Disclaimer: Digimon has yet to reverse ownership to me since the last time I wrote a disclaimer

Disclaimer: Digimon has yet to reverse ownership to me since the last time I wrote a disclaimer. Michelle, Frostmon, and all related Digivolutions have not yet been stolen from me.

Knight of the Realm

It's me… again. ^^' I'm sure all of you must be scared witless around now. Anyhow, I'm forcing another medieval Mimoe on you people again. This is the prequel to all the medieval Mimoes I've been writing, and it gives a brief overview of Jyou's life as a knight during his first real battle. Anyhow, this story is very IMPORTANT to the sequel of "Lily Pads", and it is beyond suggestible that you read this and actually pay close attention to it cause I truly don't want to explain what's going on in a terribly long and probably boring introduction for the sequel, especially when I had already explained everything in this story.

Pikachumaniac's Note: There are some obscure references to the movie "Miss Congeniality". Those references are "Miss United States" and 'world peace', so when those come up and you haven't watched the movie and you don't understand it… sorry… cause I'm in a lousy mood and I was pissing off because I am under the belief that India has no opinion on the Middle East Crisis and it happens to be that this is a big part of our grade, so I should be working on that instead of writing the rest of this fic, but I'm just watching "The Princess Bride" and I am in no mood to do anything educational unless its reading and taking notes in "Where the Heart Is". :) I've complained enough.

The story is from Jyou's POV. Main characters are him *duh* and Michelle.

Standing to my right were some of my fellow newly knighted knights, Taichi and Yamato. At my left was Koushiro, who had just passed his masters test to be a sorcerer. At the moment, we were watching one of the other new knights and the challenger.

"Do you think that she can beat him? He's a prince, after all," Koushiro murmured, and I shrugged.

"He may be over-confident because our visiting prince is not fighting a him, but a her. Besides, Michelle is one of the best, despite the fact that she's a woman…" my voice trailed off as my best friend swung her staff suddenly, blocking her opponent's complex pass.

"It's amazing that Michelle of all people is one of the best," Yamato commented dryly, and I couldn't help but chuckle.

"It probably has something to do with having to defend herself when she was a page."

"Oh, then you should be the next strongest knight, right Mr. Geekfest of the year?" Taichi replied, and I felt my cheeks burn as he used my former nickname… and I wasn't the one that got to choose it.

Before anybody could anything, Michelle let out a triumphant cry, interrupting all of us. Before any of could even blink, she had knocked the prince's staff out of his grip and used her own staff to pin him down to the ground, staring at him squarely in the eyes.

Our jaws dropped.

She had won the battle against the visiting prince in less than five minutes, and had hardly even broken into a sweat.

"You never told me she was this strong with a staff," Koushiro muttered to me.

"If you think this is good, wait to see her with a sword,"I muttered back, and Taichi nudged me.

"Ah, but she has yet to have a duel with you, my dear knight, Taichi grinned, and I rolled my eyes, turning my attention back to Michelle and his majesty, who was still pinned under her staff.

"Um… what did he say to tick her off so much?" Yamato asked.

"You'll see," Taichi replied.

"Are you convinced, your majesty?" Michelle questioned quietly, not allowing herself to be dislodged as he struggled to get her off of him.

He just grunted and continued to try to push her off. Unfortunately for him, she was positioned perfectly above him so that it was more or less impossible to get her off.

"My dear prince, we had a deal, if you have forgotten," she reminded him not too gently.

"I refuse to comply… I am the prince of the kingdom to the north and…"

"A dishonorable opponent who will not comply with his promises. Is that how you want people to remember you? A knight should honor his promises, if he wishes to be respected," Yamato spoke up, and his majesty twisted

around slightly to look at the blonde, giving him an ugly look.

"Womencanbeknights," he muttered quickly.

"Slower, my prince."

"Women. Can. Be. Knights," he hissed. Michelle smiled and got off of him, offering him a hand. Instead of taking it, he slapped away her hand.

"I don't need your help."

Michelle looked stunned before stepping back from him, "Fine then. No need to get so touchy.

