I’ve heard so much about?” He began to float around the group, circling them as he spoke, “The Digimon of Origin and their humans. You’re the ones causing a lot of trouble for the Shadow Lords”

“Did they send you?” Maya shouted. Barbamon stopped.

“Why? Do I look like I work for those ingrates?” he replied in an angry tone that made Maya gasp. Then, unexpectedly, Barbamon smiled, “Because I do! It wasn’t my best decision of course,” he continued to circle, “but the Shadow Lords and I do share similar interests with regards to the future of the Digital World.”

“You mean destroying the Digital World? The same way you destroyed that town?” Trask yelled out. Barbamon stopped again.

“Destroy the Digital World? Oh Heavens no, child. We mean to better it. The Digital World will be in very good hands…”

As Barbamon carried on Viola reached out and tapped on Davis’ back. As he turned to her she gestured to her device and the radar screen that showed the location of the other D-Arks. Davis understood and nodded. He tapped on Vedamon’s shoulder. Viola picked Rilkemon up in her arms. She looked to Phoebe, who had seen her gestures and nodded. Phoebe whispered to Selina, who relayed the plan to Trask. They would continue to distract Barbamon as Viola and Davis tried to retrieve the other D-Arks. If they all had their devices, they may have a chance…

The two tamers and their Digimon crept into the darkness unnoticed, led by Viola’s D-Ark towards the location of the other devices.

“In any case I think they’re complete fools for wanting your puny little human world…” Barbamon continued on.

“What about the town you just destroyed?” Phoebe shouted, “All those Digimon you’ve left homeless and helpless! What about them, huh?” She sought to distract Barbamon further so that Viola and Davis could carry on.

“What?” Barbamon’s rant was cut off by the tamer, “Oh you mean those few buildings over there? Well I was just swinging by when all those little fools were jumping about, shouting praises and waving flags and such. It was all just a big racket and frankly I was tired of it all. Actually, they’ve been giving praise to a Digimon that probably doesn’t even exist anymore!” Another cackle, “What’s the point in that?”

“So what, you just decided to destroy the entire town?” Trask asked.

Barbamon put a finger to his chin, “Well, yes. Why not? They were nothing more than an annoyance. And frankly, you lot are beginning to do the same…”

The tamers shifted their feet. “I was just going to leave you lot and carry on with my day, but now you’ve kind of irked me…” He scratched the back of his neck with long, twisted nails,”… and I cannot let that go.”

“Don’t even think about it!” Youkomon stepped forwards, her nine tails flared out behind her, the tips smoked with golden flames. Leoarmon growled and stood ready. Barbamon let out a chuckle as he looked down upon the Digimon.

——————————————————

Viola, Davis and their Digimon crept through the darkness, the sounds of Barbamon’s distant cackle caused them to shudder each time they had heard it. When they thought they might be far enough from the others Vedamon lit the way by summoning a flame from the tip of his finger.

The dark aura which Barbamon had summoned seemed to die out as they reached the ruins. The faint moonlight glow shone upon the remains of the town as cinders remained, rising up into the sky like fireflies before dying out. The ground was full of ash, shifting around their feet as the tamers made their way back into the now destroyed town.

“It’s a miracle the D-Arks weren’t destroyed by that blast,” Davis whispered.

“We don’t know what state they’re in. Let’s just hope so,” Viola replied.

The air was still hot from burning debris and rubble as the two tamers and their Digimon navigated their way through to the center of the ruins. Vedamon led the way, using his power over fire to calm the burning embers so as not to burn the others. He remained aware of the battle taking place just outside the town. He could still make out Youkomon and Leoarmon’s shouts and felt the faint tremors of their attacks hitting the ground.

“We’re almost there, Vedamon,” Viola checked her device once more. “Keep your eyes open for any sign of the D-Arks.”

The fire Digimon nodded and continued on. A small clearing ahead, free from rubble, debris and ash. The two tamers and Vedamon stopped at the edge, examining it, the air was suddenly fresh and revitalizing, the ground wasn’t burnt, and there were purple flowers, freshly sprouted it seems, and faint symbols of Digicode floating in the air. Rilkemon hopped down from Viola’s arms and took it upon herself to investigate. She dug her stub feet into the dirt. “The ground is sweet here, Viola!” the plant Digimon smiled.

