~*~ My special Disclaimer: I do not own Digimon: Digital Monsters. If you sue me, bite me. I have my special disclaimer, so you can't do anything to me. MUHAHAHAHAHAH! Criticism will be given a parade and flames will be shown to the garbage can. Burn, baby! Burn! ~*~

Powers of Crests:

Part Nine: Rebirth of Death

By Debbie (Dai-chan)

Crouching quietly, Taichi brushed away leaves from his face and scanned the area thoroughly. He was sitting on a high branch, almost hidden by the thick leaves. The tree was standing along with its fellows near a beach. The sand was white and sparkling, but Taichi was not sightseeing for enjoyment. He was on patrol, watching for any sight for suspicious Digimon wandering around. He and his friends finally escaped from the Dark Masters, left on Piximon's words of faith and trust.

His heart clenched painfully as he remembered the hasty death of the wise diminutive Digimon that aided them a long time ago. His teeth clenched together with bitterness as he again scanned around the white beach and the calm ocean. Any moment, Metalseadramon would appear out from the water and attack his friends. Taichi hoped that they were well-hidden.

"Are they gone?"

Taichi gazed down from his hitch on the branch to the small figure of pink near the tree, her hazel eyes on him with concern. Mimi was helping him, too, but was too upset over Piximon's death. He understood how she felt. Taichi called after her, his voice soft enough to be heard only by Mimi, "I don't see anything else, just the beach and the ocean. I guess we are safe for now."

He saw Mimi slowly nodding, her eyes lowering to the beach from her hidden shelter in the bushes. Taichi took another thorough scan around, then carefully began to climb down the tree, grasping on branches, hoping that they would support his weight. Occasionally, he could hear a groaning creak from one of the branches, but he arrived to the ground safely. Mimi crawled from her shelter, and Taichi could see their Digimon, Palmon and Agumon, following after her. Mimi shifted closer to him, and he saw new tears misting in her eyes, her face unusually hard.

"They were so mean," Mimi murmured to herself, then her face softened. "Poor Chuumon and Piximon." She buried her face in her hands. Usually, Taichi would not know what to do, and awkwardly held her for a moment until he saw Sora walking toward them for another patrol. She saw the crying Mimi and ran to her, taking her from Taichi.

"Come on, Mimi," Sora soothed as the girls walked into another part of the forest, alone.

Taichi sighed, gazing at them in worried concern. He turned the other way and headed for the hidden camp with Agumon and Palmon at his sides. Palmon knew Mimi better and chose to let her be with Sora. Taichi arrived to the camp.

The Digidestined finally returned back from their home world and found the Digiworld in greater danger than ever. They have been encountered with the Dark Masters and found them too horrible to face, but Taichi knew that they have to face them someday to save the worlds. He wondered if he would stand to see one of his friends losing his or her life. Would it be worth it?

Yamato was standing near a tree, his hands clenching into fists, shaking with anger. His eyes of grey-blue sharpened than before, gazing at Taichi. "They will pay for what they did to our friends." His voice was strained. He was also affected by Piximon's death. But instead of grieving, he was raged, muttering angrily at himself.

Taichi tightened his jaw and nodded sharply with Yamato. He clenched his fist. "I completely agree with you, Matt. They must pay." For a moment, a single goal appeared in the boys' minds, trusting on each other for succeeding the goal.

Someone must have seen their faces and tended to stop them. Kimika stepped in between of the boys, the distraction shaking them out of their thoughts. Kimika silently glared at each boy and spoke quietly, "Not now, guys. First, we need to find a place to hide and contact Gennai. Vengeance can wait."

Yamato seemed to blush slightly and turned away as Taichi managed to make a sheepish grin at his best friend. Kimika shook her head and returned to her usual side with Iyumon, sitting near Jyou. Taichi ran his hand through his thick hair, his anger evaporating from his chest. He turned to the redhead, who was typing at his yellow-white laptop, his black eyes glued on the screen. He was typing to gain information about the Dark Masters and also tried to contact Gennai in hopes that he might know something about how to defeat the evil Digimon.

Taichi knelt by Koushiro, his eyes one the screen. "Find him yet?"

Koushiro solemnly shook his head. "No, not yet. For certain motives, Gennai could be absent or deny acknowledging us."

"Or perhaps could fail to respond," replied Jyou from his side with Kimika, his dusky eyes unusually hard. He was affected by the deaths, too, but he appeared silent about it, his face slightly taut.

As the kids discussed along with each other, Hikari watched them from under a tree. Her faithful Gatomon was curled up in her lap, her huge eyes of sapphire hooded, musing in her thoughts. Takeru was sitting by her, also watching the older kids. Patamon was perched upon his green-blue hat, as usual, his azure eyes closed, seeming to doze in the hot sun. Hikari was the last one to be discovered as the Ninth Digidestined. She, along with her friends and brother, returned to Digiworld to help. But Hikari was not expecting any danger like that, the Dark Masters annihilating the poor Digimon they encountered. She knew that the kids seemed uneasy about what would happen, but still, they appeared confident to defeat them. After all, they have Takeru and Hikari as the hopes. For what reason, Hikari didn't know.

Hikari suddenly turned her head to her left. She heard something. A sound like a voice. A very faint one, echoing from the trees. She strained her ears, but couldn't hear anything.

"Kari?" she heard Gatomon speaking. Her eyes studied her with worry.

"What's the matter?" asked Takeru from his side. His azure eyes followed her tan eyes to where she was staring at, then turned to her.

Hikari met his gaze. "I thought I heard a voice."

Takeru cocked his head in curiosity. "What voice?"

"You didn't hear it?"

The littlest boy shook his head, shaking Patamon from his doze. "What's it like?"

Hikari again strained her ears, but still heard nothing. "Well, it sounded like a cry. Very faint."

"What cry?" Hikari and Takeru gazed up at Taichi's voice. Taichi was walking toward them, his tan eyes puzzled. He took a long gaze at them. "Who is crying?"

Gatomon calmly answered, "Kari heard a voice nearby."

Taichi appeared not pleased at the information. His eyes met his sister's eyes, piercing in deeply, making Hikari silent under the sharp gaze. His voice was dense, "Kari, please stop fooling around. We have more than enough on our minds."

