Digimon: Silver Star Story

Episode Fourteen: Lightning Strikes

It was incredible, Tentomon reflected as he hovered near the Magic Guild, how well they had all managed to adapt rather well to being on Lunar. He wasn't too sure about the rest of the Digimon, but he certainly felt a lot stronger than at any point in the Digital World... at least, in his Rookie form. He was definitely sure that their partners were becoming stronger as well, having taken on a more active role than just being cheerleaders.

Not only that, but he was also happy with how they were handling themselves so far. So far, not a single one of them had had a panic attack. Then again, some of them had come pretty close to dying, but they even handled that alright.

He just wasn't to sure about the Sailor Senshi, though. Sailor Moon could handle it in a pinch, and Mercury had clearly handled adversity before. But what about the rest of them? What about Mars? Could her fiery personality survive the constant walking around to new locations, seeing the same people day in and day out? And Venus... could her bubbly optimism withstand the journey to the end intact, or would her personality do an 180 shift?

And what about Jupiter? Would she fight alongside them, working as part of a team? Or would she charge forward without thinking, and try and fight the enemy by herself?

And would she be able to stand being around Mimi? That was the main question going through his mind, and the one he wanted an answer for.

One more thought occupied his mind following all of this; At least they didn't have to go through the Trial again while to trying to figure that out. Once was more than enough.

Palmon sidled up next to Tentomon, looking around furtively for a second. "Do you think the time is right?" she asked quietly, hoping that Mimi didn't hear the conversation with that sharp hearing of hers.

Tentomon thought about it for a second, before shaking his head. "No, not yet," he replied. As you already know, we only have three Digimon who can digivolve to Champion. "Somehow, I doubt that's going to be enough if we fail at getting them to stay together."

Palmon was nodding when Mina joined them. "What do you mean by 'digivolving?'" she asked, catching them by surprise. This was attributed to the fact that, as she had been working alone for several months before meeting the other Scouts, she had been forced to learn stealth. It definitely helped, especially when sneaking up on her friends.

Tentomon sighed as he calmed down, making a note to ask either one of the cats if they had ever given a thought to putting a bell on her. "We have the ability to become a more powerful monster by manipulating the digital data of our bodies," he explained. "We usually grow much larger as a result, and have better stamina as a result."

"Oh... okay. So, what were you talking about?"

"Mimi and Izzy."

"Ah. Playing matchmaker."

Palmon nodded. "Basically."

Mina let out a little squeal at this. "Please let me help!" she begged. "This is my area of expertise!"

"Knock yourself out. Now if you'll excuse me." Tentomon promptly buzzed his way over to Sora, who was busy checking their inventory. "How can you stand being around her?" he immediately asked.

"Hmm?" It took few seconds for her to make the connection, but she smirked once it did. "I see her stealthiness has worked on another hapless soul," she mused. "Mina been bugging you?"

"Pretty much. She wants to help with getting Mimi and Izzy together."

"Ah." She took a second. "You wanted to know how I can stand her?" At his nod, she took a moment to delve into her memories. "A few years ago, before the Digital World, Mom and I went to London for a bit of a vacation. Went to see a show our first night there. As we left the theatre, we were attacked by... something. It would've killed us too, if Mina hadn't arrived to fight it. This was during her time as Sailor V, so her outfit was a wee bit different than now, but her perky personality was in full force."

"And that's how you knew she was Sailor Venus?" Tentomon asked skeptically.

"That, and the fact that she always has that same ribbon in her hair, regardless of what she's wearing. It's like she never takes it off for any reason."

"Maybe it's controlling her, like some evil parasitic monster."


"Hey, it's a possibility for us."

"Yeah... but be a little more optimistic."

"I can do that." Tentomon took a look around. "What about Lita and Mimi?" he asked after a moment.

"They're not speaking to one another at the moment," Biyomon replied, "but that's only because Mimi is right now in the air and Lita is over with Rei."

Not exactly what Sora had wanted to hear, but at least the two powerhouses weren't trying to kill each other. Maybe they would settle their issues with a cooking competition. At least that way, the rest of them could eat.

Tentomon, sensing that the conversation was over, flew off to check on some of the others. He quickly caught sight of Matt and Gabumon observing a chest plate that they had bought just recently. One of the many things they had decided that they needed, considering Racc's attack and the Trial. Helmets, gauntlets and wrist guards were all on the shopping list.

The Six, as they had begun calling T.K., Kari, their Digimon partners, Mercury and Greg, were busy talking to Tai about something or other. Probably about Racc, and the Katana that Tai now held. They were probably just trying to learn all they could of it before they headed out.

Looking up, he caught sight of Mimi finally coming to a halt in midair, simply hovering in place, probably just enjoying the sensation of weightlessness. If there was anyone who had changed in the brief time they had been there, it was their Digi-Destine of Sincerity. And it was a change that confused the living bejeesus out of him.

The Mimi he had met in the Digital World was just a few steps above an airhead. She was perky, spoiled rotten, but with a kind heart buried within. Someone who told you how it was, and didn't care if that wasn't what someone wanted to hear.

This new Mimi was more somber, far quieter, and definitely more pessimistic towards life. Her intelligence seemed to be on par with Izzy's, and she didn't lose her composure in the middle of a battle. But how was that possible? What else was she hiding from them?

'When she's ready to tell us, she will,' he decided after a moment. After all, Mimi had never given them a reason to distrust her. She was about as loyal as they came, even more so than others. And yet, she wasn't blind to what was happening around her, and was willing to talk back when it became necessary.

Satisfied with his own reasoning, Tentomon turned around towards the Guild entrance, where Ghaleon was presently making his way out of, making a bee line to Alex. After speaking with him for a few seconds, a nod signified understanding for whatever they had been speaking about, Alex moved over to Tai, speaking with him. 'Guess it's almost time for us to go,' he decided. His theory was proven correct when Serena walked over, joining them for a few seconds, before pulling out her communicator.


Everyone's heads snapped in the direction of the voice, which definitely sounded full of pain and fear. They all took off instantly, heading in the direction of the Transmission Spring. What awaited them was, while not a horrifying image, was still cause for concern.

A Mage, battered and bloody, was currently swaying in front of the Spring, an equally battered colleague unconscious before him. They had gone through Hell, the broken arm the conscious one was holding on to reinforcing the fact.

Mercury brought her visor up, and began scanning. "Lacerations, bruises, cracked ribs, and a broken arm," she reported, before nodding. "There are no pathogens of any kind. They need medical attention fast, though."

