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Old January 9th, 2013 (6:11 PM).
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Author's Note: Okay, so I've decided to post Chapter 8 in two parts. This is because I'm already at thirteen pages in Word and I'm not even halfway done. So, I'm splitting the chapter up because I don't want the chapter to be too long.

Chapter 8: Adversary (Part I)

The low drone of an engine and an incessant, mechanical clatter, like the ticking of cogs in a machine, resounded through the dark forest. A pair of tank treads rolled over a hollow log that blocked a barely beaten trail in the wooded area. The treads belonged to a draconic digimon with a light blue-purple scale colour. Only his upper body was like that of a dragon, as his entire lower body was a brown and green plated tank. He was armed to the teeth with machine guns, chain guns, cannons, and other armaments.

The Tankdramon looked around the shadowy woods warily. It was the middle of daylight out, but the thick canopy of the countless trees made it seem more like dusk in the forest. The branches and leaves were blocking the sunlight from hitting the forest floor. He supposed that was the reason why it was called Dusk Forest.

The Tankdramon growled to himself. He couldn’t help but feel edgy as he drove through the ominous, threatening terrain. He didn’t know what sort of digimon might have made their home in there. Not friendly ones, he guessed.

“I’d hate to see what this place is like at night...” he mumbled to himself. Tankdramon loaded and cocked his built-in machine guns, just in case.

The only sounds he could hear were the ones that he was creating as he travelled down the path. The silence only served to fuel his paranoia.

Tankdramon’s keen eyes darted back and forth as he looked around. “This is ridiculous... I’m a well trained ultimate level digimon who can more than hold his own in a fight. What do I have to worry about? A tree attacking me? Pshht,” Tankdramon told himself, chuckling slightly and trying to put himself at ease.

“Still... What kind of selfish, Numemon-brained dweeb thinks it’s a good idea to send a Tankdramon on a job in the forest?” he murmured, frowning in annoyance. “There’s no manoeuvrability, it’s fricking dark, and I’m going to be picking leaves and twigs out of my treads for weeks!”

He gritted his teeth. “Guess it’s partially my fault for taking the job in the first place. I can see why he didn’t want to go himself. Still not sure what exactly it is that the guy wants me to find, though... What’s he mean by ‘abnormalities’? Could he be any vaguer?”

Without noticing, Tankdramon started treading off of the path and heading away from it, going in a different direction in the forest. It was so dark that he could barely see the path, let alone where it curved; anywhere that wasn’t blocked by trees was good enough for him.

“It’d be easier if I could just blow all these trees down. What I wouldn’t give just for a bit of light,” he continued to speak, trying to fill the nervous silence with words.

Tankdramon tread over some underbrush. “Maybe just one tree, just to light things up a little bit,” he spoke, stopping in his tracks and aiming his cannons.

Before he could fire, he started to feel strange. He felt a tingling sensation in his tank treads. This was especially weird to him because he wasn’t supposed to feel very much in his machine parts, at least not in the actual metal.

The feeling grew and it was an odd, invigorating sensation. Tankdramon felt a new found surge of energy in his muscles, and it felt like his gears were moving twice as fast. His mind worked faster and the numb, tingling feeling washed through him. It was intoxicating.

“Wh... What’s going on...? Why do I feel so weird?” he asked himself.

Tankdramon blinked in surprise and looked over his side. He saw a black crack in the ground, right underneath his tank treads. It was a skinny fissure that anybody could walk on and be none the wiser. It was thin but it was very deep.

“What... is that...?” Tankdramon asked, panting and grunting. Sweat started to run down his chest from the overwhelming sensations he felt within himself. It started to cause him discomfort. “This is... getting weird...”

Tankdramon continued to look at the crack in the ground. His body suddenly started to glow, illuminating the ground around him. Thanks to the light, he could see a dark aura rising up from inside of the crack. Shadowy tendrils rose up from the crevice and took hold of him, grabbing his limbs, cannons and treads.

“Wh-What! Hey! St-Stop!” he shouted, his fear rising. His eyes widened and his heart pumped rapidly. “Blast Gatling!”

His machine guns opened fire and he shot desperately, the muzzle flashes lighting up the forest like candles flickering in the wind. However, the shadows and darkness were unaffected, the bullets shooting through the aura harmlessly as it consumed his body.

