THE GOLDEN KNIGHT
Gregory P. Wong
It has been three years since Hypnos, the Monster Makers, the Tamers, and their Digimon banished the malevolent, nihilistic electronic entity known as the D-Reaper back into a dark core of the Digital World, neutralized and a threat to no one.
The Tamers have been reunited with their Digimon, and have overcome their most recent adversary, the Parismon Invasion Swarm. They are continuing their lives, happy to be together once more.
The Digital World has been slowly recovering from the decimation caused by the D-Reaper. The Digimon Sovereigns, Azulongmon, Zhuqiaomon, Baihumon, and Ebonwumon, exhausted from their battle with the D-Reaper, had entered a state of hibernation. It is not known when they will emerge from their slumber.
Before they entered their sleep, the Four created and charged the Celestials, Royal Knights, Great Dragons, and Digiworld Wardens to safeguard the Digital World.
The Royal Knights, led by Alphamon King Dragon, count among their number Omnimon, Gallantmon, Magnamon, UlforceVeedramon, Dynasmon, Crusadermon, Kentarosmon, and Craniummon. Alphamon still awaits the day when he can complete the circle of Thirteen Royal Knights.
However, something has been moving in the shadows. Something that bears a terrible hunger, a terrifying thirst for vengeance.
It is only a matter of time.
It looked so peaceful. Yes, the grasslands were a little... bare, but nothing was perfect. The noonday sun was very soothing, though.
Magnamon gripped the edge of the castle battlements as he looked out over the Digital World. This castle was the command center of the Royal Knights and personal stronghold of Alphamon, leader of the Royal Knights.
"Magnamon!" he heard a familiar voice call behind him.
"Hmm?" he said, and turned. UlforceVeedramon was striding towards him. What did his brother want now?
"Lord Alphamon wishes to see you, in the Command Room."
Ah. He nodded. "Really? I'll see him as soon as I can."
UlforceVeedramon's face was covered by an armored mask, but he still saw the smile in the other knight's eyes. "Right. Take care."
It had been, oh, nearly three years now since he and his brother had been inducted into the Royal Knights! Hah! He and his brother had just been little Veemon then, and who would have thought they'd make knights? Well, certainly not him, that's for sure!
In any case, Alphamon had offered his brother—who was technically older... by a few minutes—the choice of either taking the path to Warp Digivolution or the path of Golden Armor Digivolution.
Obviously, his brother had taken the former choice. The training hadn't been easy—far from it, hah!—since Omnimon, Alphamon's most trusted knight, was a relentless trainer. It didn't help that Gallantmon—who, by the way, wasn't the same Gallantmon as the one of the now-legendary Takato Matsuki—was just as hard.
But... no, no complaints about the final results. In—what had it been?—less than a year, he had attained his status as Magnamon. His brother had taken a few extra weeks to finally reach his mega form.
He turned from the view and began to walk towards Alphamon's Command Room.
Even though the dreaded D-Reaper had been reverted to a harmless form—or so everyone hoped, at any rate—the only threats to the Digital World's security had been the rogue and evil Digimon that had proliferated during the chaos of the D-Reaper's invasion.
He entered the large hall that led to Alphamon's Command Room. And... oh.
Gallantmon and Omnimon were there, standing outside of the room, near the door. What was going on? They seemed to be talking in serious tones to each other.
Those two were both X-Digimon, meaning that they both possessed the powerful X-Antibody, a vaccine-like "program" that had come into existence to help defend against the D-Reaper's touch of death. Not only did the X-Antibody give the holders a stronger resistance against the D-Reaper, but it also made them much more powerful.
Actually, Azalea had mentioned that it also gave them experience, whatever that meant. Speaking of Azalea, he'd promised he see her sometime soon. Hmm...
"We're spread too thin to dispatch a troop to investigate," he heard Omnimon say.
"But if the reports are correct, we'll need at least a group to take care of it safely," Gallantmon replied.
He walked up to the two taller knights and waited.
"My friend, we haven't had the luxury of doing things safely ever since Leviamon and Megidramon reared their ugly heads. You remember what had almost—" Ah, Omnimon noticed him. "Ah, Magnamon, Lord Alphamon will see you. Forgive us for barring you," Omnimon said to him, adding a small bow. Gallantmon added one as well.