He shot her a dirty look before getting up, brushing his shirt to get rid of any dust that might have ended up on his tunic before walking away, head heldup high.

"Does that answer your question?" Taichi asked, nudging Yamato, who just smiled. The two of them walked off with a quick good-bye, and after his own good-bye, Koushiro followed them. I walked up to Michelle, who was

picking up his majesty' s dropped staff.

"Do you have a death wish, Michelle?" I asked dryly as she walked over to the cabinet and put the staffs back in.

"Unlike a certain other person I know, I have a sufficient love for life that no, I do not wish to die just yet."

"You don't act like it," I replied, ignoring the remark on my own opinion of life. Was it my fault that I had wanted to do other things other than being a knight? But nooo, father insisted.

"Why? Because I didn't show enough respect to that overbearing peacock?"

"Kinda like what you're doing now, I suppose."

"That stuffed shirt needs to be thrown down every once in a while."

"You do understand the concept that we worry for you?

"You worry about me? How sweet of you, Jyou," Michelle murmured, and I was relatively surprised that she was being sincere

"Well, I'm not the only one, you know. So… how was your midnight stroll with Yamato last night? I must say that he wasn't the only one very surprised with our only female knight wearing a dress. Although it was a very pretty dress… matched your eyes… and of course, you looked very pretty in it too" I teased, watching with amusement as her face turned red from embarrassment.

"Were you… were you… spying on me???" Michellesputtered.

"Not exactly. Koushiro and I were just… um… looking for someone."

"Koushiro is on this too??? If you weren't my friend, I would break your glasses!!"

I just laughed and shook my head. Michelle growled and mumbled something about mixing up Koushiro' s many potions and hopefully getting him turned into a donkey.

~*~

The banging on the door immediately woke me up. It' s times like this that I hate being a light sleeper as I look out the window. It's still night and not at all close to dawn.

Still yawning, I open the door and find myself staring at Koushiro. He looked like he had just thrown on his clothes, and surprisingly enough, instead of his usual black mage's rope that showed that he was one of the most

powerful sorcerers on this planet, he was wearing a tunic and breeches. He was also breathing heavily, and looked like he had run across the entire palace. Then again, his quarters are on the other side of the palace, so it's always a possibility… but why wouldn't he just use a quick transportation spell or something?

I quickly ushered him, slamming the door shut.

"You have… to get dressed… the palace is under attack," he muttered, taking in deep breathes. My jaw dropped to theground.

"What? How?" I squeaked. He waved my questions away.

"I'll explain later. But you have to hurry," he replied and I grabbed my tunic, throwing it on.

"They used magic. Their mages are blocking off people's abilities to use magic and killing off all the sorcerers and sorceresses powerful enough to overcome the block. They're also attacking the council members and knights. I think they slipped in with our dear visiting prince.

I nearly choked and looked at Koushiro, "Why do you think that??"

"The dear prince Michael is gone, Jyou, with absolutely no explanation. There is no other explanation on our current situation.

I bit my lip, "Something else has happened, hasn't it? Something you haven't told me yet"

"Ah… well…"

"Koushiro…"

He looked away. " Most of the council members are dead…" His voice trailed off, filled with pain. "Well… basically all of them except council leader Gennai. A Digimon… well, more of a demoness, killed them all before anybody could alert the rest of the palace…" He looked at me sadly.

I felt my mouth go dry.

"Who… but… Shim…"

Koushiro looked away, brushing away any tears with his shirt sleeve, "He's gone." His voice trembled a bit, and I saw his face quiver. "All our families are. Taichi's parents, Yamato' s father, Michelle's mother… Jim… my adoptiveparents…" there was a sharp intake of breath.

I didn't know what to say, didn't know what to do... so I did the only possible—I masked my fears, "So… I guess we fight… for them" I stated, trying desperately to sound a lot more confident than I truly was as I picked up my sword and dagger. Koushiro quickly composed himself as well, looking me in the eye.

"I… I can use my magic. The spells aren't strong enough to stop me from using it."