Ghaleon turned around, looking at Nash. "Take them to the Healers!" he snapped. "Then let me know when they can be debriefed!"

"Yes, Sir!"

"It was… huge," the mage explained, drinking a glass of water, "about the size of a gulag giant. It had pincers on both sides of its mouth, as well as razor sharp teeth. It had a peculiar pattern on its exo-skeleton, and was mostly reddish pink in color. It was definitely an insectoid of some kind. One that I've never seen before."

After he had been healed, Joe had wanted him sent to bed immediately, but Tai had stated that they needed to know what exactly they were dealing with. So they were now sitting in the Guild's cafeteria, listening to his report. They had been confused when he had started talking, especially with his description of the attack. But soon, at least where the Digi-Destined were concerned, that confusion gave way to a sinking suspicion.

Izzy pulled his computer out, and typed in a request. When the picture and bio of what he wanted came up, he turned it around so the mage could see it. "Is this the monster that attacked you?" he asked, already knowing the answer.

"Yes! That's exactly it!"

"Thank you." Izzy turned around. "We are dealing with Kuwaguamon, ladies and gentlemen," he stated turning his computer around so they could see.

Tai shook his head, feeling a headache coming on. "Why oh why couldn't he have stayed gone for just little longer?"

"Because that would have been too easy," Palmon replied grimly.

Kuwaguamon: A champion level virus type Digimon. It is primarily located on File Island, although members of its kind have been reported on the continent of Server. Strong physically, and packing exceptional defense due to its exo-skeleton, it is a formidable warrior against creatures of equal level or lower.

Agumon sighed, recalling the last time he and the others tangled with Kuwaguamon. All Rookie level, and they had only barely been able to hold their own. "Guess we'll have to let Birdramon have a go at him."

"Does… she possess any type of lightning or thunder attacks?"

"No. She's a fire/wind type."

The Mage sighed. "Then she would be wasting her time. The creature is invulnerable to all types of attacks and magic with the exception of lightning spells. And mine weren't strong enough to do any lasting damage."

Jupiter grinned. "Mine are," she said.

Mimi stood up. "So are mine."

"I'm a lightning elemental Digimon," Tentomon threw in.

"And my primary element is electricity." Nash turned to Ghaleon. "Request permission to delay our mission to Lann to deal with this Kuwaguamon, sir."

"Permission granted. I suggest that only lightning based beings head out, though. There will be fewer bodies that this monster can go after, and it will allow all of you to strike more frequently."

"Good idea." Tai spoke a little louder. "Izzy, you'll be in charge."

Izzy sputtered out in shock for a second, unable to form a coherent sentence. He couldn't have heard Tai correctly. It wasn't possible. "W-what?!" he finally got out. "Tai, I'm no leader! I don't know the first thing to being a leader. I don't even have one quality to being a leader!"

Rini giggled. "Don't worry. Just be like Sailor Moon, and make decisions by the seat of your pants."

"I don't always make decisions by the seat of my pants, Rini!" Sailor Moon replied rather testily. "Sometimes I do actually have a good plan!"

Mars grinned. "She's right, Rini," she confirmed. "When she puts her mind to it, she can be the most effective battle planner in the world.

"So get some leadership qualities on the road," Alex added. "Tai thinks you can do it, and so do I."

Nash thought about it, and reluctantly didn't challenge their decision. He didn't want to get Alex on his case about this as well. "Well, if you don't think you're up to it…" he began.

"I'll do it! Thanks!" Izzy stated quickly, knowing very well that if Nash was put in charge, they were never going to hear the end of it. "Now, do you know which way he went?"

The Mage shook his head regretfully. "Unfortunately no. I was unconscious after the first ten minutes of battle. I have no idea which direction he went."

"Which means we're going to have to locate him first." Sailor Moon turned to Mercury. "Ames, how far does your scanner go to?"

"Close to eighty kilometers in every direction."

"Begin scanning the surround. Look particularly at any nearby forested areas. There is a good chance he took refuge in one of them."

"You got it."

Izzy turned to face them all. "In the meantime, I want everyone coming with me to stock up on food and other supplies. We have no idea how long we'll be out there, if we can even locate him. Nash, you're in charge of gathering the appropriate supplies."

"Of course, Sir."

"Jupiter, I will be preparing a presentation concerning Kuwaguamon. Even if he's been modified to withstand most things, there are still structural weaknesses that can most likely be exploited. You and Nash are going to be getting a crash course in that."

Jupiter nodded. "No problem."

"Tentomon… see if you can't get a power boost from one of the mages here. We're going to need all of the power we can get."

"No problem, Izzy," Tentomon replied, saluting.

"And in the meantime," Izzy finished, starting to walk away, "I am going to find a quiet, solitary place to collapse."

Mimi grinned. "You do that, Izzy. Besides, we've got your back if you screw up."

"Not helping."

"Tai is putting a lot of faith in Izzy, Mimi," Palmon noted as they scoured the local food store, being careful as to what foods they bought. "I mean, Izzy is our resident brainiac. He usually stays out of danger, and gives us information on whatever we're facing. We can't just have someone untried in charge of something as big as this."

Mimi shrugged, grabbing a bushel of apples. "Izzy is a formidable genius, Palmon. Besides, he has been known to give out orders that make perfect sense. And let's not forget that Tai has an instinct for this. If he thinks Izzy is capable of leading, then we should give him the benefit of the doubt. I definitely think that he is capable of leading us into battle with Kuwaguamon." She smirked. "It's not like he'll ever lead us into battle against endless hordes of evil, right?"

"Do you really want an answer for that? That could be exactly what happens."

"Since when did you become a pessimist?"

Palmon looked at her. "Since we arrived here, and almost had our collective asses handed to us on at least a dozen occasions," she replied. "That tends to change anyone, regardless of how optimistic you are."

Mimi nodded, having no retort for that sound logic. "That is true," she murmured, thinking back to a more innocent time. "A lot of things can change someone, no matter how much they hope that it doesn't." Her head came up, eyes staring at some point on the wall that only she could see. "One day, perhaps when we find the way to be at peace with some of our decisions… but I doubt it will be within our immediate future."

On that, her partner had to agree. "And what about love?" she asked.

"… I don't know. Maybe one day… when I have the courage to tell someone everything there is to know about me. When I can trust someone with my heart and soul not to hurt or betray me."

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Palmon had the distinct feeling that that day would be very long in coming.

The briefing had been informative, to say the least. At least they now had a clear idea as to what they were up against.