Hikari blinked her eyes and responded with a bold voice, "But I didn't do anything -" A sudden groan rang through the trees, seeming to startle the kids from their speculations.

"What was that?" Jyou murmured in surprise, standing up. The others were standing up, their eyes on where the groan was coming from in wondering hesitation.

"Now am I fooling around, Tai?" Hikari said sharply, eying her brother. Taichi turned to her, and she could see the clear apology reflecting in his eyes.

"Someone is hurt. We must go and help him." The kids looked around at Mimi's voice as she and Sora came in. They were, too, hearing the groan. Mimi looked deeply concerned, wringing her peach-gloved hands.

Sora was looking nervous, shaking her head. "It could be a trick."

The groan was heard again. This time, it was louder, almost like a sob, deeply pained and taut. Hikari began to wonder if there was really someone hurt. Taichi was thinking the same thing. "I don't think it's a trick. Come on, let's go!"

All followed him, the leader, through the trees, trying to listen for the groan. Hikari could hear it, getting louder and frequent. Who was crying and why? Maybe it was a hurt Digimon. Hopefully, a good Digimon. Encountering an angry, injured evil Digimon was too scary to face. Soon, Taichi stopped in his tracks, his eyes suddenly widened. Hikari crowded through the stopping kids and stood by his side. She saw a creature, as small as her, sitting, almost hidden by the bushes. She was clad in a scarlet robe, thick and heavy, a red hood covering her head. Hikari couldn't see her face; the Digimon was bending over, holding her right arm. Hikari noticed that the arm was covered with red blood, almost identical with the torn red sleeve. She could hear the sobs, now softer from the hood.

"Hey, are you okay?" Taichi called out, his voice awkwardly concerned.

The Digimon alarmingly looked up, and the hood fell off, revealing a head of silver hair. Her face was the face of a girl, with pale skin and huge golden eyes. The eyes were widened with vast fear. "Who - who are you?" Her voice quavered. "Stay away!" She began to crawl backward with one arm; her right arm was clutched close to her stomach. Her eyes still were on the kids. Not seeing where she was going, she bumped into a tree behind her and sat there, shaking with fright.

"Calm down," Palmon spoke as she and Biyomon went to her side. The Digimon still cowered at the soft voice. "We are not harming you. We are friends."

The Digimon suddenly yelled out with a hot voice, "I have no friends! All my friends are dead!" Hot tears streamed out of her eyes, crying with soft sobs.

"Oh, don't cry," Hikari heard Takeru saying as he arrived to her side. Hikari gazed at him with surprise. His voice was different than before, very placid and benevolent. His azure eyes seemed to sparkle with mercy. He went past Palmon and Biyomon and sat by the crying Digimon, placing a hand on her shoulder. The Digimon gazed up to him. "You are safe with us."

The Digimon eyed him for a moment, and Hikari saw her golden eyes widened at Takeru's beaming face. Her voice was soft now, filling with wondering awe. "You . . ."

Hikari heard rustlings, and Kimika and Jyou passed her, kneeling by the Digimon's other side. Kimika was speaking softly, "Let us check on your arm." The Digimon seemed hesitant at her words, her eyes distrustful at the girl and boy. Then Hikari saw her eyes again widening, sparkling with amazement. Silently, the Digimon let Jyou and Kimika checking on the blooded arm, they carefully tending. "What happened to you?" Kimika was asking, her brown eyes soft.

The Digimon's voice seemed to thicken with bitterness, her eyes lowered. "I was a prisoner of Metalseadramon. He was trying to use me for my mystic powers."

"Oh, how awful!" Hikari heard Mimi exclaiming.

The Digimon gazed up, and Hikari saw a smirk passing on her lips. "But I finally escaped. I will not be a slave to him anymore!" Hikari suddenly felt uneasy at the Digimon, shifting closer to her silent brother. Something about the smirk made Hikari nervous.

Hikari watched the Digimon as she studied the faces of Kimika and Jyou. Something about her . . . "What's your name?" she asked curiously.

The Digimon gazed to her, and Hikari thought she saw an odd gleam in her golden eyes. But the Digimon just smiled brightly. "My name is Sanimon, and I am so pleased to meet the famous Digidestined. I am so honored to have the Seer and the Reconciler helping me."

Hikari saw something strange. Jyou dropped the roll of white bandages to the ground, his eyes suddenly widened. Kimika jolted her head up in startled astonishment, her face paled. The eyes of dusky and brown narrowed as they eyed the smiling Digimon.

Sanimon didn't seem noticed by that. She turned to Takeru. "And you are the Savior, right?"

Takeru was nodding, smiling back with cheerfulness.

Sanimon finally gazed up to the rest. "So you must be the Master, the Seeker, the Guardian, the Guide, and the Warder."

Hikari quickly looked back to the kids, wondering why the Digimon was calling them by strange names. Taichi was looking pale, his hands touching lightly on his chest. Sora shifted farther from the Digimon, her eyes closed. Yamato scowled lightly. Mimi lowered her eyes to her entwined hands. Koushiro seemed to cringe at a memory passing in his mind. Their Digimon companions gazed at each kid, their multicolored eyes full with understanding concern. All were really uneasy under the gleaming golden eyes. What was going on here? Why was that Digimon calling them like that, and why were they seeming so troubled?

Taichi let his hand fall to his side, his tan eyes hard at Sanimon. "Yeah, we are them."

Jyou finished wrapping the arm as Kimika held it up gently. As he putted away the roll back in his duffel bag, Kimika tied a sling around Sanimon's neck and placed the injured arm in it. "You will be okay soon," Kimika was saying. Her voice was slightly tight, as if was still shaken from Sanimon's calling of her name. "Just be careful for awhile."

Taichi knelt down, but a little far from Sanimon. "Are you still well enough to walk? We need to move on to find a place for the night."

Sanimon nodded. "I know a place. I was running away for it. It's probably the only safe place in this crazed world."

"Are you sure?"

Putting the hood over her head, Sanimon then smiled. "Do you doubt me?"

Taichi looked like he wanted to say it, but kept silent. He took a long scan around his friends, waiting. The kids were silent, but Yamato nodded sharply, and Taichi sighed softly. "All right. We have no other choice."