"Then why didn't you" I questioned, opening the door and making sure nobody was there to cut us down.

"Cause they would have killed me, and I certainly can't help anybody if I'm dead. I would probably be able to defend myself, but then what about all of you? I can do a couple transport spells, get some of the others… then get to the council leader."

"Wait… um… how come, we don't know anything about this? I mean, hear it?"

"The conspirators that planned the attack were very intelligent, and they anticipated almost everything. The spells that they cast include sound spells, which muffle out all sound unless one is being directly spoken to, like

now."

I nodded and grabbed Koushiro's arm. Anger and disbelief were currently overwhelming grief. Shim… my big brother. I couldn't… no, didn't want to believe that he was gone. And now, only three days after knighthood, we were all being thrown into some ridiculously complicated battle with absolutely no leader to guide any of us.

This is getting to be an incredibly lousy night…

~*~

Luckily, Michelle and Yamato had already ended up together, saving us a transport trip. The two had ended up against a small army of Digimon and soldiers, and several bodies were strewn on the ground, blood staining their clothes

How they ended up together… I wasn't really sure. Of course, I guess it really didn't matter at the moment, did it?

The two got with the program immediately, and Koushiro transported us to Taichi's room, where we came up on the extremely embarrassing situation of him and one of the best palace healers, Sora Takenouchi, making out. After calming down all our jumpy nerves, Koushiro did one last transportation spell to the Digital Council leader's room only seconds after guards wearing the enemy's colors burst into the room, obviously searching for the person using his magic.

~*~

The last transportation spell was taking a bit of a toll on poor Koushiro, what with transporting five extra people. Not to mention that we had all forgotten the little fact that Gennai's room had spells to prevent people from popping in. But we had no choice. The only way into the room was a transportation spell, as we didn't have enough time to prevent the small army of guards from attacking the six of us, and we knew that we had to get to Gennai as quickly as possible. Koushiro had to force his way through the spell by breaking it down, and it took a toll on him since the original spell had been so powerful. But he somehow managed it, and the four knights, one healer, and one sorcerer suddenly popped into the room, Koushiro's exhaustion botching the spell slightly and spewing us all to the ground in a very untidy heap in the middle of the room.

I could just see Gennai's expression without even looking. These were the six people that had come to save him? If it was, he was probably screwed. When I looked up, Gennai was watching us, but it wasn't with a look of disbelief or confusement or anything like that. He looked like he was dying, the sweat running down his face and his breath short and choked. Sora immediately leaped into action, taking out some herbs in an attempt to help him, but he shook his head, and she withdrew. He coughed, and the bright red drops of blood staining the ground.

"No time…" he gasped out, "The demoness… poison."

Koushiro staggered to his feet and placed his hands on Gennai's temple, purple magic sparkling. Almost immediately, Gennai seemed to get better, and he was finally able to stop coughing blood all over the ground, something we were all relieved about.

"I'm dying... you must be... the next Digidestined...it was pre-ordained from the beginning... and although it's earlier than any of us would have liked, you must carry on the mantle of the Digital Council. It is my duty...as the council leader... to pass down to you the duties of a member of the Digital Council. There are only six of you now...but six more will come... and you will know those six when you see them."

He turned to Taichi and Yamato, " You two... will be the Digital Council's leaders. You, my lady, please get me that box on my nightstand.

Michelle nodded and walked off to do as she was told. Gennai turned to me, "In... in the closet... three Digimon... bring all of them"

I felt myself blanche, but I obeyed. Opening the tall floor to ceiling closet, I saw three Digimon, sleeping peacefully. One was an orange lizard like Digimon, the second was a bug like creature, and the third was a light blue seal Digimon. I brought all of them to the council leader.

"We should have suspected something... when Primary Village was destroyed. But we didn't. And because of the destroying of Primary Village... I cannot give you all the Digimon that you deserve. Only three had been out of the village by the time... it was destroyed. I also have... your tags and crests, and they will bring you the powers of your Digimon...in some of your cases, the ones you were supposed to have. There are three extra tags and crests...save those for three of the next Digidestined.

