Gennai took out a small gleaming white flute from inside his robe and held it just at the tip of his lips. He began playing a soft tone, which sounded neither merry nor melancholic, but the melody was enchanting. At first the song was whispery and soothing, but grew steadily louder with each passing moment. Soon it began to echo all around the sacred grounds of the Skydancer Mountain. Gennai closed his eyes and continued playing, as the others began to feel a comfortable breeze blowing against their face.

"What's he doing?" Kira wondered, looking at Lobomon and Garmmon alternately.

"He is summoning the holy crow," Lobomon answered. "This is the song used to call on Yatagaramon. Otherwise, with the exception of a direct order from the exalted Lady Angella herself, Yatagaramon will not descend from her sanctuary in the clouds. And Yatagaramon has chosen specifically for only Gennai and Lady Angella to have her calling flutes. And look," the tall warrior pointed towards the reddening sky. "Here she comes now."

The DigiDestined and partners looked up and saw, from the clouds, a speck of yellow light emerged from the clouds. As the yellow speck approached them, they could see the features of a giant bird with silvery-grey feathers and wings as wide as half a soccer field. The tail however, was a stark contrast with the grey feathers; it was brilliant gold instead. Her face was masked by a golden helmet which had orifices to feature sparkling emerald eyes. But what made Yatagaramon different greatly than any other bird was not due to her sheer size, but the fact that she had three talons. Two of them were hind feet while the other grew at the front. As the massive three-legged crow descended, she let out an excited screech upon setting sight of Gennai. The screech however did not seem to fit her size; it sounded childlike and innocent as opposed to her intimidating stature.

"Aww….she's so cute!" Kira squealed in delight.

Gennai greeted the bird with a smile and a jolly tone played from his flute. Yatagaramon landed smoothly several meters away from where the DigiDestined were standing, sending a gust of breeze towards the humans and other Digimon as she did. She eyed the crowd with distrust and looked at Gennai for explanation, letting out a small inquiring squawk. Gennai played another tune, as if explaining something to the curious bird and maintained eye contact with her. Yatagaramon listened for the tone and nodded her head slowly. She then turned her gaze towards the DigiDestined and to their surprise, bowed her head at them ever so slightly.

"Well what do you know," Garmmon said gruffly. "The girl likes you lot."

Yatagaramon glared at Garmmon and let out a squawk that sounded like an annoyed retort.

"She doesn't like your attitude," Gennai translated with a grin. Lobomon smiled slightly, apparently amused.

The DigiDestined looked at Gennai with incredulity.

"You understand what the bird…Yatagaramon…is saying?" Jon asked; his eyes widened in admiration.

"Well…not really," Gennai said easily. "It's just that Yata never really liked Garmmon from the moment she first met him." He held up his ivory flute. "This flute here is the only way I can communicate with her. I'll play her a song while thinking of something to say to her. She listens to the song and somehow, she'll get what I'm trying to say to her. If I just talk to her straight out like I'm doing with you guys…" he gestured towards Yatagaramon, who had a bewildered expression on her face, her head tilted slightly towards her left. "…she won't understand anything."

"Wow," Darien said. "Talk about weird."

"What did you say to her just now?" Max asked curiously. "The song you played to her…what was it about?"

"Oh, I just told her that we'll need her favor to go up the Skydancer Mountain. Of course, we can go to the mountain but from here it would take us all night. And we can climb it but it would take us another couple of days to reach Eos. I told her that we don't have that much time. By flying on her it would only take us several minutes. She's really a fast flyer."

"Castle Eos is that far, huh? And what did she say?" Kanto asked.

"She said that she's ok with it as long as nobody tried to pluck out her silvery feather."

The DigiDestined and Digimon sweatdropped upon hearing the unusual requirement.

"It's nothing to be taken upon lightly. Do just that and Yata will hate you forever. Just look at the example," Gennai said with a mock-frown and pointed towards Garmmon.

"It was an accident!" Garmmon growled. "One of her stupid feathers was caught in between my claws as I tried to get down from her."

"Yata didn't seem to think so," Gennai pointed out. "She told me that it was painful."

"Yeah? Well…what does she know anyway? She is an Ultimate with the brain of a baby Digimon. Even In-trainings can speak perfectly, and what does Yatagaramon know? Squawk here and squawk there. And don't you go playing the flute to her to translate what I have just said," Garmmon growled, fixing Gennai with a serious glare when the boy was going to put the flute in front of his mouth. Gennai hastily took it away from his mouth.

"Shall we get going?" Renamon asked impatiently. She was afraid that their arguments would stall them from meeting the Vanguard of Light.