Sanimon stood up a bit weakly, helped by Takeru and the other Digimon. She seemed to bow deeply to Taichi. "Thank you for agreeing to my suggestion, Master."

Hikari saw Taichi jerking his head away a little too quickly, his eyes tightly shut. His hand shook, going to his chest. Sora and Kimika were gazing at him with worry. Even the cheerful Takeru was distressed as he watched the dusky-haired boy.

She was almost impatient about what was happening, impatient that she was the only one who didn't know anything. But her concern was on her brother. She went to his side, holding on his arm. "Tai, are you okay?"

Taichi gazed to her with a weak grin and stood up. He patted her on her head, seeming feebly. "I am okay, ane," he said, using the Japanese word for sister. However, his eyes were clouded with something. "Let's go."

Sanimon led the group, her footsteps graceful, but weak, as if still weak from the loss of blood. Takeru was at her side, offering his aid. Yamato was at her other side, seeming hesitant to help, but seeing his brother do so, decided to aid anyway. Hikari wondered what had happened to the kids. There was a sudden, dark silence drifting around them, their faces pale and tight. The Digimon had deep sorrow, seeming to share their hidden encounters. Taichi was looking haggard, his eyes darkened with refreshed memories. Hikari slid her hand in his large hand, but it was hanging slackly.

"Ani, why did Sanimon call you the Master?" Hikari asked quietly.

Taichi moved only his eyes to gaze down to her, and then returned his gaze back to the path. "That's how Digimon know me."

"What do you mean?"

Taichi tightened his grasp on her hand, his eyes sharp at her. "I prefer not to talk about it, okay?"

Hikari was surprised at his reply and meekly whispered, "Okay . . ." She couldn't help it to glance at Gatomon with wonder. Gatomon walked beside her, and her sapphire eyes were clouded with bewilderment.

Soon, Sanimon stopped in the middle of the path, and her eyes turned to her right, pointing with her good arm. "Here we are." All followed their eyes to where she was pointing at and saw a huge antique mansion, colored shadowy blue, standing alone in a grove of twisted trees. There were no windows on the sides, but with no glass, either. It looked hollow, lifeless.

Hikari heard someone making a choked gasp, and she turned to see Yamato deathly pale, stepping backward. Kimika and Koushiro went to him, holding on his arms, she whispering to him softly. Koushiro turned to Sanimon with a frown.

"This place is unprotected," Koushiro said. "It's in the command of Banshemon. Why are you bringing us here? Does she want Matt back?"

Hikari was now really confused about this. Yamato was slightly shaking, his eyes on the mansion as Kimika kept on lulling him with soft words. She was glaring at Sanimon with a dark frown, too.

Sanimon took a puzzled look at the blond boy and replied to Koushiro, "You mean Banshemon? She was long gone. I thought the Guardian destroyed her."

"What about the phantasms that wander in that cursed mansion?" Yamato said, his voice still choked.

"They were gone after Banshemon was destroyed. I was the former guardian long before Banshemon took over."

"Guardian?" Mimi asked.

Sanimon gazed over to the mansion. "This is the Temple of the Digidestined. I am the Guardian of the Temple. I know everything abut you all, vowed to guard all the secrets and legends of the Digidestined. The Temple has a sacred room that has the Circle of the Crests." Sanimon turned to Yamato, Kimika, Koushiro, and Takeru, her golden eyes sparkling. "I am sure that you were there before." The kids were silent, all but Takeru glaring at her. Sanimon wasn't wavered at the glares. She calmly said, "We must remain there for a while. It's the only place you can trust. Trust me."

Yamato was heard muttering under his breath as the group headed for the mansion. Hikari gazed at the mansion. The Temple of the Digidestined? It would be more . . . livelier, Hikari thought. As they got closer, Hikari could feel a cold draft coming from the mansion, but no one ever noticed. She shivered slightly and shifted closer to Taichi. They entered the mansion, and Hikari awed at the sight.

The inside was a kind of lobby with two massive stairways curling upward to the second floor. There was two doors, one at her right and another from ahead of her. There was a dim light coming from somewhere, but she couldn't find it anywhere. As Sanimon led them to the right door, Hikari caught a glimpse of nine large paintings on the second floor, open to all who could see. Hikari wondered about them, but Taichi dragged her, holding her close to himself, She could feel the tension in his body against her body.

The room was nice and cool from the humid air outside. There, they spent the night. No one kept guard. Even Sanimon slept, saying that no one would ever try to attack the Temple because even the evil Digimon respected the Digidestined, however with a hateful taste. Hikari could not sleep. She laid by her sleeping brother, wondering about what happened to her friends before they returned to the home world. How came that Sanimon called them by names? Was it a legend? If she was included in the legend, would she have a similar name?

Hikari stood quietly, not wanting to wake her brother and Digimon. She felt that she wanted to be somewhere. She exited the room and walked straight to the door between the stairs. Although she wanted to see the beautiful paintings, she felt that she was needed in the room. The mansion was deathly silent, save for her low breaths and the whistling breeze outside. She could see the darkness outside from the empty windows, creeping among the swaying branches. She thought she saw a flash of gold somewhere, but when she looked again, it was gone.

Hikari entered the room and was speechless at the sight. It was empty, but she could see the eight symbols of the kids' crests on the walls, two on each. Also, there was a circle, engraved in the hard floor, a circle of the same symbols. Seven around one. She saw the Crest of Hope's symbol set in the center, seeming bright among the dark symbols of the older kids. But she saw something missing. Her crest's symbol was not there anywhere. There was no symbol of the Crest of Light anywhere. Hikari wondered, and then gazed down to her crest, dangling alongside to the silver whistle. The crest was installed in the polished brass tag, colored pale pink. A flower with eight diamond-shaped petals around a tiny circle. Why wasn't the Crest of Light among the circle?

"Couldn't sleep?"

Hikari gasped, turned around, and blushed lightly. Takeru was smiling at her near the door, his azure eyes the only light in the darkened room. "TK, you scared me."

"Sorry about that." Takeru walked toward her, and then stopped in his tracks, gazing at the circle. Hikari could see paleness appearing in his face, and then it was gone. Takeru went to his side. "So this must be the Circle of the Crests Sanimon was talking about. I was wondering about that."