"Taichi Kamiya. You are to be the leader of the Digital Council, and your crest is the crest of courage. Your Digimon is Agumon." As Gennai spoke, Taichi bowed in front of him, and without any bidding, one of the tag and crests floated out of the box that Michelle was holding to rest itself around Taichi's neck. The orange dinosaur like Digimon stirred, but did not awaken.

"Yamato Ishida. Although there is usually only one leader of the Digital Council... this is not a usual case. You are to be joint leader of the Digital Council with Taichi Kamiya, and your crest is the crest of friendship. Your Digimon was to be Gabumon, but sadly, he has been lost." This time, a tag and blue crest floated out, resting itself around Yamato's neck.

"Sora Takenouchi. Your healing and work to save lives give you a right to be a member of the Digital Council. Your crest is the crest of love. Your Digimon was to be Biyomon, but she was also lost in Primary Village." A tag and rest crest floated out, and likewise rested itself around the healer's neck.

"Koushiro Izumi. Your skill and immense power, as well as your knowledge and understanding give you a right to be a member of the Digital council. Your crest is the rest of knowledge. Your Digimon is Tentomon." The small red buglike Digimon stirred, but like Agumon, did not awaken as the purple crest and tag was given to Koushiro.

Gennai turned to Michelle, who handed the box to me. "Michelle Woo. Your integrity, determination, and joy have not only made you the only female knight of the realm, but a member of the Digital Council. Your crest is the crest of joy. Your Digimon is Frostmon." Unlike the other Digimon, Frostmon continued to sleep peacefully, and Michelle received a tag and a white crest.

He turned to me, and I felt myself growing faint. I could just see it. Huh? What? Who the heck are you? Oh, you? No, you're nobody. Thanks for coming, bye now. When he gestured for me to hand him the box, stunned, I handed him the box of tag and crests, kneeling in the process.

"Jyou Kido. You may not know it now, but despite all the obstacles that have stood and still stand in your way, you will be important in the future of the Digital Kingdom, as well as to many others. Your crest is the crest of reliability. Your Digimon was to be Gomamon, but he was lost as well."

A tag with a gray crest floated out of the small wooden box, and I couldn't breath as it came for me, glowing with a small internal light. As I felt the weight of the cord around my neck, I also felt a sense of power coursing through me.

Gennai smiled at us, " I didn't think I would be doing this...so soon...but I guess I don't have a choice now, do I? May your perserverence and personal qualities get you through this time."

Before Sora or Koushiro could even get up to help him, he gave one final cry of pain before he died.

~*~

We sat there...in shock.

He was dead.

We were the council's successors.

This was happening wayyyy too fast.

No way this could get worse.

Before we could say anything though, the three Digimon stirred, and suddenly leaped into their respective partner's arms. Michelle squeaked when the small light blue Digimon launched itself into her arms, practically choking her with its silver claws. "It's about time you got here!"she quipped, "I've been waiting for so long, and some weirdo guy comes along and takes us away!"

Okay...so it could get worse.

"Um...well…"Michelle stammered, obviously flustered, and I couldn't help but smirk. One of the few times I could see her dumbfounded.

A sudden hammering on the door caught our attention. Taichi had finished his own introduction with Agumon, his Digimon, and now he turned to Koushiro. It was unbelievable, but the door was splintering. A strange orange glow was coming from Taichi, but the situation was getting desperate, so we didn't question it.

"Koushiro, do you think you can transport us all away from this place?"

Koushiro blinked thoughtfully, "Yeah. But only once more."

"That's enough,"Yamato interjected, starting to glow with his own light blue aura, "We get out of here and

then move into groups. Our objective is to find and either imprison or kill the demoness. With her death, the enemy forces will no longer be unified, and will flee."

"Right. The groups will be Yamato and myself, Koushiro and Sora, and Michelle and Jyou," Taichi stated firmly, and none of questioned him. It was a smart decision, giving each group one Digimon and enough experience with the other to be able to work together effectively.

"Let's go then,"Sora latched onto Michelle and me, who was already holding onto Koushiro.