"Thank you, Omnimon, Gallantmon," he replied, adding his own polite bow. Although no one had ever made it official, Gallantmon and Omnimon were held in higher status than the other six knights. While all knights—except for Alphamon, the leader—were technically all the same rank, Omnimon and Gallantmon became Royal Knights only a few hours after Alphamon was christened the First Knight and Leader.
Besides, those two never openly acknowledged their elavated status. Perhaps that is why everyone else held Omnimon and Gallantmon in higher regard. It was an odd type of cycle. They were actually very popular and served as mentors to the younger knights.
He calmly stepped past the two and knocked on the door. A second later, what looked like a heavy oak door dissolved into pixilated data. He stepped through the doorway, and he heard the door reform behind him.
Sure, it looked like a medieval castle, but it was as advanced as anything else in the Digital World!
Up ahead, with two Grademon standing guard with their swords sheathed, stood Lord Alphamon. Since the leader was standing and looking directly at him... well, he must be expected.
He stepped to a few yards shy of where Alphamon stood and genuflected.
"Reporting as requested, Lord Alphamon," he said.
"Rise, Magnamon. At ease."
He stood and took a relaxed position, his hands lightly clasped behind his back.
"I have an assignment for you, Magnamon."
He saw Alphamon nod. Now Alphamon motioned into the air, and a holographic map appeared in front of him. Alphamon stepped forward and stood next to him.
Heh, he felt short when standing close to Alphamon. Actually, thus far, he was the shortest Royal Knight, only a little taller than the average human male. Though they were all fairly equal in power—not counting, of course, Alphamon, Omnimon, and Gallantmon—he always thought... no, don't think about that. Later. Better pay attention. Alphamon was tapping a location on the map.
"In this sector we've been getting sporadic reports of a Kimeramon being sighted. We haven't gotten anything solid or reliable, though, so we'd like you to check up on it. You're one of the fastest."
Hmm, perhaps this was what Omnimon and Gallantmon had been talking about.
"Sir. I shall depart at once."
He saw Alphamon nod. "Do you wish to take a small command with you? We can spare a troop of Knightmon to accompany you."
A Kimeramon? That could be a tad difficult... if the reports were true.
"I can go alone, sir. The sightings aren't confirmed, and it would be a waste if I brought along some of our soldiers for nothing. If I do encounter more than I can handle, I'll contact you immediately."
He watched Alphamon think about that for a moment. "I suppose that's satisfactory, Magnamon."
"Sir. I'll leave at dawn tomorrow."
Alphamon nodded. "Take care. Dismissed."
He genuflected again, rose, and left the room.
He stood at the edge of the forest that grew to the west of the castle. Damn, he was later than usual. It was almost sundown.
He put a hand to his mouthpiece. "Anyone hoooome?"
"Oh, silly, you don't have to yell!" he heard a familiar, musical voice reply with a giggle.
He heard rustling above. Oh, had she hidden in the trees again?
"Well, I never know where you are—Oof!" He grunted as a petite body collided with him.
"Really now, what's the use of that helmet that's jam-packed with fancy sensors when you can't find a single Ultimate?!" the voice giggled, and he felt arms wrap around him. He reached out and returned the embrace.
Suddenly, the hug ended, and she pushed herself away from him... so now he could look the Lillymonin the eye. "And I think that's because you don't stop by often enough."
"Azalea, you know I have—" he started.
"Oh don't worry about. It's just that we're apart for too long. I get kind of... uh, snappy."
He laughed. "Oh, I don't mind it."
Azalea smiled. "Well, at least that means I'm not losing you, huh?
Azalea was also an X-Digimon, a Lillymon X. She'd been born with it. That meant she was significantly stronger than other Lillymon.
She was also his... well, lover. They were about the same age—Azalea was only a few months older than he was—but, well, yeah. Suffice it to say he'd figured out how to detach his armor rather quickly. Eh heh.
"Of course not."
Azalea smiled and reached towards his face. With a tap and a click, the Lillymon disengaged his mask using the quick-release. She gave him a quick kiss on the mouth, and replaced the facial armor.