Tankdramon let out a gasp, arching his head back as if he were sinking in water. “Stop it! Whatever this is, j-just stop!” he shouted, eyes wide as a mixture of light and darkness enveloped his body. The surge of energy within him grew and he felt stronger and stronger.

However, that didn’t stop him from letting out a scream as the shadows overtook him completely.


A day later...

Craniamon stood in a grassy field within the defensive walls of the Royal Knight’s headquarters. Clad in his violet, “black digizoid” armour, he held his trusty, double-sided spear, the Claiohm Solais, in his right hand. It was poised and at the ready. In his left hand, Craniamon held the large kite shield, the Avalon.

The Royal Knight watched patiently as Examon circled in the sky above, like a vulture. Without warning, Examon’s voice echoed and he fired a powerful green laser from the Ambrosius lance in his claws, aiming right at Craniamon.

The pillar of energy came striking down towards Craniamon, but the violet knight grunted and raised the Avalon. “God Breath!” Craniamon responded, a barrier forming around the shield and covering him completely. The Pendragon’s Glory attack that Examon fired merely hit the barrier and was deflected off. It slammed into the nearby grass instead.

“You were close that time, Examon!” a voice yelled off from the side.

Dynasmon and Magnamon watched from the side of the field. Craniamon and Examon were in the middle of a practice battle in the training grounds, using the safety program for their weaponry, of course. The training grounds were extremely wide, so whoever was using them could really let loose when practicing their attacks. It also provided lots of manoeuvrability in practice battles like the one that Craniamon and Examon were currently in.

Dynasmon uncapped his hands from his mouth and turned to Magnamon. “You’re really betting on Examon?” he asked with a smile. “I mean, I’m not taking anything away from Examon, but Craniamon’s the most defence oriented of the Knights. There’s no way any of Examon’s shots are getting past that shield.”

Magnamon grinned. “Ye of little faith,” he responded, folding his arms. “I’m a believer in the underdog.”

“You would need to be.” Dynasmon measured Magnamon’s height with a hand and smirked. Magnamon rolled his eyes and went back to watching the fight.

As the barrier dissipated, Craniamon lowered his shield slightly and watched as Examon swerved in the air. He grinned behind his helmet confidently. “You don’t stand a chance, dragon... I have the upper hand here. I’m far too defended with Avalon for your long ranged attacks to hit me. The only chance you have is to get up close and fight me spear-to-spear, and, even then, I’m faster than you; you’re not as manoeuvrable with those bulky, awkward wings,” Craniamon thought to himself.

Examon suddenly swooped down and dove towards the ground. Craniamon bent his legs and got ready to jump in case Examon was performing his Draconic Impact attack, but Craniamon doubted that he had enough altitude to do that with any effect.

Instead of slamming into the ground, Examon flapped his wings in wide strokes. He stopped his abrupt descent and landed gently on the ground, twenty meters away. The dragon raised his lance and took careful aim. “Avalon’s Gate,” he spoke. A cylindrical shell burst from the muzzle of his lance and flew towards Craniamon.

Craniamon scoffed and narrowed his eyes. “Predictable. Bad form,” he muttered, lifting his double edged spear.

The Claiohm Solais shimmered in the sunlight as Craniamon raised it over his head and spun it around, giving it momentum. When the shell closed in on him, Craniamon slashed his weapon down vertically, cleaving the metal canister down the middle. The knight quickly stepped back and pulled his shield in front of himself, expecting an explosion of some sort. Instead, he heard a hissing sound.

Thick, white smoke burst from the ammunition shell and surrounded Craniamon, completely obstructing his vision. “Damn it!” Craniamon hissed, realizing Examon’s plan.

Before he could let the dragon act on the plan, Craniamon jumped far back so that he was outside of the thick haze. He gripped his spear and shield more guardedly, glaring into the cloud of smoke. Then he heard a powerful flap of Examon’s wings and felt a gust of wind. Examon blew the smoke upon him once again.

“You think that’ll work?” he asked aloud. “End Waltz!” Craniamon started spinning the Claiohm Solais above his head rapidly. It was fast enough that electricity began to discharge from the blades.