Michelle closed her eyes, " And I always thought that I wasn't able to get motion sickness."

~*~

We split up quite quickly. Michelle and I headed down the east corridor, Frostmon trailing behind us. Michelle was glowing with a white aura, and maybe I was too but I couldn't tell. It's amazing that we could live in the palace so long and still get lost. We ended up stuck right in front of a huge wooden door, that I was pretty sure had never been there before, despite my less than complete knowledge of palace corridors.

"This wasn't here,"Michelle stated flatly, resting her hands on the door.

"I didn't think so either."

Michelle bit her lip, looking at the door, "We can't hack our way through that. And the door doesn't have a doorknob, so I can't use my lockpicks.

"How on earth do you have lockpicks?????" That does it. My friend is driving me maddddddddddd. Maybe her father was a thief. Maybe I'm going insane. Yep. That sounds correct.

"Jyou, please, I'm thinking."

I turned to Frostmon, "What kind of Digimon are you, Frostmon?"

"Vaccine?"

"Um...I mean, what element?"

"Oh. Ice.\rdblquote\par

"Ice?" Michelle's eyes lit up, "That's perfect."

"Yep,"I agreed, stepping back as Michelle stood there, palms on the door. "So...what do I do?"

I sweatdropped.

"You're funny,"Michelle commented mildly, her hands started to glow a faint shade of white.

"I am not."

"Yes, you are,"she was giggling, and her eyes were glowing white as well, her entire body gleaming with light that was so blinding it was hard to look at.

"I wanna glow too,"Frostmon whined as the glow spread across the door, creating ice where ever it touched.

"You'll glow too, Frostmon. Just wait,"I grinned and Frostmon shot me an irritated look.

"Jeez, thank you , Jyou. Thanks to you, I believe in myself! I believe in you! I believe in Michelle! And I want world peace! Miss United States, here I come!"she squealed loudly, giving me a sarcastically hopeful look with little sparkles in her eyes, her flippers spread wide open as she looked to be begging.

"Shut up,"I growled as Michelle stepped back and gave us both baleful looks.

"I bet you two are just getting along so well," she mocked.

"As well as an old married couple,"Frostmon chirped.

"Would you like the honors?"Michelle smirked, moving aside.

"And I…"

"You have the crest of reliability. Your Digimon was to be Gomamon, whose element is water. So be reliable and blast the door down with enough water pressure,"Frostmon explained as if it was the easiest thing in the world to understand. I could only blink, and so did Michelle.

"How on earth do I act reliable?"

"You don't \i act\i0 , silly. You simply are. Michelle's quality as joy is a natural part of herself. She is naturally

joyful, and it isn't an act. You are naturally reliable, Jyou. You just don't know it."

"You are not helping,"I glared at her.

"She's right, Jyou." Michelle spoke suddenly, and confusion crossed my face. "You have to be reliable, just like you always are. Whether it was when you were helping me with my equations or sticking by my side when we were being mocked, you were always being reliable. Besides, don't you want to be Miss United States too?" Michelle grinned the last part while I groaned.

"Michelle…"

She started to laugh, "If there's two things I can rely on you for, Jyou, it's always being there for me...and always being able to make me laugh."

"Thank you,"I replied dryly.

"Jyou...telling you to believe in yourself is about as ridiculous sounding as you becoming Miss United States. I can't tell you anything. But I can tell you that you are reliable. And blah, blah, blah, blah. I can just go on forever with an inspirational speech, but it sure as hell isn't going to get us anywhere. So do me a favor and just believe in

yourself without making me sound like a nitwit. Wait...I already sound like an idiot. Okay then, since I have just made a fool of myself, make my humiliation worth something!!" I felt a bit shocked. She normally doesn't get this emotional.

"Michelle…"I turned to look at her, and suddenly felt a wave of power seep through my system, similar to the power I had felt when Gennai had given me the crest. I couldn't help but yelp when a shade of cool gray light collected at my hands, somehow changing to a current of water that had enough pressure to break down the door but not enough pressure to blast me to the other end of the hall. Obviously, these crest powers enjoy denying the laws of science, but none of us could really worry about that when the door fell to the ground and revealed a very formidable army of fifteen men.