Davis raised an eyebrow and exchanged a confused look with Viola.

“What do you mean, Rilkemon?” Vedamon asked.

“It’s fresh! The flowers are new. It’s like there’s some kind of energy here. I can’t really explain it, but…” Rilkemon trailed off as her vines slipped beneath the grounds surface and she suddenly began to glow in a bright green light, evolving into Heraldimon once more.

“Hey! What happened?” Viola looked on.

Heraldimon, keeping her gaze on the flowers, replied, “I was suddenly just filled with energy. Vedamon, won’t you try?”

Vedamon stood next to Davis, just on the paved edge of the clearing, “Uh, ok.”

The fire Digimon took a few steps towards Heraldimon and felt a surge of energy suddenly flow through him, his fur seemed to emit a faint glow and at the tip of his tail a small flame just roared into life.

“Amazing!” Davis exclaimed, smiling. Viola smiled as well, they all felt the smallest sense of hope they had grow a little bit. Vedamon pricked his ears and heard a sound a few meters behind him. He turned around and shifted his way through the flower patch, following the sound as it became louder still. Finally finding the source, he shouted triumphantly, “Guys! I’ve found them!”

“Seriously?” Davis asked as the tamers and Heraldimon made their way to Vedamon. To their relief, all the missing D-Arks lay on the ground, untouched by the blast, yet each of them were slightly glowing. Davis’ D-Ark was the one that sounded, becoming alert to Vedamon’s proximity.

Viola counted them and sighed, “Yes! They’re all here!”

Davis retrieved his, held it up to his cheek and kissed it, “Still, what the heck kind of place is this just sitting here in the middle of the town?”

“You don’t suppose…” Vedamon began, “That this may be where Alex and Vulpemon found it?”

Vedamon and his tamer exchanged looks.

“Now we may have a chance,” Viola looked to Heraldimon as they picked up all the other devices. The plant Digimon nodded with fresh determination.

——————————————————

“Youkomon!” Alex shouted for his Digimon, who crashed to the ground after taking a light blow from Barbamon. Leoarmon too was panting heavily, his hind legs trembling with exhaustion.

Barbamon raised his staff in preparation for an attack when he suddenly noticed an object hurled directly at him from the corner of his eye. He turned his head just in time to catch the hilt of a burning sword smack him square in the middle of his forehead, “Gah!” he fell back a little.

The tamers and their Digimon looked on in confusion. The sword fell and struck the ground, remaining upright.

Trask recalled the weapon, “Is that…Dharmamon’s?”

Suddenly a spray of thorns struck at Barbamon as he recovered, causing him to yelp out at the tiny cuts. From the smoke still rising in the ruins Dharmamon and Rosaemon rushed forth to help their comrades. Davis and Viola ran along the edge of the town, meeting the other tamers and their Digimon and returning their devices.

“Never thought I’d be so happy to see this thing!” Duke breathed a sigh before turning to Elishamon, “Are we ready?”

In flashes of colorful lights the Champions all stood before Barbamon. The mega Digimon regained his form and winced. Dharmamon retrieved his fallen sword and prepared himself.

“Death Staff!” Barbamon spun his staff and soared towards the fire champion. Dharmamon spun his two swords in his palms and at the very last second parried Barbamon’s staff and managed to get a swipe at the Mega’s forearm.

“Panthera Punch!”

“Neko Claw!”

“Frozen Nova!”

Manxmon wasted no time and dashed forwards, his right fist connecting with the Mega’s left cheek, forcing him backwards before Mikemon jumped in with claws barred and slashed at his face and finally, Elishamon raised herself into the air on her fairy-like wings and let out a blast of freezing air at the opponent.

Barbamon let out a scream, more out of frustration than of pain, and rose into the air. He touched the minor scratches on his jaw left by Mikemon and grimaced.

“Dark Inferno!”