"Of course," Gennai said. He made a gesture for Yatagaramon to lower her body. The bird obeyed and one by one they climbed on Yatagaramon.

"Won't you two be following us?" Kira asked when Lobomon and Garmmon did not join them.

Lobomon shook his head, smiling. "No child, we are stationed to guard the grounds from any intruder. However, we shall be seeing you again soon."

"All aboard?" Gennai asked as he climbed up and rode on Yatagaramon's head. He looked behind and saw that all DigiDestined and Digimon were safely settled on Yatagaramon's sturdy body. "Remember my warning, alright? And here we go!"

Gennai then played an upbeat tune from his flute. Yatagaramon responded by spreading out her wings. Her feathers shone with yellow light, which surrounded her body to provide protection for herself and her occupants. With one flap of her wings she was hoisted several meters up before she gained momentum and began to reach for the sky.

Lobomon and Garmmon observed as the giant crow soared towards the sky and disappeared in the clouds. Then, Lobomon looked down at his quadrupled companion and smiled.

"Should I just tell the DigiDestined that we remain behind simply because Yatagaramon refuses to carry you ever again since that incident?"

"Oh shut up!"


Chapter 32 – Something Digital This Way Comes



The view of the sky was breathtaking. The sun was setting over the distant horizon behind the mountains located even further than Skydancer Mountain, its light partially hidden by the clouds. The sky gave off an interesting mix of several different shades of red and blue. Only several minutes had passed, yet from their altitude the sacred grounds below were no longer visible, hidden by the white-grey clouds. Yatagaramon glided upwards with apparent ease, her light protecting the DigiDestined from falling. It was as if they were transfixed on her body, which made falling close to impossible as gravity no longer had much effect on them.

"Any seconds now, look up ahead," Gennai said brightly. They were now within the clouds.

True enough, when Yatagaramon had surpassed the highest clouds of all, the DigiDestined saw that they were close to the cosmos, or so it seemed. Below the giant crow was complete whiteness that off the clouds, covering the world below completely. Above was the sky, deep blue with sparkling stars and constellations spread out in good measures. The Skydancer Mountain's tip pierced through the clouds not far ahead, and what the DigiDestined saw next was too amazing to be described by words.

"Wow!" Darien exclaimed loudly.

Perched on top of Skydancer Mountain was a breathtaking pearl-white bastion. The castle was not big, but was artfully designed to resemble a six-winged falcon which had the wings all spread out pointing towards the sky, enveloping a single tower constructed with intricate details of a falcon's body and head. From afar, it was as if the castle was a giant falcon perched above the violet mountain; the base of the castle greatly resembled golden talons clutching the peak of the mountain. Two windows were located at what supposed to be the eyes, glowing with soft green light, and below the eyes was an opened golden beak. On top of the tower, the roof was pure gold and constructed to look like a four-tip crown, with a dazzling pink oval jewel encrusted in the middle of it. And to complete the vision of perfection, the castle seemed to be glimmering with light washed from the multihued aurora borealis right above the castle.

"I've never seen any building as beautiful as this," Kira said, perfectly awed. "Is that Castle Eos?"

"Yup, the sanctuary of the Vanguard of Light, Lady Angella," Gennai answered with pride. "I spent half my life here as well, training as her apprentice."

"It's absolutely magnificent," Jon said, taking out his glasses and rubbed his eyes, as if making sure that he was not dreaming. "No building on Earth can match this one. There seems to be no flaw at all…except that I don't see any door for us to enter."

Gennai grinned. "That's why it's important that we ride on Yata to reach Eos. You see, we enter the castle from that golden beak entrance."

Yatagaramon made it towards the golden beak entrance, which was built just about the size of the crow itself. Inside of it, the foyer of the castle seemed plain, with white and pinkish-red marble walls, floor and ceiling. Torches were hung every meter away, giving light to the dome-shaped entrance. Everyone then got down from the giant bird, and Gennai tapped Yatagaramon's front talon affectionately before the bird flew out from the castle.

"This way, follow me. We're going to the throne room to meet the lady. But…" Gennai turned to face the DigiDestined with a serious expression on her face. "…while I and the wolf brothers have stated that the Vanguard of Light is also known as Lady Angella, but you should address her as the Vanguard instead of her name. Only if she has expressed permission for you to use her name, then you shall address her as such."

"Is it that important?" Darien said. "Or is it a kind of formality?"

Gennai thought about the question for a while before answering, "With her astounding powers and position, it's simply not appropriate to address her informally."

"Why did you, Lobomon and Garmmon get to call her Lady Angella while we have to call her as the Vanguard?" Kanto asked.