Craniamon swung the spear while the blades were at an angle, creating a vacuum of wind and electricity around himself. The smoke started to swirl around him before being released, getting pulled away from Craniamon’s surroundings so that it didn’t hinder him. He was using the Claiohm Solais like a giant fan.

When the smoke was almost entirely cleared away, Craniamon gripped his spear tightly and stopped spinning it. A tendril of electricity jumped from one end of the blade to the other.

The last bit of smoke cleared away, just in time for Craniamon to see Examon charging him, his spear steady as if he was jousting. Craniamon was initially surprised, but he soon grinned, drew his weapon back, and raised the Avalon shield. His plan was clear in his mind. Examon would attack, be repelled by the Avalon’s barrier, and would be completely open to Craniamon’s counterattack.

Examon dashed at him, poised his lance, and thrust it at Craniamon. He gripped his spear tightly and smirked. “God Breath!”

The omnidirectional barrier burst from his shield and surrounded him. Craniamon counted the seconds down from three, but, at the back of his mind, found it strange that he didn’t hear any grunt from Examon or felt any reverberations in the barrier from the impact.

After the three seconds, Craniamon moved his shield to the side and prepared for his attack. His eyes widened when he saw Examon standing in front of him, his lance aimed right for him. “What?!” he thought to himself in confused horror. And then he realised. Examon stopped the thrust of his lance before it could hit his barrier and be deflected.

Craniamon stubbornly moved to attack Examon, but Examon already pulled the trigger. “Pendragon’s Glory.”

The emerald beam exploded against Craniamon’s chest and sent a surge of electricity running through him, knocking the Royal Knight flat on his back.

“And he wins!” Magnamon cheered from the side of the field.

“That’s too bad,” Dynasmon said, folding his arms due to losing his competition with Magnamon.

Examon exhaled and planted his lance in the ground, walking over to Craniamon. “That was a good match,” he said to him. He outstretched his clawed hand to Craniamon, offering to pull him. “Looks like I beat you for once.”

Grimacing, Craniamon propped himself up on his elbows and saw Examon standing over him, his hand extended. Craniamon just stared in disbelief. “How could that lizard beat me...?” he wondered.

After a moment of staring, Craniamon blushed in embarrassment and backhanded Examon’s hand away. Examon recoiled his hand in surprise and watched Craniamon stand up on his own.

“...What’s wrong?” Examon asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Nothing. Just leave me alone,” Craniamon answered, glaring and storming past him.

Dynasmon put his hands on his hips as Craniamon approached. “Hey, I was rooting for you, you kno--“

“Out of my way,” Craniamon spat, pushing through them and walking towards the other side of the training ground, which was more towards the castle.

“...Someone’s in a lousy mood,” Dynasmon muttered, turning to look at Magnamon.

Magnamon turned and watched Craniamon walk away. He looked on as Craniamon stood in the training ground and started performing complex spear techniques on a very durable practice dummy.

“He’s going to be doing that for awhile,” Magnamon said with a sigh.

Examon walked over to them, resting his lance on his shoulder. “What’s his problem?” Examon asked. “Is it that big of a deal that I beat him once out of the five times he beat me?”

Dynasmon turned to Examon. “It’s nothing personal. He just... doesn’t really take losing very well.”

“Or even just making a mistake at all,” Magnamon added. “Like getting injured on a mission.”

Examon frowned. He watched as Craniamon either trained with or was taking his anger out on the practice dummy; he wasn’t sure which. “That’s ridiculous... No digimon is perfect.”

Dynasmon folded his arms and glanced at Examon. “No, but he sure is trying to be...”


A few hours later, Dukemon called a meeting in the war room. He gathered all eight of the present Royal Knights, not counting himself. MetallifeKuwagamon and Grani were present as well. The knights waited with baited breath.

“What’s this about, Dukemon?” Craniamon asked, folding his arms and looking particularly sour.

“I’ve gathered you here so I can debrief all of you,” Dukemon responded.

“Oh, good,” RhodoKnightmon said, smiling to himself. “I do enjoy seeing you guys without your briefs.”

“That joke’s gotten old after the thousandth time, Rhodo,” UlforceVeedramon chuckled.

“Who’s joking?” Rhodo replied with a wink.

Dukemon sighed, smirking faintly. “Rhodo, if you’d be so kind as to not speak for the rest of this meeting, things would go along a lot more quickly.”