Hikari gazed at him with puzzlement. "You have been here before?"

Takeru nodded. "That's where my Onii-chan found his power."

Hikari grew confused, more confused that she became dizzy at the new information. "What do you mean, dachi?" she replied, using the Japanese slang for friend. The way he gazed at the circle with quietness made her wonder. "What power?"

Takeru's eyes went to the symbol of Hope, and his eyes seemed to brighten. "Gennai told us that there is a legend that we could tap on our powers through our crests and use them to defeat the ultimate evil. We don't know what the ultimate evil is, but for some reason, we did get our powers before we found out abut you. Gennai said that it was too early for us to have them, and now we lost our powers. But I am sure we will find them soon."

Hikari shook her head. "Powers? What are you talking about?"

Takeru turned to her. "Remember when Sanimon called us by names? That are the names Digimon know us through that legend. Tai is the Master, Matt is the Guardian, Izzy is the Warder. You know what I mean."

"And what about the powers?"

Takeru shrugged. "Each of us has our own power. Tai has Fire, Matt has Spirit, Izzy has Lightning, Kim has Shadow, Sora has Wind, Mimi has Earth, and Joe has Water."

"And yours?"

Takeru then smiled. "Life."

Hikari made a chuckle. "Surely, you are joking."

"You don't believe me?"

"Of course not!" Hikari's tan eyes gazed around the walls and the circle. "You are telling me that we have magic to control. It's ridiculous for us to have them. You must try to amuse me, dachi."

"Why would I lie to you, dachi? Here, let me show you."

"Show me what?"

"My power, what else?"

Hikari sighed. "TK, even though this power thing is real, you said that you all lost your powers."

Takeru made a grin, his eyes sparkling. He just beckoned her to come closer. Hikari sighed and came closer. "Hold up your hands like that," Takeru said, holding his hands up, the palms facing her, the fingers upward. Hikari did so, still puzzled. The hands came together.

There were sudden rays of golden light beaming from between the hands, illuminating the kids' faces. Hikari felt a sudden incredible feeling bursting through her body, warming all over her. It came so sudden that Hikari made a surprised yelp and quickly withdrew her hands. The light abruptly disappeared.

"What was that?" she said, her eyes wide at the still floating hands.

Takeru lowered his hands, still grinning. "I told you. That's my power."

"But - but you said you lost your power."

Takeru's face changed into a thoughtful expression, seeming pensive. "I think I am the only one who still has my power. They didn't even try to find their powers. Not at all. It seems that they are afraid." Hikari just stared at him with incredulity. Takeru walked between the symbols and stopped in front of the Hope symbol. "I wonder why they are afraid. I think having a power is neat. Don't you think?"

Hikari rubbed on her arms, feeling the warm touch through her skin. "Do you think that I would have a power?" Takeru seemed silent. He stared at her with such sharp azure eyes that she felt a strange experience from him. His power was Life. Sanimon called him the Savior. "Savior . . . That's what Sanimon called you."

Now Takeru seemed uneasy, like the other kids earlier. "The name reminds me of something. It's too vague to remember. I couldn't remember anything, but I do remember that I had someone who helped me find my power."


Takeru smiled. "An angel."

Hikari smiled with him. "Patamon helped you?"

To her surprise, he shook his head. "Not Angemon. My angel. I don't know who he was, but Onii-chan told me that he looked a lot like Angemon."

"Maybe he is really you, your other side. The Savior."

Takeru nodded, his eyes deep in thought. "Maybe. All I could remember about him was feathers. Just white feathers." Takeru blinked back in the present and grinned at her. "To answer your question, I do think that you would have a power. But what? And why isn't your crest symbol on this circle?"

Hikari knelt down, her fingers touching the Hope crest. The same feeling she received from Takeru's power burst in her body, making her dizzy, and then it was gone. She just said nothing, wondering. Would she ever find her power? Would it be different? "Come on, Kari. We need to sleep." Hikari felt the hand of Takeru sliding in her hand and helped her to stand. Hikari let Takeru lead her out of the room.

Worrying about her . . .

Hikari stopped in her tracks. "You say something?"

Takeru turned to her. "What? I didn't say anything."

But she never has . . .

Hikari glanced around, bewildered. "I heard a voice again."

Takeru gazed around, also, but the look perplexity on his face told her that he didn't hear anything. "What voices? How could you hear voices?" Then she saw recognition appearing on his face. "I remember anything. Onii-chan told me that when he was in the mansion, he could hear voices, although we didn't hear anything. Maybe the ghosts didn't leave." Too young . . . Kari too young . . .

Hikari tried to listen to the voice. It seemed vaguely familiar, but she couldn't put a finger on whom. It was like that the voice came from her mind, not outside in her ear range.

What if she . . . I don't know what . . . Not yet . . .

"Come on, dachi." Takeru said. The kids entered the room where the other slept.

None of them ever noticed a flash of gold passing through the trees.


Metalseadramon suddenly raised his head from the white beach where he was resting during the night. His golden eyes narrowed as he heard soft rustlings from the trees. He slowly coiled his body and tail around him, waiting to strike for unfortunate, unaware Digimon. Then he heard the voice.

"Greetings, Lord."

Metalseadramon made a dark smirk among his metal lips. His eyes hooded, and his head lowered to meet the golden eyes of a dark-clothed Digimon who stepped out from the forest. The Digimon bowed deeply to him, and pulled back the hood to reveal a pale face with silver hair.

"Ah, welcome, Sanimon," Metalseadramon whispered, always hating to hear any loud noises to disturb his peaceful night. "Have you captured the Digidestined?"

Sanimon nodded with reverence. "Yes, my Lord. They are the Temple as we speak. They are so foolish to see through my plan." She smiled down at her already healed arm. "I await your command to destroy them."

Metalseadramon made a booming, evil laugh that echoed among the water behind them. "No, Sanimon. You are commanded to hold them as captives. I will come and destroy them on my own. But there is one among them I cannot destroy."

Sanimon arched a thin eyebrow of silver. "Surely, my lord jests. You can destroy them at once with one blow."