"Strangers usually address her in her formal call," Gennai replied. "Lobomon, Garmmon and I have been her disciples for so long that we're no longer strangers in her eyes. She's like our teacher now, so we get to call her in her own name with a less-formal title. It's no longer considered inappropriate for us to do so. Other than the three of us, only the leader of the Order of the Light receives the same privilege. I'm not so sure of the reason though."

The DigiDestined glanced at each other and reached an unspoken agreement of the matter. "We don't see any reason for us to not follow the rules around here," Max said.

"Don't think about it too much," Gennai said with a smile. "Spend some time in this castle and you'll get the same privilege yourself."

They walked in complete silence, admiring the interior of the castle even more. The pink shades on the ceilings, walls and floors gradually changed to shades of green and blue, nicely blended together with white. The walkway seemed to widen a little as well as they reached a closed white door, with golden knobs shaped like wings. Gennai pushed the knob down and the door opened with ease, letting out a faint distinct sound that of a flowing river and waterfall. The young warrior walked in confidently, and gestured for the DigiDestined and partners to follow him inside. They were then greeted with a remarkable sight.

"We're now in the throne room. Nice, isn't it?" Gennai smiled.

Nice was definitely an understatement. The throne room was a dome shape structure, with the transparent ceiling, shaped like an interior of a four-tip crown, letting in the lights that came from the aurora above the castle. The air inside the throne room was fresh, and the faint sound they heard upon entering the room was from the manmade waterfalls that lined part of the walls of the throne room. The DigiDestined looked down to find out that they were standing on a walkway large enough to fit the ten of them, humans and partners, standing in one straight line, side by side. On both sides of the walkway and underneath it, was a pool of water. On each side of the pool were five statues of Digimon unknown to them, constructed on small rocky platforms. Straight ahead the walkway was a fleet of stairs, green in color, which led to an extravagant-looking throne.

The throne was constructed similar to Castle Eos itself, that of a six-winged falcon. The base of the throne seemed glued to the platform by two gleaming golden talons. The six wings formed the main parts of the throne such as the seat, back and armrests. The head and golden beak of the falcon was expertly designed as the roof of the throne, with white feathers billowing down the back and both sides to form curtains which left only the anterior side of the throne exposed.

Sitting on the throne was a woman in white. She was a peerless beauty, with long blond hair curtained her oval face and cascaded down her shoulders and back. She was dressed in a simple, leathery white skin-suit which was wrapped around her neck, arms and body, while exposing her thighs. She wore white feathery high-heeled boots which reached just below her knees. Attached on her shoulders was a feathery cloak, which seemed to be joined at the seams of her long sleeves as well. Her cool cerulean eyes were observing her guests.

"Welcome to Castle Eos, chosen children. I am the Vanguard of Light and protector of Castle Eos," she said with a delicate, yet authoritative voice which echoed slightly, giving her a rather mystic appeal. She rose from her throne and walked down the staircases elegantly, her pink lips began to form a smile. "I am glad that you have made it here safely."

The DigiDestined were all rendered breathless by the beauty that was now standing in front of them. She looked young, like a woman in her early twenties, yet the shine in her sapphire eyes reflected wisdom beyond her years. The DigiDestined finally understood why Gennai seemed to respect her greatly. This was someone who looked like she wielded great powers in her hands.

Gennai bowed slightly in reverence to the Vanguard of Light, but did not say anything.

The Vanguard turned to the young warrior and gave a nod. "You did well, Gennai. However, I did see some unfavorable events happening in the jungle while on your way here."

"It was something we didn't expect to happen," Gennai replied slowly.

"Indeed they were not. Those Gargoylemon and the SkullGreymon were there on Mephistomon's order," the Vanguard said calmly.

Gennai reeled slightly. "Mephistomon?" he said in shock.

"Yes, and it seems that he is getting bolder now that the full moon has arrived. His top servants, the dark wolves of the Wolfsbane Clan, are currently at their full power," the Vanguard said, still with her unruffled voice. If she was disturbed by the fact, there was no evident in her tranquil face. "There is, however, nothing to worry about, at least for the time being. They can not invade the sacred grounds of Skydancer Mountain. Mephistomon is a being of darkness; he hates the light which protects Castle Eos and the sacred grounds. We shall be safe. But for now…"

She turned to observe the DigiDestined. She eyed Max, who looked like he was about to ask something. The lady however held her hand up slightly.

"DigiDestined, you need not introduce yourself, as you are known well throughout the Digital World. However I trust that you are already weary from a day's worth of journey. I know that you may have some questions, but they will be better heard in the morning. For now, I believe what all of you need is a good night rest."