Duftmon stepped forwards. “For once, Dukemon, I agree with you,” he said, walking up to Dukemon and hoping they could get down to business. “So, what’s the situation?”

“We’re not entirely sure,” Dukemon admitted. When he saw Duftmon open his mouth to comment, the acting leader quickly continued. “And that’s because it has to do with Dusk Forest. The tree canopies are so thick that our aerial scouts can’t see what’s happening below.” He looked to Grani, the leader of the recon squadron, who nodded in agreement.

“Dusk Forest?” Craniamon asked.

“I haven’t heard of it,” Examon murmured.

Dukemon walked over to the tactics interface table in the middle of the room and pressed a few buttons on it. He brought up a vague, three dimensional representation of the map of Dusk Forest and the surrounding areas. “It’s a relatively small forest between two provinces in the Free Area. It’s very dark, there’s no visibility from the air, and the whole forest is really sort of a mystery, even to us,” Dukemon explained.

“That explains why the topographical map is next to useless for rendering it, I suppose,” Duftmon said, looking at the nondescript map of the forest on the table.

“Yeah,” Dukemon said. “Due to its small sizes and insignificance, we’ve never really had a reason to care about the forest before now.”

“So why now?” Sleipmon questioned.

Dukemon placed folded his arms and turned to MetallifeKuwagamon. “Want to tell us what you’ve found?”

MetallifeKuwagamon nodded and rubbed the back of his metal neck with his hand. “Well... the data map scan was running and then the DADAR system has detected a huge increase in data taking place somewhere inside Dusk Forest.”

“What sort of increase in data, Metallife?” Dynasmon asked. “Are you sure it wasn’t just a random evolution?”

“No, I don’t think so... The spike in data was too fast. And it took place in a region containing abnormal amounts of data. The region with the unnatural variation in data was so small - only about a meter in length - that even the sharpest eyed digimon would overlook it unless the map was zoomed in. That’s the strange part.”

“That’s not all, correct?” Duftmon asked.

Grani floated forwards. “One of my scouts heard something when he was patrolling near the village closest to Dusk Forest. Apparently a few digimon have disappeared inside the forest recently. There have also been strange noises and flashes coming from the forest as well,” the Zero ARMS explained.

“Ooowoo... Do you think it’s haunted by Phantomon and Bakemon?” UlforceVeedramon joked.

“We think it’s more likely that somebody digivolved unnaturally and isn’t handling their new evolution very well,” Dukemon explained. “I want two of you to go investigate.”

Craniamon stepped forwards. “I’ll go,” he said, his voice not leaving any room for disagreement.

RhodoKnightmon put his hands on his hips. “Why don’t we send a squad of our forces to go instead?” he asked, feeling rather lazy at the moment.

“Because we don’t know what we’re up against,” Dukemon replied. “We don’t have any intel or recon on anything inside Dusk Forest. If it really is an evil or out-of-control digimon, then I don’t want to risk any of their lives. I want the best to be there.”

“And that’s why I’m going,” Craniamon insisted, folding his arms. “And I’m going alone.”

Dukemon frowned. “I said two, Craniamon,” he replied. “One of the others is going with you.”

“No. I’ll be fine. I can take care of it by myself,” the violet knight retorted firmly.

“And I say somebody’s going with you, tough guy,” Dukemon responded, just as stubbornly. “Examon, you go with him.”

“Him?” Duftmon asked, incredulous at the idea.

Craniamon sneered. He stared with determination at the crimson Royal Knight, narrowing his gaze a bit. “Don’t you trust me? Don’t you think I can handle it?” he asked, not taking no for an answer.

Dukemon sighed. “Yeah, of course I do,” he insisted. “What I don’t trust is that forest. We don’t know what we’re up against and four eyes are better than two since you’ll be looking for that unnatural data source as well.”

“My two eyes are fine,” Craniamon responded, his voice cool. He turned to look at Examon. “And I don’t want or need him to hold my hand.”

“But that would be so cute!” RhodoKnightmon chimed in.

“Cram it, Rhodo,” Craniamon replied coldly. “Look, I’m doing this mission alone. Examon would only get in the way anyways.”

