I'm trying something new this time. Not annoucing the POV to see if you guys can figure out who the character is on your own. I was recently informed that (Person's) POV looks really bad, courtesy of Omnicrom.


Digital Hearts – World 03 – Training Day


I opened my eyes and the first thing I was aware of was pain. A splitting headache, most likely caused by that shiny orb that exploded right next to us… us…

"Takato!" I bolted up right and glanced around. He wasn't here, but that didn't mean I was alone, far from it in fact.

I was in a hay made bed, as were Suzie, Ai, and Lopmon. Unfortunately Rika didn't seem to be with us. There was also a boy working next to a water pump, but not the one she wanted. Not Takato or Henry… or even Kazu or… Ryo? No, this boy had black hair longer than most and white robes highlighted with blue. He turned to me, barely noticing my loud outburst, which had started to awaken Suzie.

"…? There are a few boys and creatures in the next room. Although I am afraid Yubaba has taken some of your other friends, the ones who look like they'll be of the most use to her." He said, calmly… almost… too calmly.

"…uh? And, who are you?"

"I am Kohaku, the spirit of the Kohaku River." The boy started walking over with a bowl of water and a cloth draped over one side of it. "And I assume you're an outworlder."

I could feel myself involuntarily scrunch up against the wall. He was looking really scary. "…Errr, you can tell?"

A quick nod was the only response. "Lie down. You need to get your strength up."

"I'm fine, really." Well that was a bold faced lie. I was anything but fine, but being stuck in a strange new place I didn't know felt even worse. And the talk of Yubaba wasn't helping

Kohaku grabbed my hand and pressed his first two fingers into the wrist. He acted pretty emotionless, but the way he took my hand told a different story. He was very gentle, almost as if it was made of sand. It actually felt pretty good. So good I almost didn't realize I no longer had sleeves. I checked under the covers only to realize that I actually had a lot less than that. This was followed by a burning sensation on my face. It felt like I was about to explode I was so warm from embarrassment. What was this boy thinking? As it turns out, however, Kohaku had seen this and immediately thought my fever was returning.

"You better get some more sleep." He guided my head back down to the pillow and began soaking the cloth in the bowl he was carrying before. I tried to resist a bit and explain, but he was stronger than he looked.

"Umm, okay. But… about my clothes-"

"They're at the foot of your bed. Lin took them off and sewed them for you since that creature… I think it is called a Bomb-omb, damaged them with his attack. Personally, I am a bit sorry for you. My handy work is much more reliable than hers."

I started to feel a bit of relief. "So… you didn't see anything."

"I've seen everything in this room before. Although this is my first time down here since you arrived. Lin has been… quite defensive of you."

By this point I was feeling much better. "I see. So Lin took care of us. She seems nice."

"Actually, I find her difficult to work with but…Yes she took care of you. You'll see her shortly but at the moment business is booming. With more people coming here every time the Heartless take over a world… Not to mention the attacks…"

"Attacks?"

"…I wouldn't worry about it. Strange people from a number of other worlds have been fighting them. This place has become a stronghold against the Heartless. And while you don't have to worry about this now, please be aware that if you want to stay here for an extended period of time you will have to work. I'll explain further when you are ready."

The boy got up and started to leave. "Wait!" I said, causing him to slow down and turn his head slightly so could see on of his eyes. "Just so I know when will you be back?"

"I only came today because Lin was too busy. She'll most likely see you tomorrow morning. Stay here until then. You'll cause a great deal of trouble if Yubaba realizes what's been going on."

I tilted my head. "Really? Well I don't really understand it myself but… okay."

I got dressed as soon as he left. I went to the door Kohaku had left through and was surprised to see Suzie was already there. Ai was still in dreamland though, and I had every intention of keeping it that way. I opened the door to see Kazu and Kenta playing their card game. They were both wearing some odd orange slacks and that was it.

"Oh. Did you guys just wake up too?"

The boys turned around to me. "Huh, us? No way. We've been up since yesterday. Boys are stronger than girls after all." The leader of the two gloated.

"Then why aren't you dressed yet?"

"…" The boys glanced at each other, shrugged, and turned back. "Never occurred to us."

I shook my head. "Boys are silly."

"We're just taking it easy for now. Want to join us?"

I shook my head. "Thanks, but no thanks."

"Where's Henwy?"

The boys exchanged glances once again. "…Err, he's upstairs working for Yubaba, but… Well, Lin can explain it better… when she gets back."

"That's too looong." The child whined. I had to agree.

I crouched down next to her. "Should we go upstairs and see them?"

"Yaa!" She cheered as Lopmon waddled up behind her.

"Eh? Wait, we aren't allowed!" Kenta cried out nervously. That was odd.

"Don't worry, we'll be back before Kohaku or Lin find out."

"That's not it." Kenta exclaimed.