Max was shocked; what the Vanguard had just said mirrored exactly what was in his mind. Then, he nodded slightly. "What kind of trouble are we going to face?" he asked briskly.

The Vanguard smiled composedly for the first time. "Trouble is brewing and we shall soon need your help, but I wish not to trouble you with it until morning. For now, you need to rest."

She turned her gaze to Darien, Kira and Kanto, and continued, "Five chambers have been prepared for you to sleep in, one for each pair of DigiDestined and Digimon. You may proceed to the kitchen after cleaning up if you wish; light suppers have been prepared for all of you there. I'm afraid however, that I will not join you for supper as there are matters that needed attending to. Gennai however will act as your guide while in my castle."

And finally, looking at the smallest DigiDestined, Jon, she observed him longer, noting his blue eyes and blond hair. Perhaps realizing the resemblances, though the Vanguard's hair was fairer and silvery as compared to Jon's normal blond hair, the Vanguard smiled, ever so calmly, towards the boy. "I give all of you permission to explore the castle, but I'd rather that you do that in the morning." Jon blushed; the Vanguard had easily read his thoughts.

"Err….are you a telepath?" he blurted.

The Vanguard of Light looked faintly amused, reflected by the mirth in her alluring eyes. Otherwise, her face remained poised as ever. "Well…to a certain extent, yes, but it's an ability which I prefer not to use unless it is really necessary. What I have said was merely something I thought that you were thinking, based on what you all have endured this day. A day of adventures, I presume, can be rather taxing for five humans. And now, do excuse me, but I have something that requires my attention. We will be seeing each other in the morning, and by then I shall be glad to answer any inquiry that you might have."

Gennai understood the tone in the Vanguard's voice as a sign of dismissal. "Guys, come on. I'll show you around."

The Koromon Village was a small rural community in Server, populated mainly by the In-trainings themselves, who had long learned to be independent even before reaching Rookie levels. Upon earning enough experience and skills from the Elecmon of the nearest Primary Village, the Koromon species would leave the village of the beginnings and come to stay among their own. Some of their higher Digivolutionary forms remained in the village to safeguard the village from any intruder. The village itself was led by a Betamon, an evolved form of a Koromon. Not far from the village, an Agumon was said to be living in hiding, attacking anybody who dared intrude the peaceful village.

However, even with such protection, it did not inhibit the bloodthirsty wolves of the Wolfsbane Clan the slightest to intrude the village. In fact, with only Rookies as the village's protectors, the wolves were eager than ever to acquire some easy, free data. And coupled with the fact that the Koromon Village was, unfortunately, rather un-strategically located, being only within ten miles radius from the Macabre Glade, the village was so easy a target, one could wonder how did the village even manage to survive.

It was night, and the second day of the full moon. With their orders to attack the headquarters of the Order of the Light only during the last day of the full moon, where they would be at their strongest, the wolves were growing pretty restless. X-WereGarurumon allowed them to satiate their thirst for data, and thus three BlackGarurumon and one Sangloupmon made their way to Koromon Village, with hope to acquire the brave little ones' data to add on their own. Confident that they would easily overtake the whole population of Koromon without any obstacle, it was to their surprise when a Digimon stepped out from the forest that surrounded the village.

"Don't come any closer, vandals!" the lizard-like creature exclaimed loudly. Amidst the night, the burning flames erupting from its whole body gave out light to the nearby surrounding. "You mangy wolves shan't proceed, not before facing FlareLizamon!"

Recognizing FlareLizamon as a Champion, the wolves snorted in annoyance. They did not expect this, but no matter, FlareLizamon was alone and there were four of them. The wolves merely replied to FlareLizamon with ferocious snarls; they had not the ability to speak. The single Sangloupmon snapped loudly towards FlareLizamon and leaped forward, eyes glinting crimson with madness.

"I warned you," FlareLizamon shouted, and thrust his arms forward. "Flame Hit!"

The burning lizard released two fireballs from his hands and scored a direct hit when both fireballs blasted onto the Sangloupmon. The sleek purple furs of the Sangloupmon were scorched to black, and there was a stench that came thereafter. Sangloupmon crashed onto the ground just a meter away from the FlareLizamon, sprawled with its legs on opposite directions.

FlareLizamon's eyes turned cold as he stared at the limped Sangloupmon. "You're from that mad clan of dark wolves of Mephistomon's…" he said with a forbidding tone. Pointing his arm towards the fallen wolf, he continued, "One less evil mutt to worry about from now on. Flare Tower!"

