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Old April 22nd, 2012, 07:17 AM
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Grovyle42(Griff8416)
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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Chapter 2: The Royal Knights

Examon and Dukemon grunted with effort as they dragged their unconscious prisoners over the lush, far-reaching grasslands. The red dragon clenched his teeth, stopping for a moment to arch his stiff back. He winced at the uncomfortable popping noises.

Dukemon, who was leading the way, stopped as well and looked over his shoulder at Examon. “How are you holding up?” he asked with a light smirk that Examon was growing familiar with.

“Just fine,” Examon assured him.

“Think of it as training,” the crimson knight replied. “We could always switch if you want the lighter one.”

“Really. I’m fine...” he replied. He could feel his toe claws digging into the cool grass and dirt as he began pulling the MetalGreymon raider again. He started to grow more conscious of himself. He was wondering if he was fit to be in the presence of Alphamon and the others. Meeting the Royal Knights would essentially be more important than any job interview he could think of and at this rate, he would be sweaty and treading dirt through their headquarters. Examon wasn’t normally overly concerned with his appearance or hygiene, especially since he lived in a region inhabited by Dramon, but this day was different. Very different. This meant having the ability and means to protect more than just his home region. If all went well, he would be able to prevent destruction all over the world, bringing it even closer to peace. Or so he hoped.

As they started moving, Examon looked into the distance to see a gigantic castle, which he could assume was the Royal Knights’ headquarters by what looked like the Royal Knights’ flag flying over one of the towers. This was the first time he left the United Dramonic Coalition’s general territory since arriving there. He certainly hadn’t been in this area before. “Is that your headquarters?” Examon asked, motioning with his head towards the impressive castle.

“That’s right,” Dukemon said, his gold eyes seeming fixed on it as he continued to pull the WarGrowlmon. “It’s also our home.”

“Is it?” Examon asked, speeding up so he could look over at him.

Dukemon nodded and looked over at the him with an eyebrow raised, as Examon could see through the helmet’s eye slits. “That’s not a problem for you, is it?”

“No,” he replied, calmly. “I don’t have any emotional attachment to my house in the United Dramonic Coalition. It was just a place to sleep.”

Dukemon grinned at him slightly, though it was barely visible behind his metal visor. “You don’t have to act cool to impress me, you know.”

“Who’s acting?” Examon asked, returning a small grin. He was amused by Dukemon’s thought process. However, Dukemon wasn’t entirely wrong. Examon did want to show that he was serious about joining the Royal Knights.

Chuckling, Dukemon led them further towards the castle. The Royal Knights’ headquarters was an amazing sight to behold. The stronghold was built higher and grander than any building Examon had ever seen. Its craftsmanship was extraordinary. The walls were awe-inspiring enough, standing tall and appeared home to various digimon patrolling them on the ramparts. The thing that caught Examon’s attention the most was the giant building beyond the walls, in the inner portion of the castle. The main building stood taller than the walls and with three tall spires around it. Two of the towers were near each side of the entrance and one was near the back of the stone keep. There were several stone bridges connecting the main building, the watch towers, and the ramparts to one another. It was clear that this was for easier mobility from place to place.

As they grew nearer to the primary gate, across from the deep moat, Examon could see more of the headquarters. The main building itself had a number of balconies and walkways, as well as entrances and exits for those able to fly, like himself. The structure’s top appeared level and gave foundation to a wide, octagonal shaped building. The castle’s coat of arms, which he assumed was the symbol of the Royal Knights, was flown from a flag at the top of the building.

“It’s incredible,” Examon spoke, although the stiff muscles in his back and winged arms distracted him slightly.

“You’ll get used to it,” Dukemon answered. His voice then became a bit fonder. “That said, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

The dragon glanced at Dukemon and smiled faintly. “You enjoy being a Royal Knight, then?”

Dukemon closed his eyes and nodded. “You could say that... though it would be an understatement.”

“I see... This is a bit embarrassing...”

“What is?” Dukemon asked, looking over at him.

“I don’t know as much about you Royal Knights as I probably should, given that I’m going to become one...” Examon admitted. “I know vague details... that you all protect the world and have beaten some tough opponents before, but...”