Kazu nodded. "Yeah. Seeing them won't do any good. Besides Yubaba has eyes everywhere. If she finds you, and she probably will-"

"Don't worry." I assured them. "I'll have Lopmon and Canti with me."

"Ruff- Canti strong"

Kazu and Kenta glanced at each other again, debating whether they should try to stop her. Thing was, they had no idea what it was like outside of their room. Reluctantly, they sighed. "All right, all right," Kazu exclaimed. "But don't expect me to get into trouble with you. I'm staying right here."

"Uh, but Kazu…" Kenta started. Truth was, I bet he wanted to go with me and see how his friends were. That was the difference between the two, Kenta seemed more honest with himself.

While the visor boy ignored Kenta's pleas, I snuck out the door with Suzie. No sooner had I stepped out I felt my heart sink.

How am I supposed to find anyone in THAT?!

Now the place where I was seemed generally out of the way and vacant, but I could also see the entrance from where I was. It looked like you couldn't turn around without accidentally hitting someone in the gut. This wasn't going to be easy, but I would do it. I had to be strong now. If I wanted to really help Takato and his friends I would need to hold my own… like I did once before.

"Alright, Suzie, hold my hand."

Just getting in through the door proved to be a physical feat all on its own. Everyone was busy, and everyone had someplace to be. Combine that with the fact that the entrance was too thin… far…far too thin for the amount of people there were. I was just glad that I was at least already past the bridge. Inside it was even less encouraging. Multiple floors and walls filled entirely with people. Many were wearing the same orange scrubs as Kazu and Kenta and taking care of a variety of baths… although the baths looked more like soup bowls embedded into the ground.

"Let's see… Where should I start looking…?"


Wring, scrub, dip, wring, scrub, dip, wring scrub dip… this was unbelievably unfair. And as much as I'd like to make sure everyone else knew it, Rena, my supervisor wasn't very far away. And she was scary, really scary. I mean, at first she looks like a normal kitsune… but no. She's no kitsune, she's dangerous. One glare usually gets me to shut up, unless of course I don't realize she's staring at me. I guess she's never treated me badly, but it's like her expectations are unrealistic of me. At least I wasn't working alone.

There were three other kids. Apparently the other guys (and gal) started working about the same time I did, so we usually ended up working with each other.

Hmmm…When did I start working here again? Can't remember… oh well.

Most the time we worked in groups of two but… this tub was filthy. I'd be lucky if I ever got the chance to sleep tonight. At least everyone with me was working hard.

Now, an introduction to the others. First off the guy right next to me was Jen. He had short blue hair and grey eyes. We became friends within seconds after meeting. He's a little conservative, but a ton of fun to be with. Next, working on the rim opposite to where I was, was another brown haired boy, Yama. I got along with him greatly as well. He's extremely confident, as for where it all comes from, I have no idea. He was one of the few brave enough to approach the fourth member of our crew, Maki. Now I don't remember where, but I once heard that the opposite gender should only be treated with respect, too bad it didn't work both ways. Maki was a tough redhead that could probably take me out in one punch. I tried talking to her but she thinks I'm just a kid… Too bad for her I don't give up easily.

It was at about this point Rena glanced over to me and scowled. "Kato, perhaps you could help me with something."

"Eh?" I glanced over. This was a trap, Rena never needs my help. "Uh…"

"I am concerned about your work habits. Do you like Maki?"

I blushed and glanced over at the girl. I knew she heard but she was ignoring us. Sensing the foundation of the trap I answered slowly. "Uh, well. I was just-"

She ignored the rest of my comment. "I see, do you suffer from some sort of mental of physical illness I can't detect?"

"Uh, I don't… think so."

I was fine last time I checked. What's she trying to…

Rena continued. "Then is there some fiber of your being opposed to work."

I frowned. Yeah I fell right into this one. Now no matter what I answered I was doomed to do something. Maybe finish this tub on my own. Good lord I hope not. This thing is tub-zilla, the worst of the worst jobs. And they would never give me anything to use to soak it. (Which is damn near the only way to get this thing clean)

"Ah, can I get back to you on that?" Brilliant answer, huh? Well the others thought so. Jen snickered and Yama laughed out loud. He didn't care if it looked like he was slacking off. He wasn't as intimidated by Rena as I was.

"No. Maki, you can take a break. Kato will finish your work."

"What?" I yelled out. "How come she gets to go on break?"

Rena just eyed me coldly. "When you can finish a job without slipping, getting lost, or falling into the shaft that connects with the heater room…"

One time that happened! Besides I'm lucky that happened. If it didn't I would have never met Guile, a red dragon-like thing that helps heat the tubs with the soot spirits.

"…Then you might actually get a break."

I frowned. "Then you shouldn't you be giving those two breaks too?" I asked, trying to get some stuff off my workload… unfortunately it backfired, BIGTIME.

"Well, you heard him. You two are now on break."

Awww nuts.

Yama was grinning from ear to ear as he got up… "Thanks Kato." …and sat next to Maki.

