Disclaimer: I do not own Digimon.


Chapter 11: Earth Warriors are Unchangeable, NOT

When the Chosen woke up they found that it was already night. They then decided to camp there for the night as they couldn't see too well in the dark. They didn't even go out to get food, fire wood or water. They just talked about who would have what watch and went to sleep. The first one on watch was Zoe. Nothing happened during her watch or the next two watches. After Taiya woke Yutaka for his turn at watch did something happen.

Just before Taiya could get comfortable, she heard someone move. At first, she ignored it thinking that someone was trying to get more comfortable, when she saw someone stand up, glance around and walked away from the campsite. She glanced at Yutaka to see if he noticed but he was still not completely awake and had not noticed. The person had looked as though they were smaller than herself so she guessed that it was either Tommy or Shinya. She glanced around the campsite to see that Shinya's place was empty. She frowned.

'Where's he going? He doesn't have his Spirit yet, so he shouldn't go off without telling someone. I have the feeling that he'll be mad at me if I follow, but I don't want him to get hurt.' she thought, getting out a piece of paper and a pencil. After writing a quick note to the other Chosen, she put it under a rock, put on her backpack and left to follow Shinya.

The next morning, the eight Chosen woke to find two of their group gone. They all looked around the camp franticly before Kouichi noticed Taiya's note.

"Hey guys, you should read this." They all crowded around to see what the note said.

Hey guys,

Sorry to worry you. I didn't mean to. But last night after I woke Yutaka up for his shift, I saw Shinya walk off without telling anyone…

"He what?" Takuya yelled.

"Calm down Takuya," Zoe said. "Let's see if she says where he's going or why she's gone."

Yutaka was still too sleepy to notice, so I'm following Shinya since he's the only one that still doesn't have his Spirit. I'll stay with him and try to convince him to head for Toy Town. And don't think that I'm going to tell you which way he went. If he wanted us to know, he would have told us. I have the feeling he ran away because of us…

"Why would he run away because of us?" Tommy asked, confused.

I can't write much more. He might get too far ahead for me to find. Head to Toy Town. If I have to I'll drag him there.

Jamatene,

Taiya

There was silence after they finished reading Taiya's note.

"So, now what do?" JP asked.

"We head for Toy Town," Takuya said. "If they don't come in a few days then we come back and look for them." Everyone nodded.

"You had better keep an eye on Shinya, Taiya," Takuya muttered.


"WHY THE HELL DID YOU FOLLOW ME?" Shinya screamed at Taiya, who he had just noticed was following him.

"Because you didn't tell anyone and you don't have your Spirit yet, making yourself easy prey for non-friendly digimon," Taiya replied calmly, ignoring Shinya's scream.

"SO? I CAN TAKE CARE OF MYSELF! NOW, WHY DON'T YOU JUST GO BACK TO THE OTHERS?"

"I'll only do that if you come with me. And don't think your screaming is going to make me leave. All that its doing is make my ears hurt and give me a headache."

"I'M NOT GOING BACK!"

"Then I'm not either."

"ARGH…" Shinya turned around and began to walk away from the person who had followed him. However, he could hear the rustling of leaves that she pushed out of her way and her footfalls as she followed him. He growled and tried to ignore her.


When he stopped for a break, he saw that she was still following him.

"Don't you have something better to do?"

"Hmm…No."

"Figures…" he muttered. They were quiet for a short while until Taiya spoke.

"Hey Shinya, why did you leave the rest of the group?"

"It's none of your business," Shinya snapped.

"Alright, you don't have to tell me if you don't want to," she said, shrugging. Shinya blinked in surprise.

"You're not gone to press me until I answer?"

"No. You're right; it is none of my business why you left. And if I keep pushing you for an answer you might lie or get mad and start shouting again. Besides, I don't want to force you to do something you don't want to. That would be mean, rude and unfair to you. I hate it when people tell you to do something just to fit in or just because they're your senior." She looked at him and smiled. "I'm always told to be a leader and to tell people what to do. But…I hate to do that. People have a will of their own; I'm not going to force them to do anything."

Shinya just sat there staring at her. When he had left he didn't want anyone to follow him and tell him what to do. Taiya, however, had just said that she wouldn't force him to do anything. That was just the opposite of Takuya.

"You mean you'll let me do whatever I want?" he asked quietly.

"Not whatever. I still have limits. If I have to, I'll drag you back to the group but that's only as a last resort. Otherwise, I'm not going to let you terrorize any digimon or let you walk away without me following," she said.

Without another word, Shinya stood up and began to walk again. Behind him, Taiya did the same.


When they next took a rest, they had lunch. Shinya was silent while he ate as was Taiya, but they were silent for very different reasons. Shinya was deep in thought, thinking about what Taiya had said earlier and Taiya was letting Shinya mull things over in peace. Shinya then decided to break the silence.

"Taiya?" Taiya looked at him when she heard her name. "Why don't you be the leader of the Chosen? You seem much better than Takuya."

Taiya blinked at the compliment and then thought for a moment before she answered, "I don't know about that. I already told you that I don't like to be a leader. Besides, I'm… scared." Shinya looked up surprised. "If we were back home camping, then yes I might lead. But this place is so much different than home; there are so many more dangers and I don't know what to do. Besides that, I think that Takuya could be the leader that the original Chosen know if he wasn't so busy worrying."

"I doubt he's worrying. He threatens to make us bait for that Daemon."

"Maybe it's because it's the only way some people respond to," Taiya said quietly.

"Whatever. You ready to go?"

Taiya looked up, surprised. He had just asked her whether she was ready when last time he had just started without a word. She then nodded, pulling on her backpack.


With the Other Eight Chosen

"Look, it's Toy Town!" Tommy yelled pointing to what looked like a miniature village around a lavender castle. The Chosen, excluding Kouji, Takuya and Tommy, looked around in wonder.

"Wow…it is just like any kid's ideal place to be a kid," Yutaka said, looking around. The others all agreed, except for Takuya who was looking back at the forest.

Kouichi noticed it and quietly said to him, "Don't worry. Taiya will bring Shinya back to the group as soon as she can."

"How can you be sure?" Takuya asked.

"Because I'm her best friend and I know that she keeps her word unless something forces her to break it."

"I sure hope so."


With Shinya and Taiya

The next two hours were peaceful, and Shinya surprised Taiya by talking to her. He