"Well, anyway, where is my gallant, golden knight off to know?"
"You suddenly go psychic on me?" he asked with a laugh. But really, how did she know...?
"Nah, not really. Just a guess. It's a fifty-fifty chance, after all."
He grinned beneath his mask. "I guess so. In any case, you're right. I've got to go someplace."
The pixie cocked an eyebrow. "Well, where?"
"Over in the border of the northern forests and badlands. Supposedly, we've got a Kimeramon running around out there."
He saw the Lillymon frown. "Kimeramon? Those things are powerful, or so I've heard. Sometimes the stronger ones exceed the power of medium-tier Megas."
He shrugged. "I'm a Champion, and I'm stronger than most medium-tier Megas. Besides, it's only a rumor. Nothing to get worried about. Chances are that someone just had a panic attack and thought they saw a Devimon, Greymon, and Garurumon all mashed into one. Plus the random arms and wings."
Azalea didn't look convinced. "Still, what if it's not just a rumor? Are you taking some others with you?"
He shook his head. "No. We're spread out as it is. Even if it is true, I can hold my own. I also promised that I'd contact Alphamon if I found anything."
"I'm coming with you."
Whoa, wait a second. "Wait, wait, no, you're not. This is my assignment, and it could be dangerous. I'll be—"
"I'm coming," Azalea said firmly and put hands on hips.
Oookay. Once Azalea got into this attitude—they sometimes joked and called it Lillymon Adamant Mode—there was no talking her down. Well, he'd appreciate the company.
And, er, everything that entailed.
He shrugged. "Okay, okay. I'd like your company, in any case."
Azalea giggled. "Somehow I knew you were going to use those exact words."
"You know me too well."
"Hah! I hope I do!" Azalea gave him a playful tap on his cuirass. "So, when are you leaving?"
"Tomorrow at dawn."
"Ugh, won't even give a girl her sleep, huh? Ah, whatever. I'll meet you here at dawn. Don't forget!"
He smiled and took her hand in his. Small dainty hand versus his large, blue, taloned hand. Who would've thought? Not him.
"Wouldn't dream of it."
The flight there was uneventful. And, fast as Azalea was, she wasn't as fast in the air as he was. Oh, well, they got to see some scenery.
He and the pixie landed at the edge of the woods, near a pond. Very pristine place, to tell the truth.
"So, how long is the "patrol" going to take, Supreme Commander Magnamon?" Azalea asked with a teasing grin.
"I honestly don't know. I do know I'm going to have to scour the area thoroughly, and we have a lot of square kilometers to cover." Well, wait a moment. "On second thought, if there's a Kimeramon running around, it shouldn't be hard to spot."
Oh, no, now Azalea had a mischievous grin. "Well, in that case we can say we're looking carefully when we know we don't have to."
Oh, dear. This was going to be interesting.
Good, they'd managed to cover a little more than half of the assigned area, and it was almost nightfall. This sector was big as areas went, so an extra pair of eyes greatly sped the task up.
Although there had been some... moments of distraction. Ah.
He and Lillymon were sitting by the edge of the pond. He'd removed his helmet cuirass, pauldrons, vambraces, greaves, and boots. Which meant everything but his fauld and groin-guard.
Ah, no matter. The weather was nice, the area was safe.
And it was honestly better to feel Azalea's head on his chest than his cybernetic armor. Ahem.
"So, anything interesting happen in the forest while I haven't been around?" he asked.
"Not much. We did have to wipe the floor with a Karatenmon and some of his Velgemon cronies that were causing some problems."
The Lillymon actually had almost the same duties as him. She was a fighter aligned with the Digiworld Wardens, a group co-led by WarGreymon X and MetalGarurumon X. Unlike him, though, Azalea was only a warrior, not an actual "member" of the Wardens, whereas he was counted among the Royal Knights.
"Really? I haven't had any problems with Velgemon yet. Are they common in that area?"
He saw the pixie shrug. "Not so much. We usually have Vilemon with a bone to pick wandering around. Those flying monkeys are a complete pain when they're in groups.
He laughed. "'Flying monkeys'? Hahaha! Haven't heard that one before!"