Before Dukemon could protest, Duftmon spoke up. “While I think Craniamon’s petty, solitary, independent streak is foolish and moronic, he does make a good point that Examon would be useless in the forest. His wings in addition to the trees would make for poor manoeuvrability on his part, and the trees would block his ranged attacks.”

“Then Rhodo or somebody can go with you instead,” Dukemon said, his voice showing his slight, growing irritation.

RhodoKnightmon sank back behind Sleipmon. “No, I believe Examon should go...” he insisted.

The dragon in question took a step forwards. “I can do more than just long-ranged and aerial bombardment,” Examon responded, looking at Duftmon. “I can hold my own in a close quarters fight.” He glanced over at Craniamon. “I think I have proven that today...”

Craniamon glared at Examon icily. “I don’t want Rhodo or Magnamon or anybody coming. Especially not the dragon...”

Examon met Craniamon’s cold glare with a cool one of his own. “This is just because I beat you in that practice duel today, isn’t it?” he spoke, folding his arms. “You’re really going to make things difficult for us because of your wounded pride?”

Craniamon’s eyes narrowed and he clenched his fists. “Oh, foolish me. It’s not as if you would ever jeopardize a mission because of your personal feelings, isn’t that right, Examon?” he responded acidly, remembering back when Examon abandoned his post to help the United Dramonic Coalition. “Hypocrite.”

“Enough!” Dukemon shouted, silencing the room. “We’re the Royal Knights! Protectors of the Digital World! We should be focused on the task at hand and working together, not bickering over petty things,” he spoke passionately.

“That’s rich, considering yesterday,” Duftmon muttered under his breath.

Dukemon took a deep breath. He tried his best to do what Alphamon would do if he were here... though his version was a bit fierier than Alphamon’s. He looked at the knights, his eyes resting on Craniamon and Examon. “Look, you two. I know that we’re all equal here, but in situations like this, the leader, which is me in this case, has the final say in the matter. And I say you two are going together.”

“Despite Examon’s body type?” Duftmon asked.

Dukemon nodded. “Examon says he’s capable. Besides, they can take the time to sort out their issues,” he said sternly. “...Well, Examon? Craniamon?”

The environment in the war room was tense. After a few moments, Examon nodded. “...Fine by me.”

Craniamon sneered with grudging defeat. “...Whatever.”

“Good,” Dukemon said. “Now, since we don’t have much information on Dusk Forest, you two will be going in there without any tactics planned. You two are going to have to think on your toes and help each other. That shouldn’t be a problem for two Royal Knights, right?”

“I’ll do my best, Dukemon,” Examon assured him.

“I’m not babysitting the dragon,” Craniamon said steadily, looking over at Examon.

“I don’t expect you to,” Examon replied, his voice calm.

Dukemon sighed and closed the map. “You two shouldn’t have any trouble getting to the province; it’s not very far. You can head out now,” he said, concluding that debriefing. “And good luck.”

Examon and Craniamon nodded, turning around and heading out of the war room. Craniamon looked over at his dragon partner. “I’m not picking up any of your dead weight.”

Examon’s brow furrowed. “I’ll be fine without your help,” he assured the violet Royal Knight.

Craniamon grunted. “I was thinking the exact thing myself...”


After two hours of travel, Craniamon and Examon arrived outside of a village that bordered the mysterious Dusk Forest. It was a small, humble village of a hundred or so buildings of various sizes, constructed to accommodate the differing sizes of digimon. A small river and grass separated the town from the border of Dusk Forest. The huge, thick trees made most passersby feel small, and the dense canopies of the trees made the forest seem dark and ominous even from the outside looking in.

The journey from the Royal Knights’ headquarters to this village had been an awkward, uncomfortable one. Neither Examon nor Craniamon spoke to the other for the whole two hours. Craniamon simply walked at a brisk pace while Examon flew overhead, about thirty feet off the ground. For most, the silence would have been deafening, but both Examon and Craniamon seemed to embrace the quiet and the alone time.

It wasn’t until now, when they walked up the path to the village, did Examon speak about something that been bothering him for the last twenty minutes.

“Dusk Forest is north of our headquarters. Why did you lead us all the way up to this village that’s north of the forest? Wouldn’t entering at the south end of the forest have been faster?” Examon asked Craniamon as he landed and started travelling on foot.