"Watch it." She made a fist, a warning of what would happen if he got any closer.

"If it's alright… I would rather keep working." Jen replied, making no extra motions but the ones with his hands.

Rena considered it for a moment then nodded, just as a boy with shoulder length black hair called for her attention. I knew him, his name Was Kohaku and he was Yubaba's right hand person. Sometimes he stopped by between running errands. He did it with everyone here. Personally I think he might be looking for someone. He never says hi or anything. He just… observes.

"Yubaba has requested an audience with you."

The vulpine figure nodded, casting one more glance in my direction. "I expect this done by the time I return."

Not even if I had eight arms.

I frowned. "Yeah right, the only way I'm getting this done on time is if I use you for a rag." I muttered.

Rena's ears twitched. "Pardon?"

"Uh errr, nothing ma'am."

"…" She was glaring at me. I knew for a fact she was glaring at me. "I'd be honored if I were you that I have so much faith in your abilities… when you aren't distracted."

That's a weird way of looking at it.

"Err, yes ma'am. Thank you ma'am."

I continued scrubbing as hard as I could, at least until Rena was out of sight. Then I slowed to a crawl and leaned backwards until I fell over into a sitting position. This wasn't fair and I voiced as much. Thank goodness Yubaba needed Rena for something, it's the only real break I ever got here.

"We need to hire more people." I complained.

"Or you could join a union. You could call it the UDW, Union for Disoriented Workers."

I smiled brightly. Only one person I knew was that sarcastic. Terrier, although I don't know why they call him that. He looks more like a little green rabbit if you ask me. "Hey, how are you?"

"Busy as always. I gotta go deliver some things now, so I'll see you guys later. Bye Jenroid!"

"Err, wait." Jen called out. He looked really serious, but the bunny was already out of sight. "…Mmmm."

I arched a brow. Jen always acts weird when he sees that thing, but I've been told I act kinda strange too when I'm around Guile. "Jen, are you alright?"

"Yeah, fine." He dropped the rag. It was clear to see he didn't feel like working anymore. We couldn't succeed in cleaning without soaking this thing anyway. "Well, what do you guys want to do until Rena gets back?"

Yama walked over and began staring at me along with Jen. Why? Because I'm usually the one that thinks of the games we play. I asked one of them to do it once but Yama's answer to that was 'No way I could think of some of the games you come up with'. Jen nodded in agreement at that time. I guess having an overactive imagination came in useful sometimes.

To be honest though, I was tired from working all day. I just wanted to sit and chat, and get to know everyone a little better, mainly Maki. She was always so distant to us. I worked with her alone once, cleaning the same tub actually. She said if I got in her way she'd drown me in it… And all I did was introduce myself. Hmmm…

"I got it! The game is called Statues. We all have to try to get a reaction out of someone."

Yama smirked. "Lemme guess, Maki?"

I nodded of course. "Yep, I get to go first."

The two boys glanced at each other and started to laugh… oh man… I just got Deja Vu in the splitting headache sort of way. "Gee Kato, you seem pretty eager there."

"No kidding." Jen agreed. "Is there something you're not telling us?"

I blinked dumbly. "Eh? Like what?" I didn't get it. So I wanted to get to know Maki a little better. Big deal. They never said anything when I wanted to get to know them a little better.

"Nevermind." Yama said, still giggling to himself.

I frowned. Why were they acting so weird now? Well I guess it didn't matter. "The only rules are you can't actually touch her." I smiled as the others nodded.

Well… like I wanted, I was up first. "U-ummm… Maki, right?" That was about as far as my mind took me before I drew a blank.

"…"

"Nice weather we're having huh?

Good lord I CAN'T EVEN SEE THE OUTSIDE FROM HERE! And that's still all I can think of? Ugh, that was miserable.

Jen was up next. Yama was just laughing at me and patting me on the back while I tried to think of something better for next time. At first I took offence to it, but Yama's high spirits were almost infectious and soon I was smiling. It was good to have a friend like him. In another few seconds I was laughing too, I didn't even know why, but stopped when I saw Jen walking back.

The blue haired boy shook his head. "Well, I know compliments don't work. I think she's gonna kill me when the game ends."

"Hey Wildcat." Already a vein was appearing on her head. Wildcat seemed to affect her deeply, but then again, so did almost everything Yama said. Yama leaned over right in front of her. But even though Maki had threatened him earlier she still held back with the punch, which made me smile.

She's playing the game… Even if it is just to show us up.

"Wow, she's holding back on a free shot at me." Yama said, surprised. "Well, your turn Kato."

I sighed. I hadn't really thought of anything useful, but just something… in the back of my mind… told… me… "….Dream girl?" I muttered, not really expecting anyone to hear me. Unfortunately when I looked up Maki was already standing. It looked like she had a headache for a second, then she shrugged it off like no problem, and glared at me.