Metalseadramon snarled at her, making her cringe in fear. His eyes of golden burned at her with rage. Sanimon stood silent, shaking. "You don't question my power, understand?" The Digimon quickly nodded. He made a snort. "I can destroy them, but not when she is with them. She is preventing me from destroying her companions. You must destroy the Unnamed One."

Sanimon deeply bowed, then spoke softly, "She is weak, Lord. There is no mention of her in any of the legends. She does not have the power at all."

"Nevertheless, destroy her while she is weak She is more powerful than the Digidestined, even more than the Savior. I will not take the risk, Sanimon."

Sanimon again bowed. "As you command, Lord." She putted the hood over her head, hiding her face and turned to enter the forest.

Metalseadramon rested his head on his coiled body and sneered darkly.


"I was thinking about what Piximon said to us," Taichi mused at breakfast. The kids were sitting in a circle around a small fire set in a hole. Hikari noticed for a moment that the kids were sitting in the exact order of the circle in the other room. Taichi had Sora sitting on his left side as Kimika sat by his other. Yamato sat by her other side, and Koushiro sat by him. Jyou sat by his other side as Mimi sat in between Jyou and Sora. Takeru was sitting almost in the center, in front of his brother. Hikari sat near her brother, a little behind him, as if she wasn't involved in this circle for some reason.

"Yeah?" Yamato said, eying Taichi. "What do you think about?"

Taichi took a large bite from an apple-like fruit and miraculously spoke through his full mouth with clearness. "Piximon replied that we need to find something to make us strong enough to defeat the Dark Masters."

"What do you think he was meaning by that?" asked Takeru. His azure eyes were bright from the flames.

"Piximon, you said?" All looked up at the voice of Sanimon with a bowl full of fruits in her arms. Her robes swayed in motion as she walked up to Taichi. Her golden eyes met his tan eyes. "You mentioned about Piximon?"

Taichi seemed hesitant, but replied to her about what had Piximon said to the Digidestined earlier. When he finished, Sanimon was nodding, putting away the bowl of fruits. There was the same smirk on her lips, and Hikari suddenly felt uneasy. She narrowed her tan eyes on her, distrustful.

"I heard of Piximon mentioning that," Sanimon said, gazing at the kids. "I think that Piximon was talking about your powers." Hikari noticed that all the kids seemed uneasy again. Takeru was staring at the flames, his face wistful. Sanimon continued, "I think if you stand on your crest symbols in the Circle, you would get your powers stronger."

"You must be kidding," Kimika murmured. All gazed at her. She was looking pale. "I did touch my symbol, and I disappeared into it."

"You are forgetting that Banshemon is not here. She probably controlled the circle so she would capture you. I promise it will be safe. No one will harm you." Sanimon turned to head for the door. "This way, Digidestined."

All the kids were very reluctant, but Taichi stood up, his face tense. The others followed his suit, trusting him as the leader. They followed the Digimon to the door between the stairs. Sanimon swept her hand toward the circle. "Go ahead. Stand on your symbol. Your Digimon must stand with you in order to be even stronger along with you."

Yamato, Kimika, and Koushiro seemed halting to move closer to the circle, but Taichi, Sora, Jyou, and Mimi, who never seen it before, went to the circle in curiosity. They stood on their symbols, their Digimon standing close enough to have their feet on the symbols. Finally, the rest stood on the symbols. Sanimon was standing far from them, her golden eyes on them. Then she noticed something. Takeru was not on his symbol.

"Well, Savior, are you going to stand on your symbol?" Sanimon calmly asked.

Standing by Hikari's side, Takeru was shaking his head, his eyes unusually dark. "I don't want to."

Hikari heard Yamato saying, "Come on, TK. It will be all right." Takeru was still shaking his head.

Hikari then saw the dark smirk on Sanimon. She was saying, "No matter." She then snapped her fingers. Suddenly, rays of light shone from the symbols, each shining with its own color to match the crests' colors. The rays solidified until they became into some kind of containers. And the kids and Digimon were trapped inside.

"What the - ?" Jyou yelled, gazing upward at the pale blue container.

"You liar!" Yamato hollered through his dark blue container, punching his fists against the solid light, his grey-blue eyes glaring at the Digimon.

"Why?" Mimi whispered, her face tinted green from the light container.

"I am sorry, Digidestined, but Lord Metalseadramon commanded me to capture you for him," Sanimon said, then turned to the youngest kids. "Now this time, you will be not in his way to destroy them."

"Kari! TK! Get away from here!" Taichi shouted from his orange container.

Hikari and Takeru slowly sidestepped away, hesitant to leave their brothers and friends. Then they heard a crashing sound from behind them. They whirled around in alarm. They saw several Digimon that looked like savage lizards, standing on their hind legs, but hunched so low that their thick arms were dragging on the floor. The yellow fangs were dripping with saliva, their red eyes glowing with an eerie light.

Sanimon calmly motioned to the youngsters. "Barbarimon, capture them. I don't care what would you do to the Savior, but bring the girl here and alive."

"RUN!" Taichi and Yamato seemed to bellow in unison.

The Barbarimon tensed their hind legs and leaped up in the air, preparing to attack them.

"Lightning Claw!" Gatomon hissed and clawed one of the lizards in the face.

"Bubble Bomb!" Patamon shrieked out a ball of solid air at a few Barbarimon, causing them to fall backward from the sudden force.

"Come on, Kari!" Takeru yelled, ducking under a Barbarimon before it was blew away by another Bubble Bomb.

"But-" Hikari took a terrified look at her brother. Takeru suddenly grabbed on her hand and pulled her out of the way. Together, they dashed out the room with their Digimon following behind, occasionally stopping to battle the lizards, giving the kids time to escape.

Sanimon was heard as they ran outside, "Get the girl! She must be destroyed at once!"


One of the Barbarimon lowered its head and sniffed at the ground, its eyes narrowed. Its fellows darted their heads around, above the thick bushes. Their pointed ears perked at any sound, but there was only the sounds of a breeze whistling and the occasional growl of one of the lizards.

A Barbarimon snapped its head up, seeing something white flashing among the low branches. It waited, not making any sound, staring carefully. The Barbarimon leader raised its head and snarled the lizards. All followed after it, their leather bodies disappearing in the bushes.