Smiling, Dukemon shook his head dismissively. “Well, at least you’re honest. I respect that...” he replied. “Those blanks will be filled in soon enough, Examon.”

Examon nodded. “...And the other knights? What are they like?” he questioned, both curious and apprehensive at the idea of meeting all the other Royal Knights.

“They all have different personalities,” Dukemon said, seeming to pick up on his hesitation. “Everybody gets along with people differently. Somebody who I think is stuck up could end up being your closest friend for all I know.”

“I guess that’s true...” Examon replied.

As the two of them headed towards the lowered drawbridge, Examon was surprised to see a group of broad, armour-wearing, humanoid digimon run over. One of ran up to Dukemon and bowed his head respectfully.

“Sir Dukemon. You’re back,” the Knightmon replied.

Dukemon nodded and suddenly let go of the unconscious WarGrowlmon’s tail, letting it slide off his shoulder and hit the ground. “I didn’t mean to be late. I was helping Examon here,” he explained, prompting Examon to nod politely at them when the group of Knightmon looked over.

The Knightmon, who seemed to have seniority over the other ones, looked over at the MetalGreymon and WarGrowlmon lying in the grass. “Sir Dukemon, who are they...?”

“Raiders,” Dukemon explained bluntly. “Put them in chains and lock them up. Don’t forget to deactivate their weapon systems too.”

“Right away,” the Knightmon replied dutifully, nodding to his men.

Examon released the MetalGreymon’s tail and sighed with relief now that he didn’t have to drag him anymore.

“By the way, guys,” Dukemon added, prompting the Knightmon to stop what they were doing and look at him. “This, here, is Examon. He’s going to be joining us, so treat him like you would any other Royal Knight.”

A few of the Knightmon looked at Examon and then seemed to cast silent glances between one another. However, they all nodded at Dukemon. “Of course. It’s an honour to meet you, Sir Examon.”

“Likewise...” Examon replied, although he couldn’t help but pick up on some discomfort from the Knightmon. It made him feel uncertain all of a sudden. Was it because he’s a dragon? Dukemon was draconic, but he at least looked humanoid, like they did. Examon started to wonder if the other knights were all strictly humanoid as well, and if his species would cause a fuss. He shook his head with a dismissive waver. They had probably never seen an Examon before, like the raiders.

Dukemon put his gauntlet on Examon’s spiked shoulder and pulled him slightly, urging him along. “One good thing about being a Royal Knight is that you don’t have to do everything by yourself anymore,” he explained.

“Guess I’ll have to get used to that...” Examon muttered, glancing at Dukemon’s hand on his shoulder and suddenly noticing how informal the knight was around him. Being a Royal Knight, he expected Dukemon to be more... sophisticated. He couldn’t really complain though, as it made him more comfortable at the idea of joining the Royal Knights, if only slightly.

Dukemon looked over and grinned at him as they passed through the gate and into the courtyard which was adorned with cobblestones. “It took me some getting used to too.”

The draconic knight led the dragon towards the broad, guarded entrance of the main building. The two Knightmon guards went to open the door for them, but Dukemon raised his hand, gesturing them to stop so he could do it himself. “We’re knights, guys, not kings. We can handle a door,” Dukemon said to them. The knight shot a grin at Examon. “They’re new too.”

The two Knightmon apologized and went back to their posts as Dukemon opened the door, walking inside with Examon following. They stepped into the entrance hall and Examon looked around at the new environment. The first thing he noticed was the feeling of a soft rug against the soles of his scaled feet. The rug was draped along the long, stone hall, leading to another door at the top of some stairs at the opposite end. There were a few windows and sconces for holding torches along the stone wall of the hall, but not much else.

Examon started walking forwards, following Dukemon down the hall. As he had a very long, skinny tail, it was often awkward. It alternated between whipping and dragging behind him as he walked. Suddenly, he felt a sharp, incredibly intense pain at the end of his tail. Examon heard himself let out a cross between a yelp and a roar.

In his great pain, he noticed Dukemon spin around with alarm. Examon then quickly turned, himself, nearly tripping over his taut tail, to see that the two Knightmon guards had closed the front doors on his tail. He heard two cries of worry suddenly sound out from the other side of the doors. The doors in question suddenly swung open to reveal the two Knightmon guards bowing their heads with their eyes shut tight.