Now when I thought of the game, I had it pictured that it would end with all of us having a nice talk… the look on Maki's face did NOT look like she wanted to talk. And unfortunately….

Awww nuts. I forgot to think of an escape plan… I wonder if I can fit down that shaft again.

As I pondered whether or not I could actually run that far and not slip on a slanted, slippery surface, Maki was closing in. I was dead, I was beyond dead. Maybe now was a good time to drop and curl up in the fetal position. Nah, that wouldn't help. I didn't even realize that as she got closer, I was leaning further and further back. Just a little further and…

"Whoops!" A cry of surprise as my feet slipped out from under me. I forgot that I had backed up to the tubs rim. On reflex I grabbed from the nearest thing to stop my fall.

That was a bad idea…

Why? Because the nearest thing was Maki's leg. And even if her balance was better than mine, my weight was enough to bring her down. We both slid to the middle of the bowl, although I went on my face and Maki went on her back.

"Nice one, gogglehead." She frowned.

"Eh? S-s-sorry." It may seem pretty pathetic to be afraid of a girl to you, but to me its perhaps the only thing that would allow me to survive the night.

I got up, as did she. It looked like her anger had been replaced by embarrassment that I had essentially tripped her. She started climbing the side to get out while I stood in the middle, still a little nervous. Jen and Yama's head peeked over the edge.

"Congratulation Kato, you win." Jen exclaimed.

Yeah… but I didn't accomplish what I wanted to…

I climbed out of the tub, only to see Maki exiting through the door. I must've really ticked her off. I started to run after her some more when Jen grabbed my arm.

"Are you sure this is a good idea… leaving work I mean?"

Yama nodded. "No kidding. If Yubaba finds out we're in trouble. Don't wanna see you get turned into a pig or anything."

"Thanks guys, but I'll be fine." I replied, breaking free up there grip. "If anyone stops by, cover for us."

Yama folded his arms. I could hear him just as I rounded the corner. "Great. We get to deal with a giant, yellow, violent fox while he chases a girl around… Why does this not sit right with me?"

Maybe because you're surprisingly lazy?!

I ignored the comment and followed Maki, which proved to be a challenge all in itself. There were so many people it was like a moving maze, and I'm pretty sure the 'goal' was trying to lose me. She was doing a good job too, and the fact that I ran head first into the business end of a gun that almost looked like it came out of nowhere didn't help.

"Ha ha ha! Victory is mine… and about friggen' time too!" Yelled a gold haired man with matching eyes, dirt rag clothes, and two of the biggest guns I'd ever seen.

I sweatdropped nervously. Honestly, this is the kind of thing that only seems to happen to me. "Err excuse me sir, but are you here for a bath?"

The gunner's eyes widened a little. He was surprised. "Uh… eh… But… world… and Gallantmon… and evil darkness… and the shooting……… Wait, aren't you Takato?"

I shook my head. "I think you have me confused with someone else. I'm Kato, and I kinda work here."

"…Oh… Sorry 'bout the whole 'victory is mine' thing." He apologized helping me to my feet. "I'd like a herbal bath then."

I pointed to a girl with brown hair down past her shoulders. I think she was a spirit. "That girl can help you, her name's Lin. Unfortunately the bath I'm working on isn't ready yet."

"Thanks kid, I owe ya." He smiled happily.

"Well if you really wanna pay me back, then can you tell me which way an angry looking Redhead with a ponytail went?"

"Rika?" The man asked.

"Maki."

"…This is really weird." The man exclaimed, examining me, almost like he didn't really believe him. Finally he grabbed me by the arm. "Ya I know which way she went. I'll send ya over."

As he drew back I finally realized what he was doing… He was going to toss me like a rag doll. "Errr, wait."

"By the way, the name's Kuri-Kuri."

"Err, nice to meet ya-AAAAAAHHHH!"


"Ruff… No luck so far."

The cotton footwear on my arm was right, so far things were not going well. There were no signs of Takato or Rika anywhere. Same with the rest of the Tamers. I tried asking a few people, but unfortunately no one had even heard of them. I was about to call it quits and head back. Suzie didn't seem to find this enjoyable either. That's when I heard it…

"What do you mean you won't give us any tags?"

Rika?

Sure enough, the red-haired girl stood in front of some kind of frog man who resided behind a podium. Behind him was a variety of tags used for lord knows what and the man himself… almost reminded Jeri of a Gekomon only more… anatomically accurate. The girl scowled.

"Soap and water is good enough for you. You have three other people working with you." The frog replied.

"And only one of them is actually working while the other two get in our way. Give us a tag now!"

"Sorry, but if you want one so badly, you'll need to take it up with Yubaba."

In a rare occurrence, I saw Rika back off a little. She seemed like she would rather not confront Yubaba. But she didn't want to leave empty handed either. It was a standoff, and one that it looked like Rika would eventually lose... until a certain gogglehead I knew landed on the toad like a mortar missile. Rika stepped back, stunned as the boy hit the desk so hard it shattered and sent up a small dust cloud. It was then she seemed to realize there was no longer anyone blocking the tags. She ran up and swiped one, just before she grabbed Takato by the back of his collar and pulled him away turning at the nearest corner to get out of sight. I followed them.