Gatomon exhaled in relief as she watched the lizards patrolling away. She waited for a minute to make sure no one was hiding, and dug her claws in the trunk beside her. She climbed higher, her purple-white striped tail swaying lazily. She arrived at the thick branch where the kids sat. She jumped off to land beside Patamon. Hikari was holding the trunk with her arms, tears streaming out her eyes as Takeru tried to soothe her.

"It's all my fault," Hikari was murmuring to herself.

"No, its not," Takeru soothed.

"Then why does Sanimon want to destroy me?" Hikari gazed over her shoulder, silver streaks on her freckled face.

Takeru smiled, saying softly. "I remember that Myotismon tried to destroy us because he feared us. We were too powerful to be destroyed. I know that Sanimon cannot destroy you, because she fears you."

Hikari gazed at him oddly. "How come?"

"Perhaps it's because of your power. You do have a power."

Hikari wiped her face and asked, "Do you really think that I do have a power?"

Takeru grinned, his azure eyes brighter than the sky above. "I do know so. Have faith." Takeru gave her a brief embrace and added, "Now, we must go back and save our friends."

"The sooner, the better," chirped in Patamon, his wings fluttering lightly. Gatomon nodded in agreement, grinning to reveal her small white fangs.

Hikari also smiled, regaining her faith in her friends and herself.

Gatomon climbed downward, her sapphire eyes scanning the area cautiously and nodded at the waiting kids. They arrived to the ground and hid themselves under the thick bushes, creeping through for the mansion. Patamon was crawling in front, silently as the kids were in between, staying close and together. Gatomon was patrolling as the back guard, her ears perking for any betraying sound. They kept on crawling in silence, fearing that one of the Barbarimon would attack them in an ambush. Hikari hoped that they would find and rescue their friends.


Sudden bursts of pain exploded in her chest, causing her to gasp and fall to the ground. Brief yells escaped her mouth as she winced in pain, clutching her chest. Gatomon was heard screeched in agonized surprise, curling in a trembling ball from behind. A hand slapped over Hikari's mouth, and Takeru tried to soothe her as she shuddered. Patamon alarmingly scanned around, hoping that one of the Barbarimon would not hear the yells. Hikari kept on whimpering behind his hand, tears of pain streaming down her face as Gatomon struggled to hold down the pain she shared from the spiritual link with Hikari. The pain eventually weakened into a dull throb that remained in her chest. Takeru let go of her, and Hikari laid still, panting softly.

Takeru rubbed on her back gently, his head lowered to meet her eyes. "Kari? Are you all right? What happened?"

Hikari took another weak gasp and replied. "The pain . . . I heard the voice again . . ."

"Do you know who is this voice?" Takeru gently asked.

Please . . .

"It's Tai . . ." Hikari said, stunned. The voice sounded like he was in deep pain.

Patamon was gazing at Takeru with a puzzled expression. "How can she feel pain from Tai?"

Gatomon was heard gulping in deep breaths, crawling to her companion, her sapphire eyes full with agony. "I believe . . . that Kari is linked to Tai . . . like I am linked to her."

"It could be possible. They are siblings," Takeru said, unusually sagacious. Then his face scowled lightly in thought. "But who could hurt Tai?"

Let her be, Sanimon . . .

"Sanimon," Hikari whispered, clenching her teeth. Her anger began to seethe, angry that she could not protect her brother from that lying Digimon. "She is hurting him." She weakly sat up and glanced at the boy with a bitter scowl on her freckled face. "We must go back now!"

Takeru silently nodded and gestured to Patamon to continue his guard. The small group crawled through the thick branches, occasionally stopping when they heard a faint rustling or a crack of a twig. They continued until they stopped at several feet away from the mansion. It was empty. There were no Barbarimon keeping patrol. The group arrived to one of the windows. The Digimon stayed back, watching for any ambush. Hikari hid, her back against the wall as Takeru stood, risking himself to peek over the window slit. Takeru took a long look, then sat down beside Hikari.

"There is no one inside," Takeru whispered to Hikari.

Hikari stared back with perplexity. Where would Sanimon hide their friends? "What can we do now?"

Takeru looked around carefully and said, "Follow me." He then stood and climbed over the window. Hikari followed after him, and both sat together in the darkness, waiting for their eyes to adapt. Their Digimon came inside from the outside, also sitting quietly. The room that contained the Circle of Crests was empty, no containers of colored light that trapped kids shone in the darkness. The group glided over the floor, as silent as they could, and arrived to the door. Takeru pressed his ear against the door and after a while, shook his head to the waiting friends. He turned the knob a little, and waited again. No sound came out from outside of the door, acknowledging them that there was an ambush. The kids entered the lobby, which was empty.

"Where can we go now?" mused Patamon from his usual side by Takeru.

Please . . . Don't hurt her . . .

Hikari again heard her brother's voice, and it sounded like it was coming from upstairs. She pointed upward the second floor, saying, "I believe we must go up there."

The group climbed, wincing at the groaning squeaks over the rotting wooden steps. They arrived at the second floor, and Hikari was speechless at the bizarre sights of the nine paintings. She saw the remarkable descriptions of the Digidestined on the paintings, each in his or her own characteristic pose. And she noticed something different. Between the paintings of Takeru and Taichi, she saw a painting that was waterlogged. There was a face, but it was too blurred to tell the details. The frame was muted pinkish.

"What are these, TK?" Hikari asked him, who was at her side.

Takeru was staring at his golden-framed painting, his azure eyes oddly dull and cloudy. He literally jumped at her voice and turned to her, blinking his eyes. He shrugged at her question, saying, "I don't know why. We just found them when we first arrived. We didn't know what they are."

Hikari wondered, but then Gatomon's sudden gasp jolted her from her thoughts. She gazed down to her Digimon, only to find her staring up to the pink-framed painting. Gatomon was pointing upward, her eyes wide. Hikari looked up and staggered backward, astounded. In the place of the blurred face, the freckled face of Hikari was painted, clearly and brightly. Like Takeru in the painting, Hikari had her eyes gazing upward, an outline of soft pink framing her. There was a light smile on her lips, just like the posed Takeru.