A black blast of fire shot at Enumamon with such force and speed that she was knocked out of the air and crashed to the ground. Barbamon continued to aim for each of the other champions in turn. Manxmon narrowly dodged the flame by rolling out of its path, but Barbamon continued at a quicker pace, sending a flurry of black fireballs at the Digimon. Dharmamon shielded Mikemon and Rosaemon and parried some of the blasts with his swords, but they flew too quickly for him and he was knocked down. One by one the champions were all eventually weakened by the blasts.

The tamers looked on as their Digimon tried to pull themselves up off the ground.

“This might not end well”, Davis said.

Graikosmon’s arms shook as she pushed to his feet, wiping the dust off of his helmet with the back of his fist. He extended a hand to Kentauromon and helped him back on his hooves.

“Let’s show this guy what we’re made of,” Graikosmon huffed. Kentauromon nodded and breathed deeply. The metal rods in the centaur’s arm began to emit sparks of blue, growing and zapping at the ground. Graikosmon clicked his knuckles.

“Blue Lightning Burst!”

As he raised his arm, steadying it with the other, the sparks became bolts of electrical energy that buzzed wildly. He released a charge, a large bolt of blue lightning that instantly struck Barbamon, causing him to fall back.

“Metal Fist!”

Graikosmon rushed in immediately, leaping into the air and unleashed a powerful blow to Barbamon’s jaw, sending him falling to the ground.

One by one the other champions regained their forms and shot forth; a spray of thorns, a wave of golden foxes, a flurry of dagger-like feathers, a ball of molten lava, a breath of icy wind, a pair of flaming swords and then, finally, Manxmon and Mikemon leapt in with their own punches.

Barbamon fell back and into the dust. He coughed, his mask began to crack across the center of his face, the gold beginning to lose its sheen. He panted for a moment as a slick feeling of fear emerged within him. He stood himself up, blinked and stepped back. These puny Digimon were stronger than they appeared, their combined attacks proved effective.

“No!” Barbamon shook his head at the thought and flapped his wings, raising himself into the air once more. The tamers and their Digimon braced themselves.

“Weaklings! You’re all just puny, little, weaklings!” Barbamon shouted in frustration. ‘I must destroy them before they think they have a chance at beating me!’ he thought to himself.

“Death Lure!”

The air seemed to have darkened around them even more, the shroud of mist dissipated. The Champions backed up towards their tamers to protect them. Barbamon disappeared into the blackness.

The tamers looked around, frantically trying to find out where the Mega was hiding. The Digimon were on full alert but they were still suffering from their injuries.

An eerie, haunting sound, like a distorted air-raid siren. Alex felt his heartbeat quicken. Without a thought Viola grabbed Davis’ hand in hers. Dharmamon shot a blast of fire forwards to light the way, but the flames disappeared in the darkness. It surrounded them, tamers and Digimon, a choking blackness that was so dense that they could not even see their hands in from of their faces.

Suddenly, a wave of bright red light shot through the darkness above the tamers heads. The taller Digimon were hit by it and yelled out in pain.

Manxmon knelt down on his knees, flinching as the pain reverberated through his body. Maya reached out to him in the darkness and held his arm tightly. The siren died down but before it stopped completely it began to grow louder once more.

“Another attack!” Mikemon gasped. She and Rosaemon were untouched by the first wave.

“We need to get out of here!” Alex called out to the other tamers.

Another blast of red light. The champions felt their energy failing. Manxmon lowered himself on both knees. Maya held on tightly to him. Suddenly, a shadow rushed forwards. Barbamon appeared and before Maya could gasp, he raised his club-like staff and swung downwards. Manxmon swung his arms around his tamer and turned his body towards the Mega, shielding his tamer and effectively taking the full force of the blast.

A roar of anguish left his maw and he fell back to the ground, de-evolving into Felismon.

Barbamon moved on and set his sights on the rest of the champions, ambushing each at a time in the darkness. Enumamon. Leoarmon. Mikemon. Their screams spurring more fear into the remaining champions and their tamers.

“Coward!” Phoebe yelled out. “Cheater!”

“Using darkness to ambush our Digimon? You coward!” Yasmin added.