"Hmmm, well everything looks like in one piece… save for a few cuts and bruises. And I made sure the toad didn't see us so we don't have to worry about getting reported to Yubaba." Around the corner, Rika was checking Takato over.

"Of course Maki, the desk broke my fall."

"Watch the sarcasm kid." Rika scowled.

"Kato."

Kato? Maki? Do they have pet names for each other now?

"-Whatever. How exactly did you do that anyway."

"A weird person tossed me like a rag doll."

"Weird person? Is he going to be a problem patron?" Maki demanded.

"No, he seemed nice. Just a little odd. Lin should be helping him if you wanna stop by an meet him. Gold hair and eyes, brown rags, kept calling my Takato and said his name was-"

"Kuri-Kuri!" I yelped, finally getting the two to take note of me. I was glad I was able to find them in the first day. Hopefully Henry and Ryo would be this easy as well. "…Or was it Kurashell?"

"No, you were right, it was Kuri-Kuri." Takato exclaimed as he studied me. Rika had already resumed walking… That was strange. She didn't even say hello as she turned and entered one of the rooms. But that was nothing as the next thing Takato said made my blood run cold. "Do you two know each other Miss…"

"Eh?!"

Suzie broke away from my side and ran up to him. "Now not the time fow playing awound. Where's Henwy?"

"I agree, this isn't funny Mr. Matsuki." Lopmon stated. Takato looked at her entranced.

"A purple… Terrier…" Takato shook it off and petted Suzie's head softly "Sorry, don't know anybody by that name."

"T-Takato, don't you recognize me?" I stammered.

The boy glance up surprised. "Takato… Well no wonder you're having problems. My name's just Kato. Kuri-Kuri did the same thing a couple minutes ago. I guess I must really look like this Takato guy." He said happily.

Could it really be just an uncanny resemblance? No way, that might account for the appearance, but the way he moved, acted, and even just the way he smiled. There was no doubt about it. This had to be Takato. I ran up to him and grabbed his arm. The tears had already started. So much for being a tough Tamer.

"No… It can't just be a resemblance. Don't you remember? You can't have forgotten everything we've done. The D-Reaper, Leomon, we even fought the Heartless. There's has to be at lest something left of you in there."

"Eh?" Takato was taken aback. But then why shouldn't he be? To him I was virtually a stranger.

"Sorry but… I really don't know what you're talking about. I feel a bit nostalgic…"

"…!"

"But that seems to happen with a lot of people." The boy continued. "I even felt that way when I met Maki, but that doesn't mean I've ever met her before."

"Maki…?"

The redhead stepped out of one of the rooms. "Are you still talking Kato? Move it or Rena will turn you into roadkill."

The boy sweatdropped. "Yeah… that's Maki. Charming ain't she?"

"Reminds me of someone I know." Lopmon replied quietly.

"I'll tell you what, why don't you come with me. Maybe some of my other friends have heard about this Takato guy." The boy who looked like one of my dearest friends took a few steps before pausing. "…By the way… Are you guys really fighting the Heartless?"

I nodded. "Mmm. We've been fighting a small group of them, ever since our world was covered in darkness. But it just seems like whatever we do nothing gets to them."

"Wow…" Kato said admirably. "It must really be an adventure. Meanwhile I'm stuck working n this place. I guess the attacks kinda make it interesting from time to time but I think I'd rather be roaming the worlds… as long as I have someone to do it with, though."

"Attacks?" Lopmon asked.

Kato nodded. "In case you didn't quite understand why this place looks so messed up and has odd creatures that don't really fit in from time to time, it's because this World actually has parts from a bunch of smaller worlds in it. Yubaba would normally kick everyone out that didn't belong buuut… she needs their help to fight Melody."

"Melody… Another Heartless Lord."

"Yeah." Kato sighed. "It seems like you're already familiar with them so I'll skip the explanation. Basically Melody took another world and tried to ram it into this one, but Yubaba's servants and Magic was able to make it miss, barely. If you go outside you won't be able to see much past the bridge, that's because Melody has covered everything in darkness and is trying to get the rest of this world… which is basically just us."

"Incredible."

"It gets even neater. Not long ago a Shadow waltzed in here. Now the guards here have been holding off the Heartless for a while, but this one Shadow was totally impervious. It just skulked from one end of the bathhouse to the other and then disappeared. I think it was only a couple days ago."

"You think?" I asked him.

Lopmon answered for him. "I get it. If this world is mostly covered in darkness already then day must seem the same as night. That would make it hard to keep track of the date."

"Yeah, fortunately I've been making marks in my sketchbook since I got here. It's worked out pretty well."