Nash shifted through all of the rods in the Armory, looking for the one that he could use against Kuwaguamon without using his own magic up too rapidly. If there was one thing he had learned over the years, it's that one could never be too prepared for a potential threat… and that there was a Magic Rod for every occasion.

Of course, the rods that they used were simply branches that were shaved, stripped of their bark, and with ancient elemental charms placed on them. They were also designed to augment the magic when it was used, giving it a much stronger kick. That way, they could get the same kick that they got whenever they cast the same spell twice, and with half of the effort.

He was doing this to discipline his mind, carefully compartmentalizing his thoughts concerning Tai's and Alex's decision to appoint Izzy as the leader of their little force. It was obvious to all of them that he was no leader. He was the one that fought from afar, who provided them with intelligence and backup. He didn't belong in a leadership role, where he would be making the immediate decisions. Decisions that would decide whether or not they succeeded.

Well, when Izzy finally screwed up, Nash would be there to take over. With his greater understanding of how to properly lead, they would have no problem taking out this monstrosity.

Finally finding the staff he wanted, he quickly grabbed a quiver of arrows, all tipped with a special compound. They would simulate a lightning strike if they managed to hit their target. Izzy would have a better chance surviving with them.

Just because he didn't think Izzy was the right choice to lead the mission, didn't mean he wanted to see him get hurt.

"Are you going to be able to work with Mimi, Lita?" Serena asked bluntly, as the brunette packed some provisions for herself, which included food and some herbs for if they became necessary.

Lita paused for a second as the question fully sank into her brain, before turning around to look at her friend. Though her friend was known for being nosy, sometimes to the point of being annoyingly so, she was also known for displaying tact when it came down to it. For her to ask this question quite bluntly was a little jarring.

What was more jarring was the fact that the question was perfectly reasonable. Despite the fact that no violence had broken out between the two teens, there was a definite undercurrent of tension that had grown since Mimi quite casually stated her alter ego in front of everyone like it was nothing important. She didn't trust the Digi-Destine one bit, and she was sure that the feeling was mutual.

She sighed as she looked at her Princess and friend closely for a second. "Honestly, I don't know, Serena," she replied, turning back to her newly purchased travel bag. "I mean, until today, I hadn't seen Mimi since the cooking competition. I don't really know anything about her. Add in the fact that she knows all of our identities without any real effort is creepy to me, and a lack of any real information about her..."

"My question wasn't if you could trust her, Lita," Serena interrupted, though not unkindly. "My question is; do you think you can work with her? Can you watch her back?"

"... I don't know. I guess we'll find out." She closed her bag. "This is quite literally uncharted territory, Serena. I'm largely going on your own opinion of her. I'll work from there." She grinned. "Besides, you're usually a good judge of character where people are concerned."

Serena cracked a smile. "It's good that you trust me. And I trust you to make the right choice. Just come back to us in one piece, you hear?"

"Will do. Just make sure you and Mina don't buy everything in the city."

"Lita!" Serena whined, making the taller girl grin. Now there was the Serena she knew and loved.

In a small, isolated corner of the Magic Guild, within their lavatories, the sound of someone heaving could be heard.

Izzy had done exactly what he had said; he had found a quiet place to collapse. He had hoped that if he just had some time to think, then he would be calm enough to do this.

Unfortunately, being alone seemed to have the opposite effect on him. He was even more unsure of himself. Having watched Tai over their journey through the Digital World, he knew that a leader had to make life and death decisions every time there was a battle. They had to make themselves seem emotionless, because emotion was a deterrent to the ultimate goal; to win.

It all finally came to be too much for him, hence his need to empty the contents of his stomach into the nearest waste disposal unit.

Finally accomplishing that, the young man made his way over to the sinks, turning the faucets on. Dousing his face with water, he also rinsed his mouth out, getting rid of the rancid taste. The moment he did so, he looked at himself in the mirror. "All right, pull yourself together Izzy," he muttered. "They placed a sacred obligation on you. You can't let them down." With those words of self encouragement, he made his way out of the lavatory. He wouldn't let them down, no matter what.

Now, he had to make sure he didn't let himself down as well.

Racc stared as Knowledge, Sincerity, Sailor Jupiter, Ghaleon's apprentice, and Knowledge's Digimon stepped out of the Magic Guild, all of them speaking in subdued tones. He silently approved. You never knew if someone could be listening in. 'Knowledge is learning fast. Just like his predecessor,' he thought. 'He's probably more dangerous than Royce believes him to be. And Sincerity! Why my brother finds her attractive is beyond me. She's too… soft. Though I can see what the physical attraction is. They do not build them like that on the Frontier anymore.' If she bent over for even a second, he had the feeling her bosom would spill out of both dress and shift easily.

Suddenly, as if she knew they were being watched, Mimi's head slowly rose up, looking around. Racc immediately melted back into the shadows, closing his glowing eyes so he was completely submerged. 'She has developed her sixth sense, and more rapidly than anyone could have anticipated. At least she hasn't had time to refine it.' That would have been a little more problematic than they had anticipated.

His own senses were highly developed, but he had spent close to a century developing them. That meant that Sincerity was unusually gifted in the mystical arts, if Royce's report was of any indication. With a little training, she could easily become the deadlieat threat to them all.

His eyes were also a problem. Though they allowed the Uruk-Hai to see at night perfectly, they also could make them easy to spot during the day, especially if they were standing in the shadow of a building.

He felt their magical and digital signatures fade away as they moved farther away, and then suddenly disappear. He took that to mean that they had teleported to the surface. He opened his eyes, and stepped out into the sun. Pulling out a communicator, he toggled it on. "Kuwaguamon, Knowledge and Sincerity are heading in your direction, alongside Sailor Jupiter, Nash of Vane, and Knowledge's Digimon. Give them a painful death if possible, but kill them, nevertheless."

"Got it, boss!"

Racc turned off the communicator, then activated it again, switching it towards another source. "Mistress," he said. "I have some news for you and our allies. Mimi's physical powers are becoming refined at an accelerating rate. I will continue my mission until I have enough knowledge on Koushiro Izumi to make an accurate judgment as to how dangerous he truly is. But I believe that he is the other one. Have our allies begin their search for the Child of Destiny. Racc out." Snapping it shut, he grumbled to no one in particular, "This job is starting to become aggravating. All the more reason to find this boy, and kill these Digi-Destined before they become too much of a nuisance."

Somehow, though, he figured that it wasn't going to be that easy.