“Because the abnormality in data is much closer to the north side of the forest,” Craniamon replied curtly.

“So it will be easier to investigate that site?” Examon guessed.

Craniamon nodded shortly. “That’s the first priority. It’ll be easier to do that from this route since it’s closer and we’re going into the forest essentially blind.”

“Are you worried about ambush from whatever’s in there?” Examon asked.

“’Worried’ isn’t the word I would use,” Craniamon answered, continuing down the path.

“But is it a possibility?” the dragon asked. “We do have to prepare for what we can to make up for what we can’t.”

Craniamon grunted. “You sound like Duftmon... While tactics and preparations are fine and I’m sure they help a little, the outcome of a battle is decided in the moment of the actual fight. The skills and instincts of a strong combatant can get the better of any strategy. That’s why, when a plan falls apart, a knight needs to know how to think on their feet.”

Examon sighed and rested his lance on his shoulder, letting his wings relax as he followed Craniamon. “Fair enough, but I prefer preparation to adaptation, myself...”

“You’re free to wait in the village while I do the mission myself, you know,” Craniamon told him, secretly hoping that he would take him up on the offer.

“...No,” Examon replied, answering as Craniamon expected he would. “And you didn’t answer my question. Can we expect an ambush?”

Craniamon glanced over his shoulder at the dragon digimon. “I doubt that, if Dukemon’s right about a digimon going wild from an evolution. Digimon like that are impulsive and unstable; they’re not about to lay any clever strategies or traps while they’re completely out of control.”

Examon slowly looked away. “I suppose you’re right about that...” he spoke softly.

The silence ensued, lasting for about a minute until the duo reached the village. They walked under an aged, cracked, wooden arch that served as the official western entrance to the village. As they entered, the two digimon caught some stares and incited some excited mumbles and whispers between the village’s residences. Digimon started to emerge from their homes to gawk at the prestigious-looking outsiders.

A short, blue dragon with small, red wings and horns walked up to Craniamon and Examon curiously. “Excuse me. Are you Royal Knights...?” he questioned, asking what most of the digimon there were thinking.

“Yes,” Craniamon replied, looking down at the Dracomon. “We’re here to investigate Dusk Forest.”

Examon looked at the Dracomon lingeringly, almost as if nostalgic. After a moment, he focused again and nodded. “Does anybody know anything?”

“Just that the digimon who have gone into the forest recently haven’t come out,” the Dracomon replied.

Craniamon couldn’t help but notice a short humanoid digimon dressed in wizard’s robes. He seemed to be tugging at his collar with a finger, a concerned expression engraved on his face. Craniamon turned to him with a raised eyebrow. “Hey, you. The Wizardmon. Do you know something?” he asked.

Examon turned with surprise towards the Wizardmon, wondering why Craniamon thought that he, in particular, would know something when there were several other digimon around them.

“Well... kind of...” the Wizardmon replied meekly as he took a step back.

On the inside, Examon was surprised. Was Craniamon more observant than he gave him credit for? He walked over to the Wizardmon, following Craniamon. “Can you tell us?”

Wizardmon looked between the two Royal Knights uncertainly, obviously intimidated by the two Royal Knights standing over him, looking at him for answers. “Uh, y-yes... Well... It started when I put out an open call for mercenaries.”

“Mercenaries?” Craniamon asked, frowning as he remembered the ones that they had to deal with in the United Dramonic Coaltion.

Wizardmon winced at Craniamon’s reaction, knowing how it must have sounded to the knight, and quickly tried to amend his statement. “I-I don’t mean ‘mercenaries’. Or at least not the bad kind. I-I just mean I needed hired muscle. Or adventurers who do jobs for money. Lots of non-evil digimon do that sort of thing.”

“Yes, we know. You’re not on trial here,” Craniamon said with narrowed eyes that made the Wizardmon feel like he was, indeed, on trial.

“Please, continue,” Examon spoke.

Wizardmon nodded. “Well, so... this Tankdramon who was in the area was the first to answer the call. I told him what I needed him to do. He said he’d take the job and went into the forest. He was the first digimon who didn’t come out...” he explained, looking down guiltily. “I feel terrible.”

“You don’t know what happened to him?” Examon asked.

“No... The same thing that happened to the other few digimon who followed in his footsteps... err, “tanksteps”, I presume...” Wizardmon answered.