Lopmon glanced over to me and exchanged glances. We were both thinking the same thing. Suzie was having trouble following us though so she just kept quiet. "You draw?"

"Whenever I get a spare moment. If you catch me on a break I'll be happy to show you some of my stuff."

"Sounds good." I mentioned stepping into the room they were cleaning. There I found Rika, Henry, and Ryo, all scrubbing as if their lives depended on it. And Renamon was watching over them.

"Where were you?" The kitsune demanded.

"Getting a tag."

"It should've only taken one of you." Renamon replied coldly.

It wasn't like her to speak to Rika like that ever. But I quickly began to understand that Rika wasn't the source of her anger… Takato was. Renamon began stepping toward him as he backed away a bit. In the tub I could see Henry and Ryo watching everything intently. Henry clenched his fist, were they going to fight? Stupid question, Henry would die for Takato and she knew it, although Ryo placed a hand on his friends shoulder, as if asking him to back off a bit and let him handle it.

"Perhaps a little trip to Yubaba is in order." Renamon stated flatly. "Here, everyone must work. I will not stand for someone who gets by on the hard work of others."

"Eh?" Takato fell over. "Err… please."

Renamon paid him little mind as she bent over and lifted him effortlessly off the ground. "…" She passed by Rika, the girl suddenly reached out to the side and grabbed Renamon's wrist.

"…He… helped." The redhead said quietly in a mild attempt to protect her acquaintance.

Renamon however, still need to be convinced. "What did he do?"

Now that was a good question, what did he do other than make a mess?

"He was…" Rika started… but looked at the floor as she couldn't finish. It looked like she was thinking the same thing I was.

Henry walked up behind Renamon. "He was the diversion…"

"Hmm? What was that Jenrya?"

"He was the diversion. We all know the spirits here look down on us humans. Trickery was most likely needed to get the tag."

Ryo walked up next to him. "Or in other words, the one who should see Yubaba is that frog faced goon you call a receptionist."

Renamon glanced back. Her icy cold stare, it was different from the Renamon I knew. The one I knew was strong and graceful, this one was… enslaved by something… empty… and all in all… weak. "You weren't there, you couldn't know for sure. And also, it doesn't work like that, sorry. If you falter, you are to blame, if a spirit such as I falters, you are still to blame. You should understand that by now."

I didn't know who Yubaba was, but everyone seemed deathly afraid of her. I certainly wasn't about to let this happen. I spread my arms and blocked while causing Renamon to finally take note of me.

"…Hmmm you don't look like a worker. Please see the receptionist if you want to reserve a bath."

"Y-you won't take Takato, as long as I'm here."

The boy sweatdropped. "Thanks but, again, I'm not Takato."

Renamon just narrowed her eyes. "We have excellent customer relations here, but if you become a hindrance to our business, you will be forced out… Now move."

"No!" I yelled back. Henry and Ryo looked a little surprised. Rika hadn't even moved since the last time she said something. She was just… looking at the ground still.

I don't know what Yubaba has done to them but… I hate her for it.

Renamon reached out and tossed me out of the way. I hit the wall next to where Rika was while the other Tamers looked on

"DON'T TOUCH HER!" Takato yelled. The volume and fierceness in his voice seemed to surprise everyone, including himself. I wasn't surprised though… the way he sounded… It reminded me of my Takato.

Not only that, but it jogged something in the other Tamers too. Rika hadn't moved but Henry was holding his head and Ryo had his eyes squinted shut. It looked like they both had headaches, although Henry's was clearly worse. And it didn't help that Suzie had ran up and started beating on the Digimon's leg. Renamon reached down to grab the girl.

Now back home I remembered that Henry has always been more reasonable, more mature. He had a much easier time accepting that sometimes things go away, and not all childish notions come true. That's what makes what he did all the more incredible. Crouching low, he launched at Renamon, tackling her in the back. Now Rika turned to the fight and had that 'Are you insane?' look on her face. But she didn't get involved, and I knew why… Even though these people may not remember everyone consciously, they could never truly forget either. And despite Rika's urge to protect Takato, it was also being held back… by an urge to see Renamon… her friend… win.

Obviously Henry was being overpowered. However tough he, and Takato, and Lopmon were, Renamon was a Rookie that was closer to a Champion. This wasn't going to be a real fight, but that didn't mean I couldn't change that.

Canti… Sorry Renamon, but I won't allow you to hurt him.

I grabbed the Digivice and my card. Just as I held it over my head, I felt a hand on my shoulder.

"You know, when it comes to Yubaba's Bath House. The customer is our first priority." Ryo said slyly. I knew what he said had a hidden meaning in it, but what was he… Suddenly it clicked in my mind. Renamon thought I was a customer when she first saw me sooo…

"I-I want a bath." At first, it looked like Renamon didn't hear me, as she tosses Henry into the tub and got easily to her feet. So I just… repeated it a little louder. "I want a bath!"