Two hours later saw the lot of them, with the notable and obvious exception of Tentomon, were on horseback, heading in the general direction of the Digimon contact. As they rode, all of them had personal thoughts that they entertained on the way.

Sailor Jupiter's thoughts were surprisingly simple. Her butt was already starting to kill her. "Why couldn't we have walked?" she grumbled. "I feel like I'm riding a donkey."

Mimi didn't say anything. She wasn't going to get into an argument over this. It wasn't worth it. Besides, it was perfectly understandable, as she was pretty sure that Jupiter had never rode a horse before.

Izzy smiled slightly, obviously remembering his first experiences with a steed. "Don't worry, Lita. I felt the same way when I first started riding. You'll get used to it over the next few days."

"So please do not insult the horses." Nash turned his gaze to her. "Are you always judgmental?" he asked. "It's just a simple creature. It did nothing to you."

"It isn't just a 'simple creature,'" Mimi interjected, unable to remain quiet a moment longer. "It can be your best friend, or your worst nightmare. Once you get to know your horse, it will be one of the most reliable creatures in your life. It will understand its rider's emotional stress, among other things, and try to reassure you. And it's a great creature to talk to."

The brunette turned her head to stare at Mimi. "How do you know so much about horses?" she asked, surprised.

"Yeah, Mimi." Tentomon slowed down until he was right next to her. "How do you know so much about horses? Last I recall, you were a city girl, through and through."

Mimi hesitated a little before answering. After all, what would they think of her? Would they laugh, or would they not believe her? Finally, though, she decided that she should answer that.

"When I was younger," she began, "I used to volunteer at a horse ranch that used to be near Highton View Terrace. Of course, they only had ponies, but I didn't complain. My mom taught me everything I needed to know on horse handling, and the owner of the ranch showed me how to treat a horse. I even learned how to ride one. She was spirited," she added, her gaze wistful. "Then the Highton View Terrace battle took place, destroying the ranch, and Dad decided to move us to another part of the city. Afterwards, the only time I ever set foot on a ranch was when Dad took us on a business trip to America."

Izzy was wide eyed when she finished speaking. "I never knew that about you," he said quietly. "You never told any of us. Did you tell Palmon?"

Mimi sighed. "I know, and no I didn't. It's just a small bit of the past that I think about sometimes, when I'm alone. I never told any of the girls I went to school with, because I wanted to fit in."

Nash grinned, a grin that surprisingly free of arrogance. "Well, I'm glad you told us," he declared. "It shows maturity, and a great deal of trust in your friends. Maybe, as you all grow closer, you'll tell them more about yourself."

Tentomon felt a feeling of happiness go through him as Mimi smiled. "So, now then, we're in agreement that the mystery surrounding Mimi has decreased a little?"

Everyone else grinned at this. Mimi felt a surge of real joy going through her. With the exception of Jupiter and Nash, these were her friends. One day, when she had the courage, she could tell them more.

She might even start trusting Jupiter, once she fully let go of the hostile attitude.

Tentomon felt his blood grow cold as glacier ice. "It was definitely Kuwaguamon," he said. "No other Digimon's pincers could cause this much damage."

Before the small group, scattered haphazardly over a fifty foot radius, were the remains of a large number of monsters, as well as a large number of trees looking like they had been physically uprooted. The monsters themselves had been sliced in half, or crushed like a bunch of crackers. Some had their limbs ripped off, and one didn't even have a head. Drying blood and gore gave the battle field a blaze of color reminiscent of black ichor. It wasn't a place for the squeamish.

Tentomon gagged as they all dismounted, looking considerably green… which was impressive, considering that he was an insect type Digimon. "I think I'm gonna be sick."

Nash looked nauseous as well, though not as green. "I'm going to be nauseous, and then I'm going to be sick."

"Be sick somewhere else," Jupiter stated, having seen such scenes before. "This isn't too far from where those mages were attacked. About a mile or so, if this is of any indication."

Mimi nodded, looking around as well. "He was definitely on the ground for most of the fight," she mused, taking in the scene. "His footprints are all over the place, and there's very little wind damage."

Izzy looked around as well, nose crinkling slightly from the stench. "Judging from all of this, the monsters probably attacked first. Kuwaguamon fended them off, then went on the offensive."

"How can you tell?" Tentomon asked.

"Because of some of these bodies. There were smacked aside like they were feathers. The force of the impact would have broken quite a few bones. He tore the rest of them apart with his pincers, teeth and hands. He either swallowed what he chomped off, or tossed the carcasses every which way. And that can mean only one thing."

Nash nodded at that, impressed despite himself. He had come to the same conclusion, and had been about to say it. "He's leaving us a trail to follow."

Izzy nodded. "That is my thought as well. The question is; where will he set his trap up? Somewhere where he has the advantage?"

"What about an aerial assault?" Jupiter asked.

"Won't work," Mimi replied almost immediately. "We can dodge faster than he can dive bomb, and it takes him several seconds to recover, which means we can counterattack before he reorients himself." She looked around. "It would have to be in a forested area. The trees would hide him from view just long enough for him to grab one of us up."

Tentomon quickly turned around. "Nash, where is the nearest patch of forest?"

"About three days travel from here."

"Then that's where he'll set up the ambush." Izzy got back on his horse. "Saddle up, guys. We're moving out."

In Vane, Tai and the others were following the small team's progress as best they could, despite the lack of communication from them. At that moment, they were in one of the unused class rooms, looking over a map of the Katerina Zone.

Not for the first time, Tai was pretty amazed at how detailed the maps of Lunar were. He was always expecting them to be completely hand drawn and therefore greatly exaggerating certain areas. Instead, it was about as detailed as any map he had seen back home.

"According to Nash's comm tracker, the group is approaching this patch of wood," the Mage reported, gesturing to one particular green area on the map. "It's relatively uninhabited, as it's one of the forests set aside for harvesting lumber. The only people who go into one of those areas are thieves, trying to get away from the patrols."

"Is there anything in there that could give Kuwaguamon an advantage in combat?" Tai asked. "Height of trees, density of the forest?"

"All of the above. The trees are pretty close to one another... well, as close as the root systems would allow, anyway. The branches are pretty strong as well. Theoretically, it would be possible for something of his size and dimensions to hide without too much difficulty, and definitely without the fear of a branch breaking off while he's on it. The trees are young and strong, after all."

The Keeper of Courage nodded at the info, before leaning back in his seat, thinking quietly. Kuwaguamon definitely had the advantage in terms of terrain. He was more experienced, and there was a good chance that he knew Izzy's team was coming. And this meant one of two things. Either the Digimon had the sharpest eye sight in the world...