Azalea play-punched him on the chest. "Oh, so what do you illustrious knights call them?"
"Just Vilemon. Sometimes, 'imps'."
The other Digimon snorted. "And I'm sure if Impmon ever heard you mention that, he'd be offended to no end. Then he'd Warp Digivolve and wallop you."
He shrugged. "Maybe. Probably, if he entered Blast Mode. Hmm, speaking of him, any word on how the human's world is doing? I haven't gotten information much more recent than last week."
"Oh, I hear they're doing fine. They did manage to beat off the Parismon without too much trouble. Then again, that was a looong time ago. You probably knew that already."
"Ah, I see."
He laid back and Azalea gave a little giggle as she fell back on top of him. He put one hand behind his head and another around the Lillymon.
"The moon's almost at its highest point. I think we should get some sleep."
"You don't really think that. At least... not now," Azlaea said. He noticed that grin. The Ultimate leaned down and kissed him.
He'd met Azalea not too soon after he had Digivolved to Magnamon. Of course, he'd been aloof to her at first—she was just another warrior aligned with an ally—but things had quickly, er, grown. He liked her upbeat, cheerful attitude, and she always told him he liked his calm, serious personality. Strange, since those two types of personalities were near opposites, but, most likely, as the human saying went, "opposites attract."
It had been a long-standing relationship, though duties often kept him and her apart. Still, she was with him.
He was so lucky.
He smiled back into Azalea's grinning face. "Well... I guess we could sleep in tomorrow..."
Magnamon woke up to feel sunlight beating on his face. Ugh, what time was it?
He could slap his helmet on and take a quick check, but, uh, Azalea was currently draped across his body, and he didn't want to wake her up.
Well, all that remained was to take a quick check over the rest of the area and he could get back to the castle. Although he could draw it out for another day and spend a little more time with his lover.
Ah, in any case, he still needed to know what time it was.
Hmm. Let's see...
Maybe... shift his arm a little bit... move his tail just so... yes! He snagged his helmet without causing more than a light grunt from Azalea.
He put the helmet over his face. Oh, it was already noon. Ah, he could snooze for—
Wait. That couldn't be right. He concentrated and fed mental commands to his cybernetic helmet. He could have sworn that he'd seen a strange blip on the sector map...
He concentrated on where he last saw the blip and magnified the area. He sent a brief sensor-pulse through the area. Nothing. Must have just been his imagination.
Well, just to be sure, better try again. He sent another sweeping pulse.
And there was a large blip, surrounded by more than two dozen smaller ones.
Damn, adrenaline was flooding his system! He locked onto the signatures and concentrated some more sensor capacity on it. The smaller blips were representing two types of Ultimate-level Virals. The big blip held similar information, but was much larger.
He looked closer. One set of smaller blips were identified as ShadowWereGarurumon, while the larger ones were SkullGreymons.
And the last...
...Was identified as a Kimeramon.
"Are you ready?" he asked hurriedly.
"Yes," Azalea replied as he watched her slip back into her flowery outfit.
He quickly snapped on the final components of his armor, his two vambraces.
He'd already squeezed off an urgent message to Lord Alphamon. Hopefully, help would be coming soon. Two dozen powerful Ultimates—not counting the powerful Kimeramon—was going to impossible to challenge head on. He was going to have to divide them by harrying them. Kimeramon... Kimeramon he'd have to deal with when they met up.
"Lillymon, stay here and wait for reinforcements from the castle. I'll move up and engage them."
"Wait, I'm going to come—"
"No!" he cut her off. "Please, wait here. I'll need you to lead them to me."
He didn't hear the rest of it. He'd already taken to the air.
It was already nearing dusk. Damnation.
He'd been tailing the group for the entire day. He had to wait for the cover of dusk, where he could fly in from the west and nail them with some well-placed attacks. Hopefully reinforcements would be coming soon.
Targets were one thousand yards away and he was closing rapidly. He selected the outline of a SkullGreymon and three ShadowWereGarurumon and locked onto them. Luckily, the tree canopy would give him visual cover until he was in range.
Six hundred yards... five hundred... four... three-fifty... range!