A wall of fire suddenly erupted from underneath Sangloupmon, engulfing it with red hot flames. The Sangloupmon did not even manage to protect itself as FlareLizamon was too quick with his attack, and with a loud whimper the Sangloupmon burst into data. The flames disappeared as quickly as it had appeared after the Sangloupmon's anguished whimper dissipated from the otherwise quiet night. FlareLizamon waved the data away grimly and stepped up to the blackened ground,

"Now, did I make myself plain?" he asked towards the BlackGarurumon, glowering at them with hatred in his eyes.

The BlackGarurumon snapped at him wildly, angered of the loss of their comrade. They leaped towards FlareLizamon simultaneously, driven by the wild thirst for vengeance and of strong data that FlareLizamon seemed to possess.

"Three against one, eh?" FlareLizamon said indifferently. "I'll show you what I'm made of! Flare Hit!"

FlareLizamon released his fireballs towards the BlackGarurumon that was coming from his front straight towards the eye. The BlackGarurumon was slowed down, but it managed to counter FlareLizamon's attack with its own icy attack. FlareLizamon leapt up the BlackGarurumon's head and stomped onto its eyes, causing it to let out a howl in pain. With amazing agility, FlareLizamon turned to face the other two BlackGarurumon and released more fireballs repeatedly, while dodging the wolves' attacks on him. He looked to be a seasoned fighter, aptly defending himself against foes two times his number.

As FlareLizamon was kept preoccupied by the two BlackGarurumon, the one he had defeated earlier began to stir back into consciousness unnoticed. It opened its bloodshot eyes and rose back to its feet quietly. Approaching the unaware FlareLizamon from behind, the BlackGarurumon was about to attack when suddenly it was jolted with electricity blast coming from the corner of the forest. Letting out a loud bark and a defeated whimper, the BlackGarurumon fell again with a sound thud onto the ground, alerting FlareLizamon immediately.

Turning around, he was at first confused upon what had just happened, but his eyes dawned in comprehension as he set eyes on a familiar green creature. "Betamon?"

"Darn right you are," the Betamon grunted; its voice sounded like an exasperated female. "I've heard noises."

"What are you doing here? You should be at the village, protecting the Koromon!" FlareLizamon said heatedly. "Go back!"

"And let you have all the fun? No way!" Betamon said, glaring at FlareLizamon. She stepped forward. "I've just helped you from that BlackGarurumon, the least you can do is say thanks, instead of turning me away! If it weren't for me, that mutt would've your head!"

"Listen," FlareLizamon said, sounding exasperated himself. "I've got everything under control here. I've deleted one of them, and move aside… Flare Tower!" The BlackGarurumon who was stunned by Betamon immediately exploded in data particles as soon as FlareLizamon's fire engulfed it. "That's two down."

"Show off," Betamon muttered uninterestedly. She then eyed the remaining two remaining BlackGarurumon, who upon her intrusion, backed away slightly. She doubted that it was because of her appearing…they looked like they were taking advantage of the distraction. Suddenly something occurred to her, and she looked at FlareLizamon with fearful eyes. "FlareLizamon…while you're at it, finish the remaining two quickly! The full moon's approaching!"

FlareLizamon looked stunned for a moment, before letting out a loud curse. "I've forgotten about that!" He turned, only to see the two BlackGarurumon retreating towards the open field. Looking up, he saw the moon was almost full…the clouds bordering the lower half of the moon began to part. FlareLizamon released streams of fireballs towards the BlackGarurumon, who was merely twenty meters away from him. The BlackGarurumon duo evaded the fireballs until they reached the opening they desired…and just about the same time, the full moon appeared, pale yellow and benevolent, yet the effect of it was the opposite.

"Oh, great!" FlareLizamon muttered as the BlackGarurumon froze in place.

The transformation then took place. With the power of the full moon, both BlackGarurumon advanced into their more ferocious forms – becoming the Shadow WereGarurumon! The two werewolves then stared hard towards FlareLizamon, their eyes glimmering with crimson light. Claws raised, both of them advanced towards FlareLizamon with renewed vigor.

The burning lizard panicked. "Damn it! Flare Wall!"

FlareLizamon immediately raised his wall of fire to block the Shadow WereGarurumon. The dark werewolves however slashed the flame walls with their claws, effectively nullified the attack which formerly had consumed the lives of their two comrades. They ran with top speed towards FlareLizamon and leapt towards him with loud snarls. Both lashed out towards the burning lizard, who had quickly summoned all his energy to release two of his strongest fireballs to repel the enemies' attack. This time around, the Flame Hit attack failed to serve him, as the Shadow WereGarurumon effortlessly kicked away the fireballs while making their ways towards him. Courageous to the end, FlareLizamon refused to give up and erected yet another wall of fire just inches away from his snout.