This time Renamon took note of me. "Fine." She said, controlling her temper. Although it was easy to see she wasn't impressed. "Maki, if you would draw a ba-"

"No, I want Ta-er-Kato to do it." I half said, half ordered. My face started to feel a little warm while the others exchanged glances. Renamon was becoming even more vexed.

"We have many capable workers. Most of whom can do it without taking until your late teens to starting a fire."

The boy struggled on Renamon's shoulder. "One time that happened."

"No, I want Kato to do it or no one."

"…Very well, that'll be four gold pieces."

"Eh?"

Oh no. I hadn't considered that this would actually cost something. And I don't have any money.

"No problem." Ryo replied for me. He reached into his pocket and took out a gold coin, the flicked it over, letting it roll to the kitsune's feet.

Renamon shook her head. "Your math is off Yama. That's one."

"Two." Henry called back as he threw over a gold coin of his own.

"…" Rika walked over and placed another in Rena's free hand. "…He helped."

"And Takato's makes four." I exclaimed.

"I told you I'm not Takato." The boy murmured to himself as he reached into his pants and got the last coin.

Renamon sighed. "…I have four. She can stay." And with that she dropped him, and walked off. Although…. She seemed kinda sad.

"Geez. I wish I knew what her problem was." Ryo frowned.

"Rena's been getting in trouble for being too lenient on us." Maki replied simply. "It's not her fault really, she has to do what Yubaba tells her… If I was stronger… I could help her."

A few of the Tamers exchanged glances sheepishly. They probably didn't expect Rika, er Maki to be so deep. I never knew her in her 'Load all Digimon' days but I had heard the stories. But she had grown from that point in time. She had gotten stronger. That's why, even without her memories, something told her she had to protect her partner. Maki walked over to the wall and rapped on it lightly, popping out a hidden opening in the wall with a stick dangling in front of it. She tied the tag to it and gave it a tug, which caused the string to plummet down to the abyss.

Maki shot a fierce glance at the boys, causing them all to do an about face and turn away from me. "If you're going to actually have a bath, then you two might want to remove your clothes. And don't worry, the boys know what'll happen to them if they dare to look." She said, causing them to sweatdrop while I was blushing.

"Uh, er… O-okay."

Suzie, on the other hand, who was too young to really understand the difference between boys and girls (except for the fact that boys were stupid in her opinion), was already half undressed.

"Banzai!"


Warning, Anime Obsessed Fan's Proofreading Stops Somewhere Around Here

-Alright, first thing first. Overall I'm happy with this chapter, although I think it started better than it ended. Oh and I've noticed I haven't put in any romantic moments with Henry in this thing. It's because there no support for Henrika or Leejuri in the series so it makes inspiration for such moments, hard to come by. That being said, I have plans for a Leejuri scene next chapter.

-Next, in case you haven't noticed. Kato, Maki, Jenrya, and Yama are respectively Takato, Rika, Henry, and Ryo. The reasoning behind their names is as follows:

TaKato Matsuki/Matsuda

Rika Nonoka / Ruki Makino

Henry Wong / Lee Jenrya

Ryo AkiYama

-In regard to the characters of Spirited Away. Lin wasn't in much because, as I mentioned around the time I started this story, it will tend to focus more on the Tamers. Haku remembers his name, but is still obliged to work for Yubaba, especially since most of his World was destroyed. I made a passing reference that he was looking for something in this chapter, the thing he was looking for was Chihiro (Zen A.K.A. Main girl in the movie)

-The reason I made Yubaba seem evil in this was because even if she was starting to get along with Zen near the end, she still considered humans in general to be polluters and problems. So I felt it would be accurate of her to treat them like slaves, while creatures like Guilmon and Renamon got more important jobs.

-Finally the Tamers' personalities. I think it's appropriate that I wrote this chapter the same time I started play KH:CoM. The reasoning behind all of the tamers personalities follows the same basic formula. Themselves at the beginning of the season, minus their memories, minus their strength (Their Digimon), and plus one underlying urge to protect each other. I'm basically going by the premise that their memories are sleeping.

-Sorry if this seems a little rushed. I want to be done with this section of the story in the next chapter so I can move onto the Pokemon World. Plus the one shot I did a little while ago ate up some of my time soo… ya. Viral State will probably be the next update.


Now for the Reviews:


Newbie: You are correct. I'm not gonna make Impmon Takato's full partner because it isn't needed in the DD realm. As for the Hazard, it's not going to play such an over inflated role this time so I haven't given too much thought to who owns which piece. I think I'll probably go the same as last time. Thanks for the review.


Ninetalesuk: Nice to meet ya. Thanks for the review,


Anime Obsessed Fan: Hey how are ya. Dot hack is one of those games that I enjoyed but never made it to the end of, so if anything I'd make it a partially cross-over kinda like the Bomb-omb insert I put in the last chapter.

-I can't think of anyway to advance on the Cherry blossom date thing for a while, but I won't forget it. It's unresolved moments like that that carry hidden meanings and stuff in the story.