“We’re sorry! We’re sorry! Sorry! We’re so very sorry!” they stammered with fear and embarrassment.

Dukemon couldn’t help but laugh and look over at Examon, who was quickly pulling his tail over to hold the sore point and inspect the damage. Pain shot up the troublesome appendage upon grazing the tender scales with his claw, causing him to wince.

“Better your tail than my hair,” Dukemon said, turning his head to show and point at the long strands of white hair coming from his helmet. “It wouldn’t be the first time it had happened.”

“Grm...” Examon snarled lightly, his face blushing deeply at the fact he reacted so dramatically... even if it did hurt like hell. Even so, he should have handled that much better. He hoped that next time he wouldn’t make such a fool of himself. “Don’t... worry about it...” he mumbled, looking over his shoulder at the two Knightmon to show them that he had no hard feelings. He hoped that Dukemon couldn’t see his flushed face due to his already red scales.

“Are you alright?” the Royal Knight asked, though grinning, making Examon worry that he might have noticed. “That long tail must be cumbersome. I know my hair and cape can be at times.”

“I was just surprised. That’s all,” the hopefully-soon-to-be knight insisted, letting go of his tail and flicking it to test out the sore muscles. “And it can be... The difference is, you can cut your hair and choose not to wear a cape.”

“That’s true... but I won’t,” Dukemon replied, winking at him before starting to walk up the stairs. “I like the way they look.”

Despite his pain, Examon managed a smirk and followed him until they reached the top of the short flight of stairs. He stopped behind Dukemon when the knight halted in front of more wide, reinforced, wooden double doors. “What’s in there?” Examon asked curiously.

Dukemon walked to the doors and pulled them open, his red cape flowing from the gust of air and nearly hitting Examon in the face when he did. “The foyer,” he explained. “The entrance room to the main building of the castle. This building has pretty much everything we need to live here.”

Examon looked at him with heightened curiosity. “Oh?”

Nodding, Dukemon explained. “Yeah. We have plenty of bedrooms, a kitchen, a dining hall, the council room, bathrooms with working plumbing, a medical bay, a leisure room, a chapel to Yggdrasil, the war room, a library, the dungeons, the sparring room and gym, a communications room, the computers room, and other stuff too.”

“That’s a lot...” he observed.

“Well, we do live here, after all,” the Royal Knight replied. Dukemon then walked through the doors and into the wide room.

Following, Examon looked around to take in his surroundings. They stood in a large, octagonal room with doors on each wall except for the two diagonal walls next to the door they just walked in. Also in an octagonal shape were the ten, stone grey pillars circling the open center of the room. They stretched up to the tall, stone ceiling overhead. Examon took a step forwards and felt his bare, clawed feet touch a cool, smooth, marble floor, causing a very soothing feeling against his scales. The floor’s design was a mixture of greys, dark blues, and greens.

Scanning the room, Examon saw that the two doors on the side walls led to hallways, and the two doors on the far diagonal walls led to stairs. Between those was a large set of opened double doors which led to a long, wide hall.

He also noticed three other things in the foyer. Digimon.

There were three digimon off to the right side standing between two of the pillars, chatting.

Dukemon walked to the center of the room, grabbing their attention. Examon cautiously followed in into the open part of the foyer.

“Hey there, guys,” Dukemon greeted, recognizing these unknown digimon.

Examon walked forward slightly, but kept his distance from them, partially because he didn’t want to seem too familiar with them and partially to scope them out. He guessed that was just a habit of his.

He watched Dukemon walk up to the trio of what looked like knights.

“Heya, Dukemon,” one of them said. Examon looked at the speaker, the tallest of the four knights. He was largely humanoid in form but had distinctive dragon characteristics, like the two large horns on his head and the two wings – blue on the outside and pink on the inside – protruding from his back. He also wore extravagant – almost noble-looking – armour with a large golden V-crest on it. As blue as his armour were his fingerless gloves and tights. He also appeared to have a white, form-fitting suit underneath everything else, as Examon couldn’t tell why the exposed parts of his body weren’t the same colour as his blue wings.