"Magna Blaster!" he cried and sent a mental command to his armor. A dozen missile ports on his fauld and pauldrons hinged open and hurled golden missiles at his targets. He sped after his missiles.
His missiles reached their targets and impacted. Two ShadowWereGarurumon and the SkullGreymon were blown to bits of data as he flew in on the wake of the missiles.
He saw one of the SkullGreymon look in his direction.
So that meant his full-velocity punch slammed into its jaw directly. The skeletal Digimon staggered back and fell onto its back. It must have fallen wrong, since its Dark Shot rocket exploded and consumed it in a fireball.
"Get him!" he heard a rumbling voice roar. That must be Kimeramon. Good, all was going to plan.
He gained altitude and sent another barrage of missiles on their way. This time, though, they weren't aimed at anything in particular. He wanted them to make as much noise and debris as possible, so he could confuse them.
He dove in again, through the smoke, dust, and wood chips, and slammed a kick into one of the ShadowWereGarurumon's stomach. The werewolf howled and flew back. Noise... behind him!
He spun and funneled energy into his hands and armor
"Magna Blast!" he cried and slung golden energy at a knot of ShadowWereGarurumon and two hulking SkullGreymon. He saw one of the skeletons and three of the werewolves dissolve into data.
"Dark Shot!" one of the SkullGreymon screamed and launched its missile at him.
It was closing in... wait a moment... now! With a swift movement, he deflected the missile with his vambrace and sent it spiraling upwards. That had been close.
"Magna Blaster!" he yelled, and sent a flurry of missiles at the offending skeleton.
Okay, a good number of the viral Digimon were down. They were going to surely follow him now. Time to get out of—
"Heat Viper!" he heard a voice bellow. He felt heat rushing towards him as he dove out of the way. Ah! He'd been singed by the damned fireball!
He looked up into the sky, past the trees. Damn it! Kimeramon had gotten airborne. His escape route was blocked.
Well, he'd have to deal with the patchwork Digimon at one time or another, so...
He charged straight up and rammed a shoulder into Kimeramon's chest. Ah-hah! He'd staggered the large Digimon! He followed up with a punishing uppercut into its jaw. Good thing the rock-hard Kabuterimon shell-helmet only extended over its head.
"Magna Blast!" he yelled. His beams converged on the chimeric Digimon and scorched its hide. He flew forward—or downward, as was the case—and rocketed into Kimeramon. They both slammed into the ground. Time to move. He reached forward and latched his hands onto Kimeramon's throat. The other Digimon tried to struggle, for all the good it would do. He had too good of a position, and it was weakening.
Wait a second. Why was the Kimeramon giving little rasping sound that sounded like laughter...?
He looked in the direction of the shout, and saw a missile speeding towards him. Oh...!
And then... huh? Why was he on the ground? And why was his body hurting all over? And why was his vision all blurry?
"UGGNH! he grunted as something very large crunched into his cuirass, pressing him to the ground. Well, that cleared up his vision... and he was looking up into the ugly face of Kimeramon. One of the Devimon arms was pinning him.
"Foolish knight," the other Digimon rasped. "You will trouble us no more."
He watched as Kimeramon opened his mouth...
...and a fireball built up inside his maw.
Damn it! Had to struggle out of this vice-grip. Errr!
He wouldn't have enough time!
"Flower Cannon!" an alto voice cried.
He saw a greenish blob of energy slam into the back of Kimeramon's head. The evil Digimon's aim must have been thrown off since the Heat Viper attack sailed into the sky, nowhere near the ground.
An opening! He flexed and broke the grip of Kimeramon. He focused energy into his right vambrace and sent a Magna Blast into the face of the hideous Digimon. Kimeramon shrieked and toppled over.
He immediately took the air again as Dark Shot rockets sailed around him.
"You okay?" he heard Azalea call to him.
"I'm fine," he replied. It was more or less true. He was still a bit dizzy, but that was a lot better than being crisped.
"You're lucky I don't let you boss me around," the Lillymon said grimly. "That was too close." He ducked under a Dark Shot rocket.
"I know. Thank you. Uuh." Ugh, his vision had blurred for a moment. "I'm hurt. We need to back off so I can recuperate."