-Yep Kurashell did mention levels. I need a way to balance it out later on since right now the Heartless Lords are easily stronger. Plus the tamers still have room for development in their characters which is one of the reasons I think so much FF has grown from it. I haven't thought of a good place for Calumon but Impmon is a good ways away.

-I do intend to bring in some of the Card Captor World stuff in again later. Rest assured you haven't seen the last of them.

-There's one more Important Heartless Lord I want to bring in but I won't say how or why. The rest (If there even will be anymore) are pretty useless.

-Sorry for the long update time. The one shot ate up a lot of my time. Thanks for the review. See ya.


Firehedgehog: Heh you got it. Thanks for the review.


Ant: (Watches giant cookie hit Black) …HA HA HA. You hit the wrong guy. I'm Regless, the one writing this thing... Boy… Black's really gonna be pissed whenever he wakes up. Anyway, This World should only be two chapters long in total, so one more. And at the moment I'm still getting about the amount I want crammed into a chapter.

-As for Yu-Gi-Oh, I'm alright with that Anime, I wouldn't be crushed if they cancelled it but I think it's got some good points. The concept is awesome, and when the cards come alive or show emotion you really do get a sense that something is terribly wrong. I find the animation a little half-assed, like the first season of BeyBlade but in a different style. But my biggest pet peeve is the show is 80 card battles and 50 of that is repeated from the episode before. At least it's actually difficult to win. Yugi losing Exodia around the beginning was a good idea too.

-Most the characters are average too. Tea is alright, personally I think she's just too plain and can't really root for her. Same with Duke, Tristan, Marek (Was it marek or Malek?) Kaiba after Duelist Kingdom has been great. Joey's the underdog that I'm always rooting for no matter what, even if he's being possessed or something. Pegasus was nothing but a headache the entire time he was in the show and still is whenever he pops up. Yugi's good, his friendship speeches can be a bit much sometimes, but Yami's just friggen neat.

(AOF: His name is Marik in the dub version, Malik in the original, and yes, Joey/Jounouchi rules!)

Oh yeah, and most parents are morons. They oughta take off that stupid Calliou (sp) kid's show. All that kid says is I want this and I want that. If he was in my family I can tell you right now, my first response would be 'If you don't say please you can kiss your kneecaps goodbye'... Damn that was a long response.


Pokemon-35055: Thanks for the review.


Axel-Wildfire000: Eh? I didn't know they had an assassin class in the second one as well. (I just remember them from the first game where you couldn't obtain them but only fight them when you fought against Marquis Elmdor. THEY WERE DA SHT) Err, ya good idea and thanks for the review.


Nightdragon0: Ya there's a reason Ryo seemed weaker. I was wondering if anyone would catch it. Anyways, I won't tell you why, but ya. Ryo is weaker than the other three main Tamers. Thanks for the review.


Arknova: I'm planning to do about five main worlds. With a few minor crossovers. Digimon was the starting point, The CCS was #1. And Spirited Away/(The world that Melody currently has shrouded in Darkness) is an interlude World. Pokemon will be number 2. Thanks for the review.


Ryumasa the Ryuhaitou: 50's commercials are evil. Heh heh. I'm with you on the Inuyasha world. I wouldn't put pedophilia past Miroku and Takato could be the temporary voice of reason to Inuyasha while he's there. Renamon and Sesshormaru… yeah they have similar personalities, but unique styles so it would be interesting. Naraku is actually a really good villain. He rarely losses control and his manipulation is top notch. He's almost on Envy's level (FMA)

-Heh, as for Disgea. Yep, Beezlemon and Laharl seem to be cut from the same cloth. Overconfident demon Lords with a knack for not listening. Etna… She's got Rika's drive, but her mentality is nothing short of bizarre. She may not be as strong as Laharl, but she's twice as dangerous. (Did you get to the end of phantom brave and play the extra missions where Laharl pops out of a bottle mail swearing about how he's going to get even with Etna) And course, Takato and Flonne have common threads. Both of them were at one time Angels, and both prefer diplomacy to combat. YEAH BABY. Thanks for the review.


QuestionDeca: Tales of Symphonia? There are three problems with that. A: The game is actually only half the story, same as Tales of Eternia before is. B: I can't really develop it much or come up with a bunch of commonalities. C: I was indifferent to the main character. Collete and Presea were great, same with the other world chosen, but that was about it. The rest were all mediocre. Thanks for the review, see ya.


Already Fallen: Evangelion is the type of thing I'd use for a partial crossover. The Eva's are specially designed. A certain number for a certain purpose so it's not like I can just add in more in Guilmon's design. (I also won't add in any extra angel for the same reasons and a Beserker Eva would kill them brutally.) Plus one of the things Evangelion did was maintain a certain degree of realism that many animes lack. Digimon, even modified, wouldn't mesh well in this story. Thanks for the review.