“Where have you been? I was trying to find you this morning,” another voice said, diverting Examon’s attention to the digimon, a quite short knight who, like the other one, had draconic characteristics, such as his reptilian body and tail. In terms of height, he was only as tall as their shoulders, but he wore flashy, golden armour over most of his body, which made sure he would never be overlooked.

With a claw, he idly scratched a piece of his armour, which protected his face, feet, chest, shoulders, arms and groin. The shoulder and waist plates also seemed to have curious-looking turbines inside them, though they weren’t on at the moment. Unlike his two counterparts, he wasn’t wearing anything under his armour, which was obvious since the scales of his chest, upper legs, and biceps were exposed. Examon knew that this digimon was definitely of the Veemon-line. He suspected the other one might be, too.

“Special mission from Alphamon,” Dukemon explained to them. He looked over his shoulder gesturing towards Examon. “I was supposed to find this guy.”

The third knight looked over towards Examon; if Examon had been a less composed digimon than he was, he might have been intimidated by the digimon’s appearance. The knight was donning royal purple armour, which seemed unique to Examon for some reason. He also noticed that the digimon was wearing form-fitting, violet clothing underneath his armour. The humanoid knight seemed to have a skull motif to his armour, as there was a skull on top of the sash hanging from his waist between his legs, on his two shoulder plates, and his helmeted face was also skull-like, making him fearsome... except for the two purple tassels coming from his helmet.

“And... what does Alphamon want with him, exactly?” the violet knight asked, looking at Examon with scrutiny.

Examon cleared his throat. “My name is Examon,” he introduced himself, hoping they would do the same. “It’s an honour to meet you.”

The short, gold-armoured knight was the first one to reply. “I’m Magnamon,” he responded. The knight walked over and outstretched his hand, to which Examon courteously shook it. “It’s nice to meet you too, Examon.”

“Examon...” the blue, winged knight echoed, as if he found the name familiar. “Uh, well, my name’s UlforceVeedramon. Ulforce for short.”

“Craniamon,” the purple knight introduced himself tersely. He placed his gloved hands on his hips and eyed Examon with his piercing red eyes. “So what are you doing here, if you don’t mind answering?”

“Don’t be so rude to our guests, Craniamon,” Magnamon chastised, looking over his shoulder.

“It’s fine,” Examon reassured them. He met eyes with Dukemon and nodded at him.

“Alphamon invited Examon here to become the newest member of the Royal Knights,” Dukemon explained.

“...Huh?” questioned Magnamon, turning around to look at Dukemon.

“What?” Craniamon demanded, looking between Dukemon and Examon. “This dragon is to be a Royal Knight?”

After his initial shock, UlforceVeedramon glanced over at Craniamon. “Hey, Craniamon. Three other dragon Royal Knights standing right here, you know,” he reminded him with some humour in his voice.

“You three may be draconic, but you at least look like knights,” Craniamon replied, frowning. “Adding a full blown dragon to our ranks tarnishes our status as knights. What’s next? Sea serpent digimon?”

Magnamon sighed and shook his head. “This is the Sleipmon argument all over again. Just because he’s a horse-man digimon... If this is Alphamon’s decision, then that’s good enough for me.”

“Me too,” Dukemon agreed, folding his arms and nodding. “It’s what’s on the inside that counts,” he added, to which Craniamon seemed to scoff at himself. Examon wasn’t sure why, but he could have sworn he saw Dukemon grimace slightly in response to Craniamon’s reaction.

It was then that UlforceVeedramon’s face seemed to light up at something. “Oh, I remember now. Examon! You’re the so-called ‘Dragon Emperor’, right?” he said. His voice was sarcastic and standoffish. Examon, who was suddenly having second thoughts about coming here, turned to UlforceVeedramon, who continued.

“With a title like that, I guess the rest of us dragon digimon have to defer to you, don’t we? I guess since you’re that much better than us you get to have that title, don’t you?” UlforceVeedramon spoke sarcastically, smirking slightly. “As a dragon digimon who’s apparently beneath you, I suppose I should call you ‘Ex-sama’. Does that sound acceptable, your majesty?”

“Ulforce,” Dukemon warned, casting a glare at the blue dragon. UlforceVeedramon merely grinned in response.