...Or someone in Vane had tipped him off.

He had appointed Izzy as commander of the mission because he believed that the Keeper of Knowledge could handle the weight of it. But that had been under the assumption that they were going to get the drop on their enemy. This brought a new set of complications that a rookie leader probably couldn't be flexible enough for. And Izzy could be as rigid with a battle plan as they came.

He forced himself to calm down, remembering one very important fact. One thing that could help Izzy out; Mimi was with him. And that girl was extraordinarily flexible when it came to planning. For crying out loud, she treated a day of shopping as nothing less than a tactical assault, changing her strategy if a new sale caught her eye. Between the two of them, they would be fine.

He hoped.

For the next few days, they rode, following the path of destruction that their nemesis had left for them. And the damage was considerable. Outposts had been demolished, villages had been trampled on, and lives had been brutally taken. They were unable to find anyone that was willing to face Kuwaguamon again.

They passed travelers who had seen him flying overhead, all of them pointing towards the forests with obvious fear in their eyes. That meant that Izzy was right.

The damn bastard was already there, ensconced within the trees, and probably waiting for the inevitable counter attack. That meant that by the time they reached him, they had to have a strategy that could defeat him.

So what did they do against a foe that was at the Champion level of digivolution, and whose only weakness was probably dulled by his exoskeleton?

"I have to be able to digivolve to Kabuterimon," Tentomon stated at the end of the first day. "That's our best chance."

"We could always fight him until we break through that exoskeleton of his," Jupiter stated. "Then we could hit him with everything we've got."

Mimi nodded reluctantly. "As much I don't want to agree with her, she's got a point. We need to be able to take him down, and unfortunately, we have to get through that armor, no matter what plan we come up with. Otherwise, we'll run out of magic before we've managed to seriously injure him." She turned her attention towards Jupiter, who looked rather pleased with herself. "Now tell us, how do we go about doing that? We have to get close to him, and he is fast for a bug close to twenty feet tall. And please tell us that your plan takes into account that we would probably be fighting him in a forest, where he would be able to hide himself pretty well and ambush us."

The look she got from the other girl had the potential to be truly scorching. It was obvious that Jupiter hadn't even come close to putting together a workable plan, and that she usually went in, fists swinging… kind of like she wanted to do now.

"Ladies, please don't try and kill each other," Izzy requested, as he caught sight of the two getting ready to fight. "Right now, we need to put together a working strategy, and one that gives us a chance at victory. And to do that, we will need a strong, united front."

"Are we really united, or are we just a bunch of kids trying to play hero?"

Mimi was about to throw the question right back in her face, when she suddenly had a thought. An evil grin began forming. "I have a way that can answer that question," she answered.

Nash began getting nervous at her expression. He didn't really know Mimi all that well, and so he had no idea how she thought. But, judging by the look of curiosity on Izzy's face, he had a suspicion that this wasn't the first time this has happened. He looked over at Jupiter, who just looked plain confused by the sudden shift of Mimi's focus. 'No surprise there,' he thought. He wouldn't really call the Senshi dumb, far from it actually, but she did come off as more of a hit first kind of person.

Izzy nodded. For some reason, he honestly couldn't say that he was surprised by this. "What do you have in mind?"

Mimi turned to Nash, still grinning. "How would you like to take a stroll through the forest?" she asked.

"This has got to be one of the worst ideas I have ever heard in my life," Nash grumbled to himself, as he approached the forest. "Why do I have to be the bait?"

He could almost hear Mimi tell him, "You're the only one Kuwaguamon has never seen before," in his head. "So he won't know whether or not you're with us." On paper, it was a sound textbook strategy.

Of course, as Izzy warned them all, this plan would work best if Kuwaguamon had not been shown a picture of Nash. Which was a distinct possibility, considering their luck as of late.

'Of course, the biggest problem with the plan? I'm the bait,' Nash bemoaned to himself. He, the personal apprentice of Ghaleon, reduced to being the proverbial piece of meat for a giant insect!

And yet, here he was, about to enter the forest... alone. He must have a death wish.

Sighing, he steeled his nerves. "Okay, here we go," he muttered, urging his horse forward.

"He's heading in," Tentomon reported. "And he's still alive. So far, so good."

"That's good." Izzy didn't relax for a second. He couldn't, not with a person's life was at stake. Any second, Nash would be charging out of there like the devil was after him, and they would have to move in. In those first few moments, there could be no error. If they were even a second late, Nash would either be seriously injured, or dead.

Mimi, on the other hand, was completely relaxed, though alert. Instinctively, she knew that being tense would make her screw up, and that was something she couldn't afford to do.

Jupiter observed the two Digi-Destined for a few long moments, noting their body stances, and thoroughly confused. How could two people have such different reactions to the same problem, and still be ready to move at a moment's notice? All of the Scouts, herself included, always became something like predators ready to pounce on their prey; coiled and ready to spring. Izzy was almost stiff like a board, while Mimi looked like she could take a nap.

"How the hell can you be so relaxed?" she finally snapped, making sure to keep her voice down. "We're about to get into a fight, and you're..."

"Daydreaming? Not taking this seriously?" Mimi's voice didn't become irritated, nor did her posture stiffen. "Don't mistake being relaxed for not being prepared, Jupiter. When it's time for us to move in, I'll be up in a flash. In the meantime, why burn energy that'll be better used against Kuwaguamon? Trust me, we'll be better off that way."

Well, when she put it like that... it definitely sounded like a good idea. Seemed like she had quite a few of those. Clearly, there was more to her than what she showed the world.

Jupiter was silent for a few seconds more, before she finally decided on a new idea. "Hey, Mimi, can I ask you a question?"

Mimi's eyes slid over to look at her. "Shoot."

"How'd you figure out that we were Sailor Scouts? I mean, myself and the other girls."

For a few moments, Mimi was silent, but it wasn't because she was trying to find an answer. The answer was remarkably simple in its scope. She was trying to decide whether or not she wanted to answer her. "I didn't immediately, and no one told me," she finally replied because, after all, it was a perfectly legit inquiry. "After a few weeks, I began noticing similarities in hairstyle and personality between Sailor Moon and Serena, as well as Mars and Rei, and began from there. And when you girls were on the television, I recorded your images, and began looking through my old school photos. You, I have to admit, show the same joy in your cooking as you do fighting. You've got this slightly overenthusiastic gleam in your eyes every time. That's what gave you away. Mina… well… I would have to dumb and deaf not to make the connection. She isn't exactly shy when it comes to showing off, and she's about as subtle as an atom bomb. Amy and Mercury both use their heads, but Mercury is far more assertive, so I didn't exactly make the connection there. I only realized who she was when I saw her computer in Meribia."