Kentauromon. Rosaemon. Dharmamon. Niscimon. Graikosmon. Only Youkomon remained. She felt the other tamers and their Digimon close to her. The tamers each held their fainted In-Training Digimon in their arms and found their way to the glow of Youkomon’s tail flames.

“Where is he?” Alex was nervous.

A few moments passed since Barbamon last knocked down Graikosmon, and Youkomon was bracing herself for the hit. She knew she was too weak to withstand it and she too would de-evolve soon. But just then she pricked her ears up, picking up sounds from far away.

A distant humming sounded. Slowly, it became louder, clearer, closer. Until all the tamers and Digimon knew what it was.

“You guys hear that?” Trash asked.

“Yeah.” Viola replied.

“Sounds like…” Yasmin recognized it.

Chanting. The same chanting they had heard in the village by the Geckomon. Youkomon suddenly felt dizziness. She shook her head in an effort to fight it and stay awake, but felt her feel weaken beneath her. Alex felt Youkomon kneel beside him, “Alex, I can’t…go on…I…”

Youkomon’s body began to glow in bright yellow light.

“Youkomon…” Alex shouted, “What’s happening?” Youkomon’s form turned back into Vulpemon’s but continued to glow brighter. The ground beneath the group began to glow in the same yellow light, illuminating through Barbamon’s darkness. The tamers were all relieved to see each again, but were still confused at the occurrence. The blackness in the air dissipated too and the air itself seem to sparkle as if fine flecks of glitter fell from the sky.

Barbamon floated a ways before the group, dumbfounded to see that his black spell had been broken. He looked on, the humans held onto their tiny Digimon, but one of them lay on the ground, glowing in light. From the distant hill more Digimon marched forwards, the inhabitants of the town he decimated earlier. They had returned and began their annoying chanting once more. Barbamon frowned.

The Geckomon surrounded the group, forming a circle around Alex and his glowing Digimon. The light on the ground grew brighter, almost white at the Geckomon’s confident chanting. Maya felt Felismon rise up out of her arms and glow in his red light, turning back into Rockymon and land on the ground fully awake and alert. One by one the other fainted Digimon were revived and evolved back into their rookie forms. Vulpemon’s glowing body stood up off the ground. She reached out a paw to her tamer and Alex took it, feeling her warmth and light flow through his body and fill his heart. He knew this was her time. The others watched on intently, knowing what was about to happen.

Barbamon hissed at the sight.

“Death Lure!”

Barbamon’s darkness began to creep in, but was blocked by the light that shielded the group. In anger her swung his staff and hurled it towards them but again it was futile.

Vulpemon rose into the air. In her mind she saw Cleomon as clear as day standing before her in the bright white. Cleomon reached out a hand to her, and Vulpemon reached back. The tamers felt their D-Arks beep wildly.

“Origin Evolution!”

“Vulpemon Origin Evolve to…”

Forms of foxes floated through the air, dancing and singing as they surrounded her. Her small, fox-like body morphed into that of a human woman, wearing a black bodysuit and clad in shimmering purple armor. Yin-Yang symbols adorned her armor as her long, flowing silver hair was split into two sections and tied back with flowing ribbons. Her long, silver ears twitched as a purple fox-shaped mask settled over the top half of her face. She stretched out her arm and received a long, silver staff from the fox spirits, adorned with rings and fox motifs.

“Kuzuhamon!”

The Geckomon were silenced by the sight, in shock and amazement of what they had just witnessed. “She…she has returned!” One Geckomon shouted. Before long all the Geckomon cheered wildly and encouragingly.

Alex stood motionless, as he stared up at his Digimon’s new form.

“Well? Say something”          

“What?” Alex reacted.

A soft laugh. Kuzuhamon turned her head and looked down at her tamer.

“Kuzuhamon?”

“I can hear your thoughts, and you can hear mine”

“This…this is crazy!” Alex blinked.

“Aaand you’re still talking instead of thinking…” Kuzuhamon smiled and shook her head slightly.