Examon gritted his teeth. He couldn’t understand why they were reacting with so much hostility to him. Were his social skills that bad that he already made enemies of half of the knights he had met?

“I’m not an emperor of anybody,” Examon replied, staring at UlforceVeedramon. With two out of the four Royal Knights already resistant to his joining, he could only imagine how the rest of them would respond. He turned to Dukemon next and bowed his head apologetically. “Maybe this was a mistake, Dukemon. Tell Alphamon that I’m grateful for the opportunity, but-“

“Oh, don’t be so dramatic,” Dukemon replied sharply, narrowing his eyes at him. “Craniamon has his spear up his rear, and Ulforce teases everybody. Just ignore them; I thought you had tougher scales than that.”

Magnamon nodded in agreement. “You’ll fit in in no time, Examon. You would only hate yourself later for passing up such an opportunity.”

Examon raised his head and looked between the two. They did bring up good points. He felt he was better than to let a few derisive words keep him from putting himself in a position where he could help protect the world. Craniamon and UlforceVeedramon may be Royal Knights, but they were just digimon like him too.

“You’re right, Dukemon,” Examon answered. He turned to Craniamon and UlforceVeedramon calmly. “Whatever your first impressions are of me, I hope that you’ll be able to look past them and work together with me in the future.”

He noticed Magnamon smile and Dukemon nodded approvingly.

“I prefer to work alone,” Craniamon responded, turning and walking towards the opened double doors across from the entrance.

UlforceVeedramon smiled and went to follow him. “Well, Ex-sama, if you do become a Royal Knight, I know one person who’s not going to be happy about it,” he said with a slight chuckle before going through the doorway.

“Come on, Examon. This way,” Dukemon said, following Craniamon and UlforceVeedramon.

“Who does he mean?” Examon asked, looking down at Magnamon, who was walking beside him.

“OuRyuumon,” Magnamon answered.

“Is he one of the Royal Knights?” he asked him, remembering Dukemon mention his name when they first met.

“No. He wants to be though. He and Alphamon are very close friends,” the Royal Knight explained. “He might as well be a Royal Knight since he’s fought with us before and stays here at the castle, but it isn’t official.”

“If he and Alphamon are such close friends, then why isn’t he a Royal Knight?”

Magnamon smiled. “If one thing can be said about Alphamon, it’s that he’s fair and impartial. That’s part of why he’s such a good leader. And that’s why I trust him in choosing you as a Royal Knight,” he told him. “As for why OuRyuumon isn’t a Royal Knight... Well, I don’t know Alphamon’s reasons, but my guess is that it’s his hotheadedness. Sure, Dukemon may be hotheaded at times too, but OuRyuumon is much harder to control when he gets worked up.”

Dukemon glanced over his shoulder but kept walking. Examon turned his head forwards. “I see,” he responded, walking out of the foyer and into a grand hall.

The hall around them was an amazing sight to behold. It was long and wide with a tall ceiling. In fact, Examon figured that the path from the entrance of the main building to here was large enough for even a MegaSeadramon to pass through without getting stuck. Again, he felt cold, marble tiles beneath his feet, but this time they were a golden beige colour, much like the walls and ceiling of the great hall. The whole room was very open, with zero furniture. There was another set of large double doors at the end of the hall, along with two smaller doors on the far ends of the side walls.

“Where are we going?” Examon questioned, looking around calmly, though inwardly he was impressed by the beautiful designs on the floor and walls.

“The council room,” Dukemon explained, looking over his shoulder again. “It’s where we discuss official matters.”

Magnamon nodded. “The rest of the knights should be there; we were being summoned for a meeting when you and Dukemon arrived. I guess we know what it’s about now.”

“Didn’t mean to ruin the surprise,” Examon said with a calmed voice, glancing over at Magnamon with a raised eyebrow.

The short knight gave a soft chuckle. “I think that adding a knight to our ranks is enough excitement on its own.”

Examon smiled slightly and looked forward, channeling his bravery and confidence. For as long as the hall was, it didn’t feel as though it took long to reach its end, as he saw Dukemon, who wasn’t far ahead, pass through the doorway at the end of the great hall. Examon’s heart was calm as he walked with Magnamon into what he was told was the council room.