"...Ah... so..."

The young girl looked at the Senshi for a second in exasperation. "No, I don't have any plans to blackmail any of you. Besides, I don't think anybody on Lunar gives a damn about you all being magical super heroines. I mean, magic's kind of something they see every day."

"Are you two done?" Izzy asked tensely. "I'm pretty sure Kuwaguamon can hear you both pretty well... which isn't the way a successful ambush is supposed to go."

"He probably already knows we're here, Izzy," Mimi replied, immediately switching conversations with ease. "That's the only reason why he would be hanging out in the woods; to ambush us."

"So... why did we send Nash in alone, then? Why did we send anyone at all?"

"Because we're flushing him out, by giving him what he wants. Fresh meat." She grinned. "Sides, I've been wanting to give Nash a reality check for a few days now."

Jupiter suppressed a snort of amusement, having had her own run in with the Mage when she had first arrived in Vane. "Nash is a bit of an arrogant prick, isn't he?"

"Understatement, much?" Tentomon asked.

"I've only had to deal with him in small increments, but yeah... understatement."

"He's... arrogant, I'll give you that," Izzy mused. "But from what I have seen, he is also incredibly powerful, and may have the potential to become one of their most impressive mages. He just needs a little more seasoning." He grinned. "He also needs a little more humility."

The whole lot of them chuckled for a second at that. When everyone agreed on something, then it was truly a moment to remember, even if it was something small.

The sound of heavy crashing brought their moment of levity to a sudden stop, and they all turned their attention back to the immediate situation surrounding their topic of discussion. Mimi immediately tensed, every muscle ready to uncoil at Izzy's command.

Jupiter blinked at the near supernatural suddenness in the Digi-Destine's posture, almost getting whiplash from it. 'Damn, the girl wasn't kidding!' Getting her mind back on track, she looked at Izzy. "Anything I should know about concerning his attacks?"

"Kuwaguamon's pincers are incredibly strong," Izzy replied at once. "They're capable of shattering rock, rending flesh and bone, and can only be broken through extreme force. If you're in his line of sight, your best bet is to go flat on the ground." He looked up. "You and Mimi are our heavy hitters, Lita. Look for a chink in his exoskeleton, and see if you can crack it. Once you break through, throw every ounce of power you've got at it. Other than that..."

"Keep him focused on us for as long as possible," Mimi finished, getting into position to take flight.

"I'll fire my arrows at his throat," Izzy continued. "Digimon have to actually utter the attack phrase before utilizing their primary attack, like they were in a video game." It was a strange thing about the Digital World that he had never really gotten an answer for, no matter how much he studied it.

That particular detail would have to wait, as Nash suddenly tore out of the forest, pushing his horse as hard as he could. Not that he needed to do much, as the animal had problem galloping at speeds long thought impossible by his species.

"Now!" Izzy shouted. Mimi immediately shot off like a bolt into the sky... just as Kuwaguamon tore out of the woods, buzzing much like the insect digimon he was.

Nash, for his part, was pushing his horse as hard as he could. He could hear that giant digimon's wings buzzing in behind him, and came to the conclusion that Izzy and Mimi had kept some need to know information away from him... like the sheer size of the monster!

He had known that Digimon came in all shapes and sizes, having seen Greymon for himself. But Kuwaguamon seemed to be someone who loved using his size to terrify everyone around him.

And he was doing one hell of a job at that.

At times, Nash would say that he was a fearless man, that he could take on any challenge without flinching (and had, in his oh so humble judgment.) And so, he could say with absolute certainty that he was about ready to piss himself from sheer terror. He had never had an intelligent monster come after him with the intent of killing him.

Luckily, he wasn't that far into sheer terror, as he was keeping himself and his horse under control. All he needed to do was keep Kuwaguamon following him, just long enough for Mimi to do her part and ground the bastard. Then he could finally turn around and fry him.

It was a daring and frankly crazy idea, driving him out into the open air. Since Kuwaguamon could fly, having open air meant he'd have the advantage against them. So what was the point?

The answer; just how effective he was in the air. His very size was his greatest limitation against them, as they were smaller, and could avoid his attacks.

But the bastard was getting closer, and Nash was a little higher than usual. 'Mimi better get here soon, before this creep takes off my upper half!' he thought frantically, almost feeling death's clammy grasp approaching, even as he approached where the other were hiding.

It seemed that Death would have to wait another day, as a small rocket shot overhead, slamming into the digimon. The giant insect slammed into the ground, raising a cloud of dirt into the air.

Mimi promptly shot out of the cloud of dirt that had formed, landing next to Nash just as he was bring his mount to a halt. "Nice," was all he said, his terror vanishing almost immediately.

Mimi shrugged. "It's all in the timing," she replied.

A second later, Kuwaguamon got back up on his two clawed feet. "Hello," was all he said. "Glad you could make it, girl." He was beginning to realize that he had just been suckered, and it irked him.

Mimi glared. "Glad to be here. You do realize that we are going to have to kick your giant insect ass, now."

"Feel free to try!" Kuwaguamon lunged forward instantly after saying those words.

Jupiter immediately kicked the sides of her horse, and jumped off. Startled, her mount tore off in one direction. Now airborne herself, the Senshi of Jupiter waited until the Digimon's head was underneath her, then brought her feet together. Falling straight down, she drove herself like a spear down upon Kuwaguamon's head. With a roar, Kuwaguamon once again slammed into the ground quite against his will. Jupiter leaped up again, landing a few feet away from where she had drilled Kuwaguamon.

"Nice," Tentomon stated. "I don't think I could have done as well."

Jupiter nodded, then turned around. "Jupiter…Thunder…Crash!" she intoned.

A small lightning rod appeared on her tiara, extending upward. Its purpose; to collect the charged ion particles in the air, concentrate it all into one area, and transform it into one powerful attack. One that was so powerful, it could vaporize just about anything in its path.

And at that particular moment, it was solely concentrated on the cloud of dirt where Kuwaguamon was currently residing in.

The attack released itself in the form of a lightning bolt, collecting power as it flew through the air. Nash's hair actually crisped for a moment.