Then Hikari saw something spooky. The posed Hikari began to stir. The tan eyes shifted lower until she met the frightened gaze of the real Hikari. Takeru quickly moved in front of her, also frightened, his own eyes wide. The painted Hikari seemed unmoving by their reactions. She moved slightly, as if she was walking backward, yet still in place. She shrunk until her whole body was seen in the painting. She raised her arm and pointed to the group, then moved to point behind her. She repeated this motive a few times before she gazed at Hikari with hopeful patience.

Hikari was puzzling over this, then finally realized. "TK!" she exclaimed with excitement, grabbing on his arm. "She is trying to show us that there is a secret entrance behind the painting." The posed Hikari was nodding, now grinning delighted.

Takeru gazed at her, suspicious at the painting. "What if it is a trick?"

The posed Hikari shook her head and again pointed behind her, still patient. Hikari said, "I don't think she would lie. If she does, then I would lie to myself." She went to the painting and placed her hands on the frame. She pushed with all her strength, straining as much as she could. Soon, Takeru and the Digimon added their strength to hers, heaving hard and laborious. The painting began to move. Hikari felt that the posed Hikari was helping them, too, and shifted her painting away.

Hikari looked up to see a small opening in the wall, full with dimness. It was just small enough for them to squeeze through. She glanced at the painting and saw Hikari winking back, a confident smile on her lips. Hikari smiled back and climbed into the opening. The rest followed behind. They heard the painting shifting to close over the opening, darkening the area. Oddly enough, the tunnel was not quite dark, just enough to shine inside, the faintest light possible.

The group quietly walked in the tunnel, frightened to see the face of Sanimon waiting for them, the dark smirk on her face. The Digimon walked in front, keeping caution. There was no sound at all, just the low breathing of the group and the soft footsteps crunching over pebbles.

Suddenly, a series of various growls and snarls was heard from behind. Alarmed, they whirled around and saw several Barbarimon prowling toward them, fangs flashing. How could they appear behind the group if no one was following them? But there was no time to ponder this over. Barbarimon burst in attack, their claws outreaching.

"Lightning Claw!" Gatomon hissed, jumping in position, blue slashes emitting from her black talons and striking a Barbarimon, who hollered in rage. Patamon also entered the battle, shrieking out his Bubble Bomb.

"Run!" Takeru yelled before he pushed Hikari toward the tunnel. Hikari hesitated, but seeing the sharp gaze in his azure eyes, she turned and ran as fast as she could. Takeru ran behind her, shouting out orders to his Digimon. Hikari panted as she turned around a corner, but her swiftness caused her to tumble over her feet. She picked herself up and gazed up in alarm at a growl in front of her. Her tan eyes met the savage red eyes of a Barbarimon. It was hiding in the darkness, but she could see the body, faint and huge. Hikari froze, hesitating as the Barbarimon lunged for her.

"Being of Life!"

A sudden beam of pure white light with golden spirals around it soared past her and struck the Barbarimon right in midair. The Barbarimon blared in deep pain as it twitched wildly in the light. It lasted for a brief time. The light grew too bright that Hikari shielded her eyes with her arms, then the light disappeared. Hikari peeked from her shield and gaped. She saw a few white feathers drifting silently to the ground, to the very place where the Barbarimon had disappeared.

"Kari!" Takeru ran to her side and helped her to stand up. "Are you all right?"

Hikari slowly nodded, staring at the white feathers in a neat pile. "TK . . . You did this?"

She turned to see a pained expression on Takeru's face as he glanced to the feathers. He quickly looked away and whispered, "Yes. That's my power." Hikari silently stared at him, unbelievable. The Digimon arrived to their partners' sides, Patamon wincing at the sight of the feathers, Gatomon cocking her head in curiosity. Takeru cleared his throat. "Come on. Let's find our friends."

The group kept walking through the tunnel for a while until they were blocked by a fork. The group was wondering which path to take when they heard faint voices from the left tunnel. Takeru and Hikari looked over to each other and ran down the tunnel, the Digimon following. They eventually stopped at a huge wooden door at the dead end. There was a steel latch on it, thick and looked like it would not unlock.

Takeru placed his ear on the door and waited. Hikari did the same, straining to hear what or who was inside. She heard familiar voices, whispering to each other as if they were talking. One was familiar.

"Matt?" Takeru called out.

The voices abruptly stopped, then Hikari heard the voice of Yamato calling back, "TK?! You came back!"

"Yeah, and we are all here!" Hikari spoke.

"You shouldn't be here!" Sora's voice then spoke in.

"It doesn't matter now. How can we open this door?"

Koushiro replied, "Sanimon must have the key nearby somewhere!"

"TK, up there!" Hikari spoke, already looking up. She pointed at a small key hanging from a nail on the wall. Then she grew suspicious. Why could Sanimon choose to leave the key here? She would have kept it on her body.

Takeru silently gestured to the key, and Patamon flew upward, taking the key. He dropped it in Takeru's hands, and he turned the key in the opening. The door opened, and Takeru ran inside. Hikari saw that the kids and their Digimon were in cages, trapped. Takeru was unlocking the cage to his brother, and, finished it, headed for Sora's cage. Hikari noticed that there was one missing.

"Where is Tai?" Hikari spoke, worried.

The kids glanced to each other, but couldn't answer. Kimika finally answered, "Tai was taken by Sanimon to somewhere. We don't know where."

No, please!

Taichi's voice pierced through her mind, making her stiffening in alarm. Sanimon was going to hurt him! She must stop her! "Taichi!" Hikari yelled as she ran back the tunnel, ignoring the calls of the kids and her Digimon. She dashed up the tunnel and stopped at the fork.

Leave her alone, Sanimon!

The voice was coming from the right tunnel. Hikari again speeded down the tunnel, still hearing the cries of her brother, but no longer sensing his pain. She arrived at another wooden door, but it had no latch to be locked. She pushed up the bar that was set in the steel buckles. She ran inside and paused in her tracks, gaping at the sight.

She saw her brother, floating in the air, surrounding in an aura of blood-red. His face was covered with shock and pain, his tan eyes on a figure in the room. Hikari followed his gaze to the figure and scowled deeply. Sanimon was smirking at her with calm cunningness.