As soon as Examon walked in the room, he noticed a stark difference in setting. The glamour of the great hall wasn’t found in this room. The walls and floor were made of grey stone, giving the room a feeling of formal earnest and gravity. The next thing that caught his eye was a giant stained glass window at the back of the room, opposite from Examon. It glowed with white light as the sun shone in from outside. It reached from the floor to the ceiling and the picture was stunning. Displayed in the window was a picture of a digimon – a blue scaled dragon man by the look of it, not unlike Magnamon. However, he was taller and wore pristine white armour. If it weren’t for the white colour of the armour and the wings, he would have said it was an Imperialdramon Fighter Mode, a digimon of the Veemon line like Magnamon and UlforceVeedramon. No, he was pretty sure he heard of another digimon similar, but much more rare: Imperialdramon Paladin Mode.

The window depicted him in a heroic stance, one arm arched with his fist clenched tight with determination, and the other arm pointing up with a large sword raised in the air. The sword’s blade was etched with digicode. It said “Initialize”.

“I’m glad you’re all here,” a strong, but low voice said, bringing Examon’s thoughts back down to earth. He was embarrassed at himself for allowing himself to be distracted by the culture shock, though he didn’t let that show.

Examon looked down from the window to the middle of the room. There was a large, circular table at the centre, made from the whitest stone. Around it were many seats, most of them with digimon sitting in them. At the far end of the round table, a knight in black armour stood up from his seat. The seat to his right was occupied by a white knight, who appeared to be looking at the standing digimon with some surprise on his face.

“I see you managed to find him, Dukemon,” he said, looking at Dukemon who stopped walking and stood still.

“That’s right,” Dukemon replied. “And when I did, he was in the process of taking down two raiders. I would say you picked well, Alphamon.” The crimson knight looked over his shoulder at Examon, giving him what he assumed was a grin behind his helmet.

The black Royal Knight named Alphamon nodded. He looked past Dukemon and into Examon’s eyes. “Greetings, Examon. I’m grateful that you accepted my invitation,” he said, his voice disarming and warm.

“The honour is all mine,” Examon responded, bowing his head with genuine humility and respect.

“My name is Alphamon, and these are the Royal Knights,” he explained, gently waving an arm out in front of him to gesture to the other digimon sitting around the table.

“Uhh... Alphamon... Who is this digimon?” a voice said.

Examon looked up and saw a brownish-gold dragon digimon looking over at him. He stood on short, rather stubby legs, but his long, serpent-like body made him quite tall, as tall as Examon even. Behind his long arms were large, black metal wings protruding from his back. He also had hair that was a dull purple colour, oddly.

UlforceVeedramon chuckled a bit and sat down in an empty chair. “This ought to be a good show. Don’t say I didn’t warn you, Ex-sama.”

Alphamon looked over to the serpentine digimon. “OuRyuumon?” he said to him before looking to the others. “Royal Knights?” He locked eyes with Examon. “This is Examon. The newest and eleventh member of the Royal Knights. Make him feel welcome.”

“What?! This is preposterous!” a voice shouted out.

Great,” Examon thought as he turned towards the voice. “More outrage.”

Glaring at him were two green eyes behind a blue mask, which was under a leopard-themed helmet. The humanoid knight had brown and white armour, a blonde mane of hair, and two small, white wings. Drooping over the sides of his chair were the ends of a long, red scarf tied around his waist and a brown tail with a yellow orb at the end. “Alphamon, what possessed you to enlist him as a member?”

“An Examon?” a different, male, yet slightly effeminate, voice spoke. Examon looked over and saw a knight that he could only describe as flamboyant. Any male knight who wears pink armour from head to toe can only be described as such. He also had several long yellow ribbons coming out of his armour. “Another very, very strange choice for a new Royal Knight you’ve made, Alphie. Such a dragon seems obscure for our team, but at least he’s good-looking.”

Examon blinked in surprise at that last comment. “Well... that’s better than nothing, I guess,” he figured.

“A-Alphamon... You can’t be serious!” shouted the dragon digimon that Examon now knew was called OuRyuumon. “Him?! Why him?!”

“Stop it, you guys,” Dukemon said with some fire in his voice, glaring at the knights who protested.