Kuwaguamon exploded into the air as the blast struck the spot he had originally occupied, causing the cloud to expand by factor of two. The Digimon immediately flew at Jupiter. She jumped out of the way, causing him to collide with the ground. "Hey! Stand still!"

"Not a chance in Hell!" Jupiter shot back. "Do I look remotely stupid?!" She leaped again as Kuwaguamon snapped at her with his pincers.

Izzy released an arrow at the Digimon, who simply let it bounce off his shell. "Gotta do better than that, Digi-Destine! SCISSOR CLAW!"

"Aw, Hell." Nash once again urged his mount into a gallop, heading in another direction. He turned around as Kuwaguamon's pincers snapped closed, missing Izzy by an inch. "Alright, if that's how you want to play. Check this out! Thunder Bomb!"


Kuwaguamon, who had just leaped, got the collective attacks in its leg, causing it to spasm uncontrollably for several minutes. He let out a slight grunt of pain.

Tentomon gave a shout of surprise. "Well, looks like the information was right. This one's weak against electricity!"

"But its shell dissipates most of the energy before it can hit!" Nash added.

Outside Kuwaguamon's range, Mimi dismounted, a plan percolating in her mind. "Everyone dismount!" she shouted. "Tentomon, drive them away from the battle!" With that, she shot into the air, heading right at their much larger adversary.

"And how'd ya like me to do that! Feed them hay? Shoot lightning at them… hold on. SUPER SHOCKER!"

Tentomon, acting on his accidentally realized idea, shot his attack at the ground next to the horses, forcing them into a panic. And as all animals do, they ran for their lives. Another Super Shocker stopped them when they reached the edge of the forest. "Now stay," he said, heading back to the area of battle.

"Lightning Strike!"

"Jupiter… Thunder… Dragon!"

Mimi's lightning bolt was even more pronounced than before. Sailor Jupiter conjured up a massive Japanese-style dragon, completely made of electricity. Both flew through the air with authority.

"Whoa! Massive Charge!" Kuwaguamon, knowing that if they hit he was toast even with his armor, practically sprinted into the air again.

Mimi's attack split into multiple strikes, forcing the Digimon into evasive maneuvers, while Jupiter's struck him in his shocked leg. His grunt of pain was more pronounced than before.

Tentomon flew back into the fray, preparing to make a flying pest of himself, pun and all. He brought his own diminutive pincers down upon Kuwaguamon's head, and started to pick.

Kuwaguamon's fist caught Nash as he passed him, throwing him several feet through the air into Jupiter. Both fell to the ground, stunned. Then the Digimon try to grab his smaller counterpart, though with no success.

Izzy notched another arrow, and took careful aim. 'I only get one chance at this,' he thought, his mouth becoming a thin line. One eye closed, and he concentrated with every ounce of his being.


The Champion level Digimon barely flinched as Tentomon hit him with another attack. "What was that?! A mosquito?!"

"Yeah!" Tentomon retorted. "You got a problem with that? You're welcome to try and swat me!" Kuwaguamon turned, and in that one moment, his throat was exposed.

Izzy released!

Like a hawk, the arrow flew through the air, hitting its target perfectly. Kuwaguamon gagged for a second, before pulling the little weapon out of his throat. "No fair!"

"Hey, we're not the ones who attacked first!" Izzy shouted. "Jupiter, teach him what it's like to be a cripple!"

Jupiter obliged, ramming her fist into the Digimon's leg. Her Amazonian like strength, and sheer nastiness in battle allowed her to do a considerable amount of damage. In this case, it involved the snapping of Kuwaguamon's leg.

Now the first shriek of pain in the entire battle was heard for miles around. Travelers stopped in their tracks, looking around in confusion.

The pain quickly turned to rage, the shriek into a roar, and Kuwaguamon, now hobbling on one foot, turned his attention to Lita.

The next sequence of events were almost too fast for anyone to track.

All Lita knew was that one moment, the Digimon was trying to clutch his broken leg, the next, she was caught in his pincers. 'Oh, boy, I'm in trouble,' was what she thought.

Kuwaguamon growled. "I may not be able to use my attacks," he rasped, "but I can still crush you like a can!" With that, he began to squeeze.

Now, any ordinary person would already be dead now. However, Jupiter was anything but. Her enhanced endurance allowed her to take more punishment, and thus, make it more difficult to kill her. Still, it would also make it more painful as well.

Izzy's mind raced as he tried to come up with a half workable plan, some last ditch solution to save his new friend. However, every plan he did come up with was useless against this type of monster. Kuwaguamon was too large to try and attack head on, and with Jupiter in his grasp, it would be impossible to shoot an arrow into his mouth.

Jupiter grunted as her body began to compress slightly. She put more of her power into her frame, but it wasn't going to last.

Izzy looked at Tentomon, then back at Jupiter, then back at Tentomon. Suddenly, something clicked, and he pulled out his computer. 'Of course! Tentomon digi-volved the first time when I boosted his electrical power using a power core! And that was powered by electricity!' A quick plan began forming, and it was so crazy, that he didn't even believe that he was considering it. But it was all he had.

"Nash!" Izzy shouted. "Hurtle a Thunder Bomb at Tentomon!"

"What?! Have you lost it?! I'll destroy him if I do that!"

Mimi landed quickly. "Nash, Tentomon is an electrical type Digimon," she reminded him. "He can use the power to digi-volve to Champion, and save Jupiter!" Her head snapped around as Jupiter groaned in pain. "She won't last much longer, and we don't have any other options! So just do it!"

Nash nodded, his eyes conveying what he actually thought of the plan. However, he agreed with them. They had to do something. The use of a spell like that, one which was created solely for combat, for another use was extremely difficult. And even Nash wouldn't brag about doing that, even if he could. Muttering a quick prayer to Goddess, he braced himself.

"Check this out! Thunder Bomb!"

Once more, a powerful sphere of electricity formed above their heads, crackling with unleashed power. However, Nash, applied his will power to it, and forced it to move to a different target.

Tentomon, instantly realizing what Izzy had planned, held his wings protective covering up like a set of lightning rods. Electricity from a technological area was one thing. Electricity from a mystical source was something else entirely. 'Izzy,' he thought uneasily, 'if this doesn't work, I'm never speaking to you again!'

The Thunder Bomb hit Tentomon's wings, followed by the usual explosion.

Tentomon was near Kuwaguamon, so all he thought about it was that Nash had lousy aim at that time. He glared at them. "You missed."

Nash grinned. "Actually, I didn't!"

Izzy's Digi-vice activated just as he said that. With a grin the genius held it up. "Now it's our turn."