"Okay. Go. I'll handle them. Flower Cannon!"
He watched the energy shot blow a ShadowWereGarurumon to bits. "No, you're not. Go, I'll retreat as I—"
"No, you're not! I'm staying by your side," the pixie said firmly as he watched her send another Flower Cannon shot on its way.
So, Azalea wasn't going to leave him.
Meaning she wasn't going to abandon "her man."
Brave and determined... maybe that's why he loved her so much.
"Okay, we both back out. I'll cover you as you back out—" Rocket! Move! "—and you do the same for me."
And Lillymon was consumed in a horrifying fireball.
"Azalea!" he screamed as he watched his lover's body plummet towards the ground.
Rage, hot, burning rage, coursed through his mind. His eyes locked onto Kimeramon. And then...
He couldn't remember. It passed too quickly in one blur of motion and noise. When he looked around again, Kimeramon was in a beaten heap on the ground, its right Devimon arm missing and the Kuwagamon arm nothing more than a ragged stump.
He rushed to the Lillymon and knelt, cradling the pixie to his chest. Her blouse and skirt were in tatters and her skin was horribly scorched.
"Azalea! Speak to me!" he begged.
"Mag... Magnamon?" Azalea said to him in a quavering voice. She opened her eyes and gazed into his. "Did you stop... Kimeramon?"
"Yes, yes, I did. Please. Hang on. You'll be all right."
Azalea's eyes softened. "Magnamon... I don't think"
"No! You'll be fine. Just wait for help, and we can get you healed. You'll—"
"Magnamon, please," Azalea murmured. "He hit me hard. I don't... I don't think I'm going to make it out of this one."
Damn it all, it couldn't be! She—"
He looked into her eyes and saw tears. He was weeping, too. Not her... The knights were charged to defend the Digital World, even at the expense of their own life. The ones he was supposed to defend weren't supposed to die!
Azalea moved against his body. What was she doing?
His lover slowly moved her hands over her chest. A glow seemed to be emanating from the area her hands were covering.
And then Azalea drew a pulsing blue energy orb from her body. She held it towards him.
"Magnamon... my love... there's on more thing I can give you. Take my X-Antibody."
Horror. "Azalea, I—"
"I'm not going to be needing it anymore," he heard the pixie say with a rough laugh that almost sounded like a sob. "Take it. Please."
Not much left. Just a feeling of... rawness. Rawness. He felt tears drip past his faceplate, and he watched them splash on Azalea's body.
He nodded wordlessly.
The Lillymon pushed the Antibody towards him, and he felt a strange cold tingle pass through him as he watched her press the orb into his chest. There was a bright flash, and the Antibody was absorbed into his body.
He looked into her eyes. "Azalea... I love you," he said brokenly.
He saw his lover smile faintly as she began to go limp in his arms. "I... love you... too... Magnamon. And... remember... this isn't the end..."
And then... and then Azalea's body vanished in a puff of data.
The golden knight wept over his lost love, his hot tears staining the ground where her body once lied.
Grief and despair threatened to overwhelm him, edging dangerously close to his sanity. Magnamon had loved her so dearly... and now she saw gone.
His sobs echoed into the night, punctuated by the near-undetectable sound of tears splashing to the churned earth. The tingling sensation where the X-Antibody had entered his body just added more sensations to his emotion-fevered mind.
Perhaps his own sounds of mourning masked the otherwise thunderous sounds. Perhaps his grief-clouded mind didn't understand what the sounds were. Whatever the reason, Magnamon did not know that Kimeramon had stolen up behind him until it was too late.
In a terribly fast moment, Magnamon was enveloped in a cage of mismatched fingers, Kimeramon's remaining hands encasing him in a vice-grip. The Royal Knight could not break free, his energy spent.
Magnamon found himself staring into the face of the hideous, chimeric Digimon.
Kimeramon harbored nothing but hate and rage for the knight, and sought to deepen Magnamon's pain.
In any way.
"You fool," Kimeramon hissed. "Do you not know what is happening to the Digital World? Are you vaunted knights and angels and dragons blind to all?"