“What was this ‘job’ you wanted him to do?” Craniamon inquired.

Wizardmon looked up at Craniamon. “Oh, well, uh... It’s a little hard to explain. You see, I’ve started doing some research on Dusk Forest. Some digimon have reported having uncharacteristic mood swings, surges of adrenaline and energy, tingling sensations, and feelings of euphoria while in the forest. I started to wonder if it was from a certain type of pollen or leaf, or if it was from the lack of sunlight entering the forest, or if it was, maybe, some sort of unnatural occurrence.”

“So you hired him to investigate the forest?” Craniamon asked. When the Wizardmon nodded, the Royal Knight frowned. “Why didn’t you do it yourself? If you’re into researching, isn’t it better to do it with your own two eyes?” he questioned.

The short mage digimon blushed and down. “...I’m sort of... afraid to go in there...” he confessed, pulling his wizard hat down so that his face was more covered. He felt ashamed of admitting that in the face of brave warriors like the Royal Knights.

“...I see,” Craniamon answered, less than amused. He looked in the direction of the dark forest. “You said that the Tankdramon was the first digimon to disappear in there. Has there been any weird about the forest?”

“No,” Wizardmon explained. “Not aside from those feelings digimon described. But before that, digimon could safely pass from one side of the forest to the other and enter and exit it as they pleased. Now everybody’s afraid to go near it and can see flashes inside the forest every so often.”

“The flashes and noises started when digimon began disappearing?” Examon asked.

Wizardmon nodded. “Yes...”

“We’ll find out what’s going on and take care of it,” Craniamon told him. Examon nodded in agreement.

“Thank you,” Wizardmon replied graciously. He then pointed to a path that lead from the village to a small bridge that spanned the river separating the town from Dusk Forest. “That path will lead you to the forest.”

Examon nodded and started heading down the path, Craniamon at his side. As they started to approach the bridge, Examon looked at Craniamon. “Craniamon...” he spoke.

Craniamon looked over, questioningly. “What?”

“I know you and I aren’t on the best terms. Let’s put our personal feelings aside for the sake of the mission,” he said.

“...That’s fine with me,” Craniamon replied, looking forwards, at the forest. “You stay out of my way and I’ll stay out of yours. It’s easier that way.”

Examon glanced at the purple knight. He knew Dukemon would want them to maintain a level of teamwork, but Examon was used to working alone and Craniamon seemed to prefer that anyways. Maybe things would be easier if they just worked separately.

“Okay then...” he responded.

The two Royal Knights continued walking in silence, towards the dim and shadowy forest. They followed the path into the woods before disappearing from sight.


Within Dusk Forest, a soft wind swept through the trees. The thick, luscious canopies rustled in the breeze. The leaves trembled, letting small rays of light appear within the forest for moments before disappearing again, returning the forest to a dull state of near-darkness.

One ray of light shone down on a branch of a tree and reflected off by something clear, causing it to shimmer in the dark. The light shone through the visor and hit a yellow eye. The eye narrowed until it became shrouded in darkness once again.

Standing on the branch of the tree was a tall, bipedal creature. It was clad in dark blue armour from head to toe, letting it hide in the shade of the forest without even trying. Not even the clear visor on its face stood out. The wind blew again, making the digimon’s red hair and strong tail waft with the wind. Four skinny, metal shafts extended behind it, one from each shoulder and hip. The rods emitted a strange, white-blue emanation, an aura that gave the appearance of wings.

The digimon jumped from the branch, causing the ‘wings’ to intensify as it landed on the ground. It released a decidedly male snarl and raised the giant lance that was affixed to his right arm. The back of the lance branched off in three directions, separate from the digimon’s elbow. The end of the lance was adorned with a giant metal spike extending from it. On the outside of the digimon’s lance arm, two decorative eyes glowed in an eerie yellow gleam, and gas or steam was expelled from the lance.

The digimon stepped backwards, seemingly morphing into the thick foliage behind him. He released another soft snarl and disappeared into the darkness completely.
[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)

Click Below for The Awesome Treecko/Grovyle/Sceptile Club
Older Fic banner by Scenice.
Old Fic banner by Sammi-Chan.
New Fic banner by Scenice
Banner and avatar by Anastasia R.
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