"I wish you weren't so reliable,"Michelle grinned, drawing her sword as I did too.

"I don't see what's so funny."

"Don't you see? All that we just went through to make you believe in yourself just leads us to probably ending up dead,"she was laughing now, and we were all staring at her like she had lost her mind. Which she had, obviously.

"Oh, Michelle, you don't believe that?" Do you?

"Actually, I don't,"Michelle gripped her crest, "Frostmon?"

"Be glad to,"Frostmon grinned.

A clear white tinted bubble formed around the small Digimon, and she grinned impishly at me, "Told me I was going to be able to shine too...Frostmon digivolve to...BLIZZARDMON!"

A bright flash of light enveloped the room before a new Digimon appeared. The small seal like Digimon had changed into a larger sea lion like Digimon with giant blue tinted feathered wings, a horn on the middle of the blue jewel that rested in the middle of her forehead, making her look a bit like a seal-unicorn. A purple jewel adorned her white throat, silver claws gleamed in the light, and the white crest of joy embellished her front paws.

"That's impressive,"Michelle commented, "Take care of them, Blizzardmon! We'll find the demoness!"

Michelle grabbed my wrist and we ran off, leaving the champion level Digimon to deal with the small army.

~*~

"I've never seen this part of the palace," I muttered as we ran up the stairs.

"Maybe she just created this section?"

"I suppose,"I replied doubtfully when we reached the door at the top of the stairs. Before either of us could open the door, it swung open to reveal a woman with white skin and wearing jet black clothes, chains becoming jewelry, and smiling maliciously at us through red eyes of her black mask, her smile revealing two fangs that looked like a vampire's fangs.

"So, my little chickadees, you made it this far."

"Chickadees?"

"You annoying brat, didn't anybody teach you not to question your elders???"

"But you're not my elder,"Michelle replied sweetly.

"Hmm...if that's what you want to think...Darkness Wave!

I shut my eyes in the pain that seared through me and Michelle slumped to her knees as the darkness seemed to explode through our bodies, leaving no place unscathed as it ran through our veins and burned everything that it touched, a wildfire set in a forest of dry wood.

"You...truly are...a demon's spawn," I growled when she finally stopped her painful attack, watching us with no real concern.

"I'm soooo hurt. My two knights, if you two are the best of this country, I must admit that this country is pathetic. My name is Ladydevimon, and I will be the last person you see before you both die."

"You are very humble," Michelle hissed, both of us standing and resting our hands on the hilt of our swords.

"I like to think so too,"Ladydevimon replied, and before we could blink, Ladydevimon was rushing at us, and she slapped Michelle across the face, leaving five red marks that bled slightly. Michelle glared at Ladydevimon defiantly, but then her eyes rolled up into her head and she fell to the ground, unconscious.

"What did you do?"I demanded as Ladydevimon casually kicked the sword out of Michelle's hand, reaching down to grab it.

"My nails. Do you like them? They're poisoned."

I felt a wave of coldness flood my senses, and Ladydevimon made a clicking sound with her tongue.

"She won't die, my dear. If I want to kill her, I'll poison her when she's unsuspecting, like what I did to your dear council leader, Gennai."

"You truly are a demon."

"Thank you,"she smiled, "Now...Kido Jyou, isn't it? I think I've heard about you." Her face broke into a grin as she looked me over, "You're the geek of the court, aren't you? I remember when I killed your brother. It was quite interesting to slit his throat and watch his eyes lose all their life.

"What are you doing, Ladydevimon?"I hissed, watching as she tried a few lazy passes with Michelle's sword, practically ignoring me.

"I challenge you to a duel, Jyou. To the death."

I blinked with surprise, "Why me?" (wheee! I just noticed that this is what Nancy Kerrigan said after she was clubbed on the knee at the 1994 National Championships… figure skating) This was all very odd. I was notorious in the palace for having never done a duel in my life, "Why not Michelle? She is known as the best hand with the sword."