Kuwaguamon's pincers separated, dropping Jupiter in surprise. Then they were closed forcibly by a giant blue insect's fist.

Nash looked up. "Whoa."

Kabuterimon stood tall and proud… well, as tall as an insect could on two legs. His color had changed too, becoming a deep blue. His head was now protected by a hard blue skull helmet, complete with a giant horn on his head. And he was now the same size as Kuwaguamon.

And he was currently staring at his fellow insect with a look of irritation on him.

Jupiter stretched every muscle out of her body, feeling every ache. "Talk about the big squeeze. Any problems with me deleting him?"

Mimi gestured. "Give him Hell."

Jupiter's feral grin appeared on her face as she turned around, her hands crackling with electricity. "Jupiter… Thunderclap… Zap!"

Using her hands this time, she created a sphere of energy, made more potent by her irritation. With an underhand motion, she tossed it at him.

Kabuterimon slammed himself into Kuwaguamon, forcing him to stagger, then flew up into the air, out of the way. Jupiter's attack slammed into the Digimon, not only knocking Kuwaguamon back several feet, but also electrocuting him so badly that, if he actually had a skeletal structure inside his body, it would have been visible for a moment.

Kuwaguamon shook it off rather quickly, before taking off into the air, aiming at the hovering Kabuterimon. Kabuterimon went into motion as well, heading at his opponent.

The two insects collided head on, not even bothering with finesse. Kuwaguamon's pincers snapped around Kabuterimon's neck. Kuwaguamon's fists were slamming into Kuwaguamon's face.

For a few seconds, the two monsters fought viciously in the air, disengaging and doing an awkward fist fight. Izzy and the others watched from the sidelines, wishing they had some popcorn.

"Do we help him?" Nash asked nonchalantly.

"Not really. I'm kinda enjoying this," Mimi replied.


Kabuterimon grabbed the two pincers before they could close, holding them open. Then he pulled… hard.

Kuwaguamon practically screamed in pain as his pincers were literally torn off. He was silenced when Kabuterimon slammed both of his feet into his face. He plummeted to the ground.

Kabuterimon brought his hands together. "ELECTRO SHOCKER!" he roared, creating a sphere of energy, similar to Jupiter's, though not as powerful. With a growl of exertion, he released it, hurtling it at Kuwaguamon's falling form. "Have a jolt, punk!" he smirked.

Kuwaguamon's roar of pain echoed as his already frazzled nervous system took another giant shock, decimating most of its power, and almost destroying it right then and there. He slammed into the ground, half dead and looking like a cooked lobster.

For a moment, the small group was tense, as they waited for the Digimon to get back up. Kabuterimon was hovering above Kuwaguamon, waiting for him to try and attack again.

But there was nothing. Their fallen enemy breathed in and out raggedly, trying to push himself up to his feet, but falling back down. He turned his head to glare at them.

Izzy stepped forward, another arrow ready. "Alright, we know that you couldn't have gotten here by yourself. So you tell us how you did get here, and I'll ease your suffering."

Kuwaguamon laughed, wincing every other chortle. "How I got here is none of your business, Izumi," he spat. "Why I am here is obvious."

"Actually, it isn't. So why don't you enlighten us?" Kabuterimon landed, keeping his gaze on the defeated Digimon.

"You mean, you don't know?" The Digimon laughed again, beginning to cough up blood. "Gennai didn't tell you, Izumi, or you, Tachekawa? And here I thought he would have told you two the second you met. I mean, any Digimon with a stitch of intelligence saw in the two of you." He managed to get himself up to a kneeling position.

Mimi stared at him. "Saw what?" she asked

"That you're not exactly…normal. Even for Digi-Destined."

Mimi's eye's widened, then narrowed. "You're lying."

"Am I?"

Jupiter stepped forward. "Gee, what was your first clue?" she snarled. "I'm not exactly normal either! Now why are you here?"

Kuwaguamon finally staggered to his feet. "To kill you!" With that, he lunged, mouth open.

Izzy, moving faster than he had ever moved before, had rolled out of the way, landed on one knee, had aimed his bow, and released. Nor was he the only one. The others had struck at the same time, a deluge of lightning that rivaled that of a small thunderstorm.

For a second, the enemy was like a transparent version of himself, as more than ninety thousand volts ripped through his body. Izzy's arrow embedded itself deep in his windpipe, acting as a conductor.

Kuwaguamon was out before he hit the ground, quite dead, before disintegrating into a billion shards of data, vanishing into the Lunarian air.

Nash was unnerved upon watching this. "Umm, where's the body?" he asked shakily.

"Being reformatted," Izzy replied.

"When a Digimon is destroyed, their digital data is returned to Primary Village in the Digital World, where they're reborn," Kabuterimon explained. "Though, now that I think about it, they just come back, ready to kick our asses."

"Now that brings new meaning to the term 'never ending war," Jupiter stated grinningly.

"Pretty much. Right, Izzy… Izzy?"

Izzy was silent.

"Yo, Izzy!"

Izzy snapped out of it. "Yeah, sorry. Just thinking. Let's get our horses, and head back to Vane."

Nodding, his partner de-digivolved, rather perplexed. 'Wonder what Kuwaguamon meant by that,' he thought. 'I mean, Izzy is as normal as everyone else. And Mimi knows for a fact that she isn't normal. So what's the big deal?'

He shunted that thought to the back of his mind. It wasn't even worth considering. After all, Kuwaguamon was nothing more than a creep who loved to hurt people. Lying was right up his alley.

"Hey! You coming?" Jupiter shouted. "Or do you happen to like it here?"

Tentomon snapped out of it. "Sorry, coming!"

"By the way... nice work leading us, Izzy. Tai was right putting you in command."

Izzy blushed lightly, but beamed inwardly. "I guess he was... and I hope never to be put in command of another mission again."

They all laughed at that.

The shadow watched from afar as they began their long trek back to the magic city as he pulled out a communicator. "Racc, they have defeated Kuwaguamon. Tentomon has regained the ability to digi-volve. We will need to observe them more, though he did place doubt in their minds. I shall call Kirok to observe them as they head to Lann. I am returning to the Frontier. My services are required."

He shut off his communicator, staring at them for a few seconds longer. "Impressive," he murmured. "Most impressive."

Racc growled, deactivating his communicator. "I hate those Digi-Destined and Sailor Scouts," he growled.

Sorry about the delay, ladies and gentlemen, but here it is at long last. Not much is different, it just has a few added paragraphs.