The evil Digimon rasped out a horrible laugh. "They are blind. Everything that has been happening, every single Digimon you have fought—even myself—have served a master, one who's power would drive you to the brink of insanity. He marshals more and more forces to himself every passing day... and when he is ready, all that you cherish and love will be burned to ashes."
Kimeramon gave an ugly grin. "Perish, now."
The evil Digimon's maw yawned wide once more, and a ball of fire raged between its jagged teeth. Magnamon looked at his end.
Something was happening to Magnamon. To him, time seemed to have slowed down, to the point that the very opening of Kimeramon's mouth seemed to take a minute.
Suddenly, the golden knight was assaulted with memories.
He watched as Azalea fought and deleted a mob of Velgemon as she was supported by an Aquilamon and a Garudamon. He learned of an exploitable weakness that all Velgemon had. He saw how Vilemon could be beaten the quickest. He learned not to underestimate Karatenmon.
He watched more battles, as though he was seeing them from Azalea's eyes. He saw her fight and delete all manner of evil Digimon, from Okuwamon to Vilemon to Karatenmon. And, in each of those visions, he learned something.
But something new came into his mind. It was visions of Azalea embracing him, kissing him, caressing him. Magnamon felt, somehow, how much Azalea had loved him. He also felt the sensation of Azalea's knowledge that she knew he loved her.
And then, everything seemed to go white.
To Kimeramon, nothing out of the ordinary seemed to happen. He felt elation that he was going to vanquish his foe.
Yet... something did not seem right. The knight was glowing with an unearthly white light.
Kimeramon looked on in surprise.
Energy... coursing... through every bit of his body. It...
Kimeramon's eyes slowly cleared after the dazzling flash. What in...?
His jaundiced eyes widened in shock as he caught a glimpse of what he now clutched in his hands.
Magnamon was gone. At least, the small, battered knight, weakened and powerless, was no more. In his stead was a large blue dragon-man adorned with jagged, golden armor that was breathtaking in its beauty and terrifying in its power.
Gone was Magnamon. Present was Magnamon X.
Kimeramon felt an intense energy raging within his grasp. In a moment of horror, he saw Magnamon's crested, ornate helmet lift, and the evil Digimon stared into those red eyes.
Eyes that burned with a fury that was almost palpable. Terror choked him as his Heat Viper attack died in his mouth.
In that moment, Kimeramon knew the tables had been reversed. He was no longer the destroyer, no longer the hunter. He was now the hunted, the destroyed.
"Magna Blast!" the Royal Knight roared into the darkening sky, and Kimeramon's remaining arms dissolved in a flash of blinding gold.
Panicking, the evil Digimon attempted to turn tail and flee. But before he was finished turning, there was a blur, and Magnamon appeared in front of his face.
Magnamon latched a taloned hand onto the horn of Kimeramon. Every feeling of rage, every feeling of loss, every feeling that this must end came as a wave of power, rushing into the core of his being. Gold fire engulfed his money as he locked eyes with his opponent.
"You're not going to destroy anyone else, Kimeramon. Ever."
The golden flames rose higher, burned hotter, consuming the tears that still dripped from the knight's eyes.
Kimeramon was nothing more than some scattered bits of data floating in the night air. Magnamon collapsed to the ground. His final attack had drained his immense energies.
But it was done.
Maybe now he could rest. Perhaps he could... finally... see Azalea.
An area a quarter-mile in diameter had been gouged into the forest. Trees had fallen down away from the epicenter of the powerful blast. Everything within fifty yards had been outright vaporized.
Somehow, by stroke of luck, four ShadowWereGarurumon and a SkullGreymon had been outside the killing zone of the attack, and, though battered, were functional.
They knew that their leader was destroyed. They also knew who had done it.
They advanced on the fallen form of Magnamon. They were going to delete him, and avenge their leader's death.
They gave a savage howl and rushed towards the body, fangs bared, claws reaching.
"Ray of Victory!" boomed a voice, and a beam of energy washed away the SkullGreymon in a flicker of data.
The werewolves looked up in horror as UlforceVeedramon, coming to his brother's aid, landed, backed by a host of six AeroVeedramon.
Then they couldn't look at anything, ever, as the Royal Knight and his warriors set upon them and destroyed them mercilessly.