“We’ll talk later, OuRyuumon,” Alphamon said to him, glancing over. He sighed and rubbed his head. “What part of ‘make him feel welcome’ was so difficult to understand?” he asked in a dry, exasperated voice.

“Hmph,” OuRyuumon grunted, casting a glare at Examon as he stormed out of the council room and into the great hall.

“I told you, Omegamon,” Alphamon spoke to the white armoured digimon beside him.

“Give them time,” Omegamon responded.

Examon frowned at the commotion his presence caused. He certainly never had this effect back in the United Dramonic Coalition. This setting seemed like an acquired taste to him now. He hoped that the knights would warm to him after a few days, but he really couldn’t guarantee that from the way things looked now.

He looked at the remaining two knights who really hadn’t reacted strongly to the announcement. One was a white and gold armoured humanoid digimon with draconic features like light violet scales and leathery, purple wings. He also seemed to have red orbs in the palms on his hands.

The final Royal Knight was a surprise to Examon. The knight had the upper body of a man and the lower body and head of a horse, except he had six legs. He was clad in red armour and had large, golden ornamentations coming from his back. Adding to Examon’s surprise, he also had purple hair much like OuRyuumon did. He also seemed to be sitting very awkwardly in his small chair, as he was half sitting and half standing due to his six legs.

Examon wondered if that digimon went through the same resistance as he did or not. The horse man digimon looked over at Examon and smiled, giving him a warm nod. Examon allowed a smile and returned the nod.

The shock and surprise seemed to die down and the atmosphere settled. Alphamon took this opportunity to speak again. “Okay, everyone... If you’re all done marring Examon’s perception of how kind and noble the Royal Knights are,” he began, casting a particular glance to Craniamon, UlforceVeedramon, and the brown knight, “why don’t we all introduce ourselves?” Alphamon sat back down and took a drink from the glass in front of him before looking at Examon. “You’ve already met Dukemon and I...”

Examon nodded politely. “Magnamon, UlforceVeedramon, and Craniamon as well,” he explained.

The white knight that sat at Alphamon’s right nodded to him. “My name is Omegamon. It’s an honour to meet you and I look forward to seeing what you can do.”

The pink knight who apparently found Examon attractive spoke up. “Well, it should be interesting to have you among our ranks, Examon. My name is RhodoKnightmon, but just ‘Rhodo’ will be fine as well,” he replied, looking at Examon carefully. “What massive wings you carry. You know what they say about a digimon with big wings, don’t you?”

“Let’s assume he does, Rhodo,” the white armoured, purple dragon man said, standing up and nodding at Examon. “I’m Dynasmon. Good to have you with us.”

“Duftmon,” the brown, feline-like knight said shortly, folding his arms. “Chief tactician of the Royal Knights.”

Lastly, the red-armoured, horse knight spoke up. “And I’m Sleipmon. It’s a pleasure to meet you,” he said, a smile forming. “It will be nice not to be the newest member anymore.”

Examon nodded to all of them. “It’s an honour to meet you all and to be chosen to join you. I hope we can become friends in the future.”

Alphamon nodded and stood up. “You can all get acquainted later. For now, I need to speak with Examon in private to get him settled in. This meeting is over.”

Nods came from around the round table and the Royal Knights rose to their feet, walking towards the door behind Examon. Examon tucked his wings in slightly as they started to pass, some not looking at him while others giving him nods or smiles. As they walked by him he felt Dukemon’s hand pat the spikes on his shoulder. Examon looked over and Dukemon gave him a reassuring nod, which Examon appreciated.

A few seconds later, only Alphamon and himself remained in the council room. Examon couldn’t help but glance up at the stained glass window of the Imperialdramon Paladin Mode again. “Who is that?” he asked.

Alphamon looked over his shoulder and wing, looking up at it. “Imperialdramon Paladin Mode. He was the founder of the Royal Knights.”

“Is he the leader, then?” Examon questioned, walking over to Alphamon.

“No. That role fell to me,” he explained, smiling a bit. “I have the title of Lord of the Empty Seat... That said, here at the Royal Knights, we treat each other as our equals. I respect the opinions of each member.”

“Equal?” Examon asked. He certainly didn’t feel like the others’ equal, given the lukewarm reception he received.