“I…I don’t know what…to think…”

“Well then…Let me do the thinking for now…”

Kuzuhamon turned back to face Barbamon, who all this time was still trying to pierce through Kuzuhamon’s light shield. Kuzuhamon poised herself and rotated the long staff in her hands. The very top of the staff featured a sharp silver diamond, and she aimed it at the other Mega. She threw it; straight, true and without too much effort. The staff soared in a perfect silver arch, straight through the light barrier and struck home in Barbamon’s chest.

The enemy Digimon let out an agonizing cough, spewing out a black liquid from his mouth. Kuzuhamon raised her hand and summoned her staff back to her. The diamond tip removed itself and returned to its owner. More black liquid oozed from the wound in Barbamon’s chest and he grasped for it.

“No!…No Digimon could ever have power such as this!” Barbamon cackled. “It’s impossible! Dark Inferno!”

A dark aura circled behind Barbamon, growing larger and larger. He swing his arms forth, sending the sphere forwards. Kuzuhamon glided forwards, through her light barrier and faced the sphere. She raised her hand and the aura stopped dead in its tracks. Barbamon winced. The aura remained motionless and, at Kuzuhamon’s command, dissipated. He screamed in fury and rushed forwards, swinging his staff as he did. Kuzuhamon met his staff with her own and, for a few moments, the two Mega Digimon engaged in a kendo-like match with their respective staffs. The Geckomon continued their chanting. A renewed sense of hope and confidence swept through the tamers and their rookies.

With the butt of her staff Kuzuhamon struck Barbamon’s face, causing his mask to shatter and fall to the ground. He fell back and blinked. He turned, revealing a single, wide, V-shaped eye that glowed bright red.

“Uh…Eew?” Davis commented.

“Get him, Kuzuhamon!” Phoebe shouted.

“Yea!” Trask added. The tamers all began to shout and encourage their new Mega, adding on to the Geckomon’s chanting. Their rookies too joined in. The cheers infuriated Barbamon even further and he rushed forth blindly once again with his staff in hand.

“Kitsune Inferno!”

Kuzuhamon’s voice echoed through the area. From the light that still shone all over the ground, the forms of fox spirits appeared once more and danced through the air and towards their master. They bounced and flitted playfully around Kuzuhamon and, with a nod of her chin, she sent them off. Bolting like hunting dogs, the foxes pierced through Barbamon. They circled him and shot through him repeatedly, leaving trails of light beams in their wake. Barbamon shrieked as his body became riddled with the light beams. His hands and arms began to disintegrate into data fragments. Then his legs and torso and before long, Barbamon burst into data fragments. His staff fell down onto the ground and lay next to the shattered mask pieces before dissipating as well.

The light barrier faded and all became bright and sunny again. The Geckomon, humans and their Digimon roared and cheered.

Kuzuhamon floated down to the ground and was immediately surrounded by the cheering Geckomon. She smiled and nodded at them.

“That was incredible!” Alex looked on at his Digimon.

Kuzuhamon looked up at him, “Oh, you think that’s good? Keep watching” Kuzuhamon turned around to face the ruins of the town. She raised her staff high and began a chant of her own under her breath. The ground beneath her glowed once more and spread towards the center. It began to shake and a powerful beam of yellow light shone through to the sky. The tamers and rookies shielded their eyes.

The light faded, revealing an unbelievable sight; the town was completely restored, and in better condition than before. The buildings were taller, the cobblestone streets gleamed brighter, lush flower gardens of purple and yellow flowers surrounded the town, blooming all the way to where the humans stood.

Davis raised his hands to his head in disbelief, “Good God! Would you look at that?!”

The Geckomon broke into a cacophony of cheers and happy sobs, exchanging hugs with the humans and the Digimon of Origin.

As the sun began to paint the sky orange, the Geckomon continued their march down the shiny new streets, with banners and flags even more brilliantly coloured than before. Purple and yellow flower petals filled the streets, pillars of white smoke rose from all the chimneys of the newly built homes, sending up warm smells of cinnamon and other spices that filled the air. Crowds of Digimon from other nearby towns heard of the victory of the day and made their way over. From the middle of the parade the ten humans and their nine rookies marched with the Geckomon and at that center, Kuzuhamon walked among them, smiling and waving, a faint glow of glitter always trailing behind her…

To be continued…