"I have watched you before, Jyou. You are not very confident. But you know what you're doing, and I wish to have a battle with someone who isn't as hot headed as your friend."

"That's not a good reason."

"Tell somebody who cares,"she grinned cruelly before she lunged at me, her sword going in an upward arc that neatly cut off a lock of hair. I ducked and forced my blade upwards, which she blocked quickly. Keeping the blades together, I forced myself up despite the pressure that she was putting on the upper part of my body. Ladydevimon quickly disengaged, bringing her blade in a downward sweeping swipe and I blocked by going in a side ways cut, our swords meeting in a fury of sparks.

"You're quite good,"Ladydevimon hissed.

I didn't reply as she aimed for my side. When I brought my blade to the side to block, she abruptly changed paths and aimed for my other side. I didn't even have time to protect that side when it cut deeply into my arm, making me hiss from the pain. The small victory made her cocky and I brought the sword back to push her sword out of my arm, bringing the sword up to crash into her blade. Then I whipped my blade to each side, forcing her to follow me instead of the other way around, leaving her side unprotected. My blade was about to sink into her side deeply when she stepped away, spinning in a half circle and catching the steel. I brought my sword back up and down again, landing a cut down her center which went from her collarbone to her midriff. Blocking her blade again when she tried to cut into my shoulder, I pushed upwards. Swiftly, I disengaged and cut into her side.

She released her grip on Michelle's sword, glaring at me through half lidded eyes, her long white hair falling close to her wound and staining it crimson.

"You're strong, Jyou. Stronger than I thought you would be." Her body trembling slightly, and her blood dribbled down the front of her. "I may have underestimated you this time, but I'll be back, mark my words,"she condemned ominously, and surprisingly enough, began to laugh. "You alone cannot destroy the power of darkness."

She laughed, her laugh more like a screech or fingernails skidding along a blackboard, even as she began to turn to data. She laughed until she had no mouth, but she continued to glare at me through her red eyes, and I finally let out my held breath when those too, had dissipated into nothingness.

~*~

I'm standing here, and I'm still not sure exactly how this is all going to turn out. I don't doubt that it wasn't the end. I don't doubt that more is to come. But what can we do about it? Just wait, I guess.

As Gennai fortold, we have found the other six members of the Digimon council.

It still feels strange, bearing the crest of reliability and all. My own squire, Iori Hida, doesn't have a crest of his own. It is the same with Taichi's squire, Daisuke Motimiya, and Koushiro's apprentice mage, Miyako Inoue. We don't really know why they don't have crests of their own...But it doesn't matter. They have earned their place in our Council.

The others, for some unexplicable reason, do have crests like ours.

Sora's apprentice healer, Hikari Kamiya recieived the crest of light almost at the same time that Yamato's own squire and brother, Takeru Takaishi, received the crest of hope. The last member of the council, Michelle's squire, Ken Ichijouji, received the crest of kindness.

It has come to my attention that Taichi and Sora are in love, and although they both try hard to deny it, I wouldn't be surprised if they announce their engagement soon.

Even today, I am watching two of my friends being joined in wedded bliss.

Michelle's face is filled with joy as she stares into Yamato's eyes and repeats her vows. They will happy together.

It's all happening too fast for me. I have lost my best friend, and while she isn't really gone, nothing will ever be the same again. There's an empty void in my heart.

What does the future hold of us? Will we be able to keep this land in safety and peace.... or will darkness try to conquer us again? All I can do is wait for the future to come, I suppose, and continue living in the present day by day.

Obviously, I've been watching "The Princess Bride" a bit too carefully. I'll shut up now. It's 11:37 P.M., and I should go and get some sleep before waking up to start doing homework tomorrow. *sarcastic voice* Yea… so much fun…

Anyhow, thank you Child of the Faeries for your wonderful editing and reading through all this insanity. Thanks for bring up so many good points and necessary things. The fic wouldn't have been the same without you. (So I'll give Jyou his medication next time… just don't have Koushiro ^_~).

Pikachumaniac