“Don’t mind them. They’ll warm to you after awhile,” Alphamon explained. “I expected such reactions when I decided to make you our eleventh member. A few of the knights have strong personalities along with more traditional views on what the Royal Knights should be. Sleipmon received a similar treatment, but now he’s a fully integrated member of the Royal Knights who has tight bonds with most of them. ...I don’t know why Ulforce is icy towards you, though; he’s one of the more progressive knights...”

Examon grinned slightly. “I don’t think he likes my title of ‘Dragon Emperor’... I never even liked that title. They just called me that to scare potential bandits and raiders.”

Nodding, Alphamon took his seat, the one that had its back to the window and faced the door, and looked over at him. “Well, you’ll be fine, Examon. Now, there’s a lot of business we need to get to. You might want to sit down; this will take awhile.”

Examon took one of the seats that had been unoccupied, eager to get started. “I’m ready when you are, Alphamon...”

-

His black, metal body dashed down the dark hall. He could hear the clanging of his paws against the floor as he ran. His eyes and sensors were on full alert.

“Where is he?” he growled under his breath while running as fast as his strong and fast legs could take him.

Finally, he turned into a room and saw the familiar body of a two-legged jackal digimon with big wings and long black hair. The fast wolf digimon screeched to a stop.

“Bro! Bro! Anubismon!” he shouted, panting.

The digimon turned towards him with a raised eyebrow. “BlackMetalGarurumon?” he asked, sounding as calm as ever. “What’s up?”

“It’s Examon!” BlackMetalGarurumon explained enthusiastically, rearing up on his hind legs for a moment to emphasize his excitement.

“What now?” Anubismon asked, narrowing his red eyes at him. “Did he kill those raiders we sent in to probe the territory?”

“No! Well! Yeah! Well! Sort of!” BlackMetalGarurumon tried to explain as clear as he could.

“...Slow down, brother,” Anubismon scolded, seeming annoyed at him again.

“He killed three of them and the other two were taken prisoner, but that’s only the bad news!”

“...So what’s the good news? Aside from the fact that we won’t have to worry about paying those screw ups now.”

BlackMetalGarurumon grinned widely. “Well, y’see. When I was watching them, after the fight, this other guy came over to Examon. ...It was Dukemon from the Royal Knights.”

“...Dukemon?” Anubismon asked.

BlackMetalGarurumon nodded. “So, I watched from a distance, listening in with my range listening device, and Dukemon said that they wanted Examon to join the Royal Knights!”

“...Great for him. And this is good for us how?” BlackMetalGarurumon’s brother questioned.

“He agreed and is going with them! Which means that he won’t be around to protect the United Dramonic Coalition! We’ll be able to move in like you wanted!” BlackMetalGarurumon explained.

A grin appeared on Anubismon’s face, causing BlackMetaGarurumon to be just as pleased. “Good work...” he said.

Happy with himself, BlackMetalGarurumon outstretched his paw and started examining it like it was no big deal. “Yeah, well...” he said coolly, he thought, at least. He then looked up at Anubismon. “Hey, why do we want to take control of that place again? It’s full of smelly dragons. Why do you think they’d accept canine digimon as leaders?”

“They might not, but it won’t matter,” Anubismon explained. “The only reason all those factions of dragons banded together and formed the United Dramonic Coalition was so that they could all benefit from Examon’s protection. Now that he’s abandoned them to join the Royal Knights, that coalition will break apart easily due to in-fighting. And if we go in and attack them and take over, they’ll be too weak to resist our rule. Then, instead of Examon, they’ll be united under us, BlackMetalGarurumon.”

“I don’t really get the details, but I don’t mind blowing digimon up if that’s what you think will work best,” BlackMetalGarurumon replied, smiling.

Anubismon chuckled softly. “That’s what you’re best at. Now come on, brother. Let’s start planning our next move...”
[B]Claimed: Treecko, Grovyle, Charmeleon.
Co-Owner of Treecko/Grovyle/Sceptile Club.
Paired withAnastasia R.
PC Family so far: Cousin - ScytheMaster, Awesomest Sister - Diamondpearl876, Brother - Rebellious Treecko (PM one of us if you want to join it)

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