Yet, his attempt was proved fruitless when two set of claws emerged from the flaming wall, and struck through FlareLizamon's chest and neck. FlareLizamon's head flew towards the sky before exploding into data particles, followed by the rest of his body. The flame wall diminished and the Shadow WereGarurumon both claimed FlareLizamon's data as their own.

"NOOOOO!" a loud wail was heard from the forest. Betamon appeared, her eyes reflecting her pain over the loss of FlareLizamon.

The Shadow WereGarurumon stared at her disinterestedly, before scoffing and turning to move towards the Koromon Village.

"NO! You're going the wrong direction! Fight me! I dare you!" Betamon cried out, but it went unnoticed as the Shadow WereGarurumon had bigger things in mind.

Several blasts from the sky stopped them from entering the forest. Angered, the werewolves looked up and saw what seemed to be like two white falcons approaching them with incredible speed. However, those birds were accompanied by the burring sounds of machines, which was not normal for usual falcons. From the eyes of the falcons, white energy beams were fired, impossible for normal falcons to perform. Yet, these were neither ordinary birds nor Digimon.

Upon closer look, those were actually flying machines, looking like a cross between a falcon and a jet-ski, and riding those machines were humans, garbed in black skin-suits with beige outer robes on top. The machines glided down and several small missile-like projectiles came out from the widespread wings, and were shot towards the Shadow WereGarurumon. A blinding explosion of light ensued as the missiles hit their target and the werewolves shrieked in pain, despite the attack were merely based on light. The flying machines then hovered above the werewolves.

"Fire the lasers!" a woman, riding one of the flying machine, instructed. "We have to force them to dedigivolve!"

"Right!" a man replied soundly.

The two newcomers shot relentlessly towards the Shadow WereGarurumon relentlessly before ending their attack with the missiles. Another explosion of light ensued, and after the light dissipated the Shadow WereGarurumon were no more; in their place there were two weakened BlackGarurumon. They were too weak they could not even stand, but if they were intimidated by the newcomers, their expressions did not show it. Instead, they barked angrily towards the two men, who had landed their flying machines just several meters away from the fallen wolves.

"Shibumi and Yamaki really have done it this time with these slick Sky Gliders," the man exclaimed as he jumped down the machine. He was a strapping young African-American male with dark eyes. This man's beige outer garb had brown linings. "Aren't they cool or what, Daisy?"

His comrade, Daisy, a young woman with stylish short blond hair, joined him. She wore the same outfit as her male companion, but her outer garb had a sky blue lining. "Right, Babel. They're indeed a great asset to defend ourselves against Mephistomon's forces of darkness."

"What do you suppose we do with those two BlackGarurumon?" Babel asked.

"The Vanguard has said that they are a threat. They are about to perform a massacre at the Koromon Village. We have to delete them," Daisy said grimly. Upon seeing Babel's darkened expression, Daisy sighed. "I know you hate doing this, but it's for the good of all. If you're not going to do it, I will. They've been weakened considerably due to the light released by the Sky Gliders anyway…"

She took out a futuristic-looking white gun and took aim towards the BlackGarurumon and pressed the trigger. Several white and blue energy beams were fired from the tip of the gun, hitting the BlackGarurumon with sparks of energy resulted upon contact. The BlackGarurumon yelped in pain and rose on their feet, snarling in fury. Daisy however was not remotely abashed; her face determined as she did not cease fire. She took aim on one BlackGarurumon's knee and fired towards it, causing the victim wolf to trample onto the ground, immobilized.

Daisy looked at Babel imploringly. "These guns were set only to stun. It'll take both of us to fire until they're both deleted. You have to help me!"

Babel nodded and took out his own white gun with a trembling hand. He aimed towards the other BlackGarurumon and began to fire with white and green energy beams. The BlackGarurumon snarled and attempted to release an attack from its maw, but Daisy used this opportunity to place a well-aimed shot straight towards the insides of the wide-opened maw. The BlackGarurumon was sent flying backwards before crashing onto a nearby tree.

"Remind me to ask Yamaki to upgrade the Photon Stunners when we get back to base," Daisy snarled angrily. "These guns have the power of In-training Digimon!"

"Let me do it," a grim feminine voice said from their back. Daisy and Babel turned, and saw Betamon with an agonized expression on her face. "They killed FlareLizamon; I'll have to delete them now. It's our responsibility…it's now my responsibility alone; I am the protector of the Koromon Village!"