"Greetings, the Unnamed One," Sanimon was saying, almost respectfully. "Or shall I say the Saint?"

Hikari was unmoving at the name, staring angrily at her. "Let go of my brother or else!"

Sanimon chuckled. "I am afraid I cannot do what you command. I obey only Lord Metalseadramon."

"Kari!" Taichi yelled, "Get away! You will be destroyed!"

"Not until you are free!" Hikari yelled back, her eyes still on the Digimon.

"Ah, sibling love. Too bad this is not your power, Saint," Sanimon said, musing in her golden eyes.

Hikari took an anxious gaze at her brother and said, "Why do you call me the Saint, and what is my power?"

Sanimon appeared amused. "You don't know the legend?" She made another chuckle and continued, "Do you know that you are the most powerful Digidestined because you have an odd power that is kind of ironic? There is a small legend that is only known by the Guardians of the Digital World. It is well-hidden, fearing that it would cause hysteria among the Digimon."

She recited, "'The one who add to the eight shall have the power to destroy or heal the Digital World. Beware of her, for she is the most powerful of all. Beware of her power, for she shall be the one who bear the hope or peril to all.'"

"What?" Taichi spoke from above, his voice quavering. "What is her power?"

Sanimon gazed upward to the boy with annoyance. "Think, Master! There are ten powers to Nature that are connected to the Digital World. Your power is Fire, right? The other powers are Water, Air, Earth, Spirit, Light, Ice, and Lightning. Ice belongs to one Digidestined that will come later. Life is one of the two powers that are connected with all the powers you have. There is one left that is also part of the two powers, but very opposite. That's why the legend is ambiguous, even to us Guardians. Think."

Taichi appeared contemplating abut it, and then Hikari saw great paleness and disbelief passing on his face. His tan eyes widened as he gazed down to her. Then she heard a word that shuddered through her body. "Death . . ."

Hikari nearly collapsed to the ground. Death? Her power was Death? How? How would it be possible? She wasn't the one who would destroy anybody. She would refuse to kill anybody if she has to. This must be wrong. Her power can't be Death. It was impossible!

She looked over to Sanimon, who made a sigh. She wasn't sure if it was sad or amused. Sanimon was saying, "That's why we were unsure to call you the Saint of Light or the Slayer of Darkness."

Hikari then scowled and stood up straighter. "Well, if my power is Death, you know that you must let my brother go or you will suffer the most painful, horrible death ever!"

Sanimon wasn't moved by that, just standing there, the dark smirk still there on her lips. Her voice seemed more cunning. "You want me to let your brother go?"


"No!" Taichi yelled.

"My pleasure!" Sanimon raised her hand, pointing it toward the shaking Taichi. "Scarlet Spear!" A glowing spear of red emitted from her hand. Hikari made a terrified scream as the spear smoothly stabbed through Taichi's stomach. Taichi's eyes widened in pain as he flinched forward once at the force. He didn't scream out at all, just gasping for breath. The spear disappeared, but there was no wound left behind. It must have shattered Taichi's life force. The red aura lowered him to the ground, and Hikari ran to his side, crying.

"Tai! I'm so sorry!" Hikari embraced Taichi, holding him in her arms. Taichi didn't answer, just grinning very weakly at her, and then his head lolled to a side, his eyes closed gently.

Hikari held her brother closer, tears falling one by one. The tears fell on her tag, wet drops splashing on the glass screen. Then the crest glowed with a soft pink light. The light crept across her and surrounded her. Her aura was all white with pink rays radiating from her body.

"What?! It can't be!" Sanimon screeched in disbelief. "Not now! Scarlet Spear!"

Hikari turned her head sharply, glaring at the oncoming spear, and the aura brightened. The spear came in contact with the aura and disappeared with suddenness. Sanimon gasped in incredulity, her golden eyes widening. Hikari had an expression of silent, impassive visage, her tan eyes slightly narrowed. She stood up, glaring at the Digimon. "You killed my brother." Her voice was hard with no emotions.

She could hear the running footsteps behind her, but refused to pay any attention to her friends. She heard the gasps of her name and yells of Taichi's name. She still glared at Sanimon.

Sanimon managed to grin with cunningness, although Hikari could see a glimmer of fear among the grin. "Come on, Saint. You don't have the guts to destroy me. Your power of Death is just wrong."

Hikari quietly said, "You killed my brother. Now you will suffer." She raised her opened hands toward the Digimon, who just summoned on her power to shield herself from the oncoming attack.

"Rebirth of Death!"

A huge glowing cross appeared in front of her hands, colored pure pink with white lining. The cross soared in the air, arrived to its target. Sanimon was surrounded, screaming in pain as the rays of white stabbed in his body as the pink aura radiated brighter, blinding her. Sanimon was seen fading into particles of red, then vanished in mid air.

Hikari turned to her brother and knelt by him. Her power may be Death, but there was another side to it. She could give her life up to restore her brother. She knew her brother would never forgive her for that, but it was necessary. She took the limp hands in her hands and summoned her power to flow from her body to his. The aura drifted to his hands, arms, and now body. She felt her life drifting away from her body, weakening her, but she just pushed on her power.

Taichi opened his eyes, slowly restoring his life. Through the aura, he could hear his sister's thoughts, and he tried to snatch his hands from hers, but she held on, as if her grip was like stone. "No . . . no . . . Don't do it, Kari!"

I must. We need you, oniisan.

"We need you, too! Don't do it, oneesan!" He felt stronger by the minute as Hikari began to slacken, but her hands still held on. The aura abruptly vanished, and Hikari collapsed in his arms as Taichi sat up quickly. "NO!" He shook her, but she didn't respond, her eyes closed, her head resting on his chest. Taichi felt hot tears running down his face, caressing his sister. He ignored the soft voices of the friends behind, his mind on his sister. "Kari . . ."

Then he heard a hum from the body he held. "Tai . . ." Taichi looked down to Hikari in shocked surprise. Hikari was opening her eyes weakly, gazing up to him. "Why are you crying? I'm here, right?"

Taichi didn't say nothing, just embracing her close as she wrapped her arms around his neck. Then Taichi finally spoke, his voice breaking, "Yeah, you are here. And I'm glad for that."

Never the End!