UlforceVeedramon surveyed the scene, taking in the utter devastation that had flattened the trees all around. And then he saw something familiar, something that glinted gold.
He rushed up, and stopped.
It looked like his brother. But the armor was wrong, jagged and crested, with lines of strange blue-white light flickering here and there. The body was large, easily as big as he was, and the blue flesh was bulging with muscles.
Yet, he somehow knew that it was brother.
UlforceVeedramon knelt down and cradled his brother's upper body.
He watched as Magnamon's eyes opened.
"Brother?" the golden knight asked weakly.
"I'm here Magnamon. The force you attacked is gone. They're all deleted."
To UlforceVeedramon's shock, tears began to stream from Magnamon's eyes.
Magnamon sat on the large windowsill of his room, clad in a light blue robe. His armor was by his bed, glowing the blue-white glow of the X-Antibody. He stared out into the sky, towards the west, where the sun was setting.
It had been over three days since he had destroyed Kimeramon.
But, still, that aching in his heart hadn't disappeared. Azalea, oh Azalea...
He missed her every single moment. By all that was good, why her? It should have been him, damn it. He would have gladly gone in her place.
What he'd give to see her again. What he'd give anything for her to live!
But... no. That was the past. What was always admirable about his lover was that she always took life by the moment. If something was troubling her, she put it aside. She had been good at not letting the past disturb her.
But she was still gone.
Suddenly a knock sounded at his door. Who could it be?
"Enter," he said simply.
The door dissolved, and he watched Gallantmon step into the room. The other knight's laser-lance emitter and shield were retracted and folded around his forearms.
"Greetings," Gallantmon said to him quietly.
"Hello," he replied, turning to look out the window. Did he really feel like talking, to even the red knight? Perhaps...
"I am sorry," the other knight said, again quietly. "She was a good fighter and I knew you two loved each other."
"Yes, we did. And I do miss her greatly. But we're both warriors, Gallantmon. We both knew what could... what could happen."
"True. Then why are you still skulking up here?"
Before he knew it he had leapt from the windowsill and was standing a mere few inches from the other knight. Must... not... hit...
Oh, yes, he did not have armor on, and Gallantmon did, but the X-Antibody had granted him greater power. Still, Gallantmon himself also held an X-Antibody... and was powerful to begin with.
"'Why?' 'WHY!?' Because she's gone, she'd dead!" he roared into the other knight's face. Since he was much taller now, it wasn't a problem to look his infuriating comrade in the eye. "Do you have any idea what pain I am feeling right now? Do you have no heart!?"
"I know that you miss her," Gallantmon told him calmly. "I never told you to forget about her. But tell me, would she want you to be in this state you are in?"
And... he had no answer.
"Would she?" Gallantmon asked again, and he could hear the question had been asked much more firmly.
"No," he whispered.
"Then don't," the red knight spoke. "Mourn her, not her memory. Deletion is not our final end, you know."
Deletion wasn't... what?
"Wait, what did you...?"
"Just some words of wisdom," Gallantmon answered. "I will leave you now."
With that, Gallantmon exited his room.
Deletion is not our final end. What did that mean? Was it possible...?
But it was true, oh so true, that Azalea would never allow him to be in such a state as this, moping around and holing up in his room.
With a shrug, he slipped the robe from his body and walked over to where his golden, jagged armor hung. Not the end.
He quickly mounted the armor onto his body, leaving the helmet off. Power coursed again. It was good to feel.
It was a bit of a squeeze, but he slipped through his window and slowly flew to the ground. The sun was setting. A beautiful sight.
For every moment he did nothing, there was another Digimon out there who would feel his pain when they lost a loved one to an evil Digimon. Kimeramon had made it clear that things would not be getting easier.
He slowly slipped his helmet on and latched it.
He would cherish the memories of her, not mourn them. And he wasn't going to let grief stop him from his duties. And maybe, in the future, the meaning of "Deletion is not our final end," would be made known to him.
He wiped away a tear that had trickled down his faceplate.
Who knew what the future held?
But whatever it did hold, for good or for ill, he would meet head-on.
Because he was a Royal Knight.