The two humans nodded and let the amphibian Digimon walk past them. Betamon then glimmered with dark green light and transformed into a bigger, blue-scaled dragon with red tattered wings and an ivory mask on her face. She glided towards the two fallen BlackGarurumon, who cowered upon the sight of a fearsome dragon in their presence. Her eyes reflected her fury, evident in her voice as she solemnly summoned,

"Spinning Needle!"

The two dark wolves were instantly extinguished from existence with one single attack from Airdramon, the Champion form of Betamon. Without a word, she then flew away from the field, leaving Daisy and Babel in wonder.

"Let's get back to the HQ," Daisy finally said. "The Koromon Village is safe now, with her around."

Morning soon came and all the DigiDestined rose up early, well-rested after a good night sleep. They all had retired early, upon Gennai's insistence. Prior to sleep they had been treated with a brief tour of the castle, restricted to the floor where their chambers were located. They were also given a hearty meal, which were all delicious. To add up to their delight, there was a massive bathroom at the end of the floor, enabling the DigiDestined to clean themselves up. Before sleeping, the DigiDestined changed into the given robes inside their chambers, and to their surprise their clothes were all washed, dried and ironed by the time they had awakened.

Right now, after breakfast, all of them were heading towards the main hall, where the Vanguard of Light was already waiting for them. She was sitting on her magnificent throne demurely, her eyes watching the DigiDestined with calm interest.

"Greetings, DigiDestined," she said decorously. "I trust you are all well-rested, and well-fed, now?"

Max stepped forward, feeling that as leader of the DigiDestined, he would be the voice for all of the DigiDestined. Gennai had instructed them the previous night to observe proprieties while in the Vanguard's audience.

"Yes, Vanguard," he replied politely. "We thank you for your hospitality."

The Vanguard smiled and nodded. "It's my pleasure, Matsuo Miyazaki. You have done well so far, in your quest against the Legion of Darkness. Both Phelesmon and Dragomon have been defeated in merely a month; quite a glorious achievement that neither of us could ever achieve."

"We've had helps," Max said modestly, blushing slightly over the use of his full name. "We didn't do it all by ourselves…"

"Indeed, but without the five of you, the Digimon could have never found hope during this bleakest period of time," the Vanguard replied calmly. She observed each and every DigiDestined, and nodded slightly. "I have given my word that this morning will be the morning where all of your questions are answered, if possible. Now, I trust that over the course of this whole month, you must by now, have numerous questions. Do not be afraid to ask."

"Why are we chosen, instead of other people?" Darien quickly asked before Max could open his mouth, He noticed the redhead's glare, however. "What? I've been dying to know that. Don't tell me you're not curious of it?"

Gennai scowled upon Darien's directness, but the Vanguard merely nodded calmly. "I have thought that would be the first thing to be asked." She pondered upon Darien's inquiry for a moment before answering, "Unfortunately, nobody knows the real answer to that question. The five Digivices are created randomly by the Harmonious Ones to be acquired by five chosen children to become DigiDestined.

"It was prophesized by one of the Ancients that there will be time when the Digital World is invaded by villains so powerful, that five humans from the mythical Human World would be chosen to be paired with Digimon – to become the heroes of our world, known as the DigiDestined. The DigiDestined are a symbol of hope for the Digimon, who have suffered under the wrath of the Legion of Darkness."

"The Ancients?" Jon wondered. "Who are they?"

"Look around you," the Vanguard instructed, beckoning for them towards the lake around them. Ten marble statues, each carved differently, were erected around the main hall. "These statues are of the Ancient Ten. They were the first Digimon created, the forerunners to the five Harmonious Ones now. They have long gone, centuries ago in fact, and their powers now lie within the five Harmonious Ones."

"Woah…" Jon said, amazed. Then he remembered that he had interrupted the Vanguard's story concerning the Legion of Darkness. "Uh…you were saying about the Legions?"

The beautiful wielder of light nodded. "Ten years it's been since the Legion of Darkness invaded our world, but prior to their comings, the Digital World has begun to be tainted by a powerful force of darkness, created from the negative energy emitted by sorrowful Digimon who cannot attain the power of Digivolution and from the Digimon who have fallen in battles. Over the years, the negative energy accumulated silently in the depths of space of the Digital World, sealed from the land, water and air of the Digital World by means of a cosmic Wall of Fire until finally, a being known as Apocalymon emerged."

The Vanguard of Light then waved her hand gently towards the fountains. The surface of the water glittered with white light before showing an endless universe, showing the confrontation between a knight in shining armor and a massive creature, with octagonal body and chains jutting out from various parts of his body. Above the polygonal body was a figure of a dark-clothed man, joined to the massive polygon by means of tentacles.

"Hey, that's Omnimon!" ToyAgumon said, pointing towards the knight.

"After learning of Apocalymon's emergence in the depths of space, the Harmonious Ones immediately sent their disciples – WarGreymon and MetalGarurumon, as Omnimon, through the Wall of Fire to prevent Apocalymon from entering the Digital World. Omnimon possessed immense power, but apparently it was not enough to stop Apocalymon, who out of sorrow and hate that had accumulated within him, wanted the entire Digital World to feel his pain as well. However, Omnimon was able to force Apocalymon to retreat, despite injuring himself in the process. Seeing that he could not conquer the Digital World, Apocalymon extracted some data within him and made ten copies of his digital DNA copies, or spirits as you may say in your term, to be sent to the Digital World to merge with Digimon who had already infected by his darkness beforehand. The digital spirits escaped to the Digital World via the Wall of Fire, and Omnimon went to chase after it after escaping Apocalymon's devastating attack, but was too severely injured to pursue them after escaping the space world.

"The digital spirits of Apocalymon, within a short period of time, found their ideal hosts and that marked the beginning of a dark era in our world. In accordance to how quick the digital spirit found their hosts, the first Digimon who was inhabited by the spirit would ideally be the most powerful one of all ten. However this Digimon's identity remained a mystery even to the other Legion of Darkness…he is known to both the forces of evil and good as the Dark One."

A semi-translucent image of a being cloaked in rich blue garment appeared above the fountain. The Dark One, as the image was identified, had black demonic wings erupting from his back, and no trace of his face could be made out from the shadows of his hood. Even though it was a hologram, the DigiDestined could feel a sinister aura emanating from merely an image of the Dark One that they could not explain. It made them shudder.

"The Dark One is a dangerous foe, said to be so powerful that the other nine Legions never question his order. However, influential as he is, he never strikes openly, preferring to keep his identity clandestine. He would instruct his underlings to perform the daunting task of conquering the Digital World instead. However, with his plans, the Legion of Darkness has been steadily infiltrating the stronghold of the forces of good over the past ten years. He is also the one who has first created the epidemic Curse of the Crimson Eyes."

Images of nine demonic Digimon appeared around the image of the Dark One. Seven were humanoid, while two were bestial. The DigiDestined recognized Phelesmon and Dragomon from the group, standing before a massive crimson alligator whose stature and size alone was greater than his other nine comrades. There was a feminine-looking Digimon in purple and black garb; the DigiDestined could not help to notice her due to her alluring dark beauty. On the sides of the feminine Digimon were two demons, one in pinstriped suit wielding a gun, while the other had pallor, blue skin and garbed in green, with armors featuring avian qualities. Standing on the farthest right was a ghastly being – a combination of a ram and a demon – a satyr. On the farthest left was a demon in stately crimson robe, bearing a wizardly appearance. And finally, behind the demonic wizard, a massive creature rivaling the size of the crimson-scaled alligator materialized; an atrocious centaur having a demonic bestial body and a beautiful, yet frightening, humanly qualities.

All the images then disappeared, with the exception of the demonic satyr.

"This is Mephistomon, a Legion assigned to conquer this part of area. He is an Ultimate level Digimon, but with power close to that of a Mega. For the last ten years I have been keeping his darkness at bay with the lights of Castle Eos, but he is growing steadfastly more powerful that I'm afraid, even the purifying lights generated by my castle will not be enough. He is getting even more influential after recruiting the Wolfsbane Clan to become his minions, manipulating the Curse of the Crimson Eyes to a higher degree, giving his minions additional temporary powers. He is, I'm afraid, your next opponent."

"Great," Darien muttered. "This is a whole lot more than I can take."

Max scowled at his friend and looked up towards the Vanguard of Light. "We'll do whatever it takes to stop Mephistomon, then. You can count on us."

The Vanguard smiled at Max and nodded. "I know you will. Do not worry, DigiDestined. The Order of the Light and I will provide assistance in battling these befouled Digimon. You are never on your own."

"What is the Order of the Light?" Kira asked. "I think I've heard Gennai mentioning about it before."

"That, I believe, is best left to Gennai and the Order members themselves to explain. It is quite a story; you might not be prepared to believe it."

"Why don't you try us?" Kanto asked. Gennai scowled again, but Kanto shrugged it off. "We've seen enough weird things while being here, surely another revelation wouldn't be much of a shocker."

At this, the Vanguard's heavenly blue eyes twinkled. "Alright…maybe I am underestimating you. I'm sorry."

The DigiDestined waited in anticipation as the Vanguard spoke the next few words slowly.

"Other than Gennai, the other nine members of the Order of the Light are all Earthlings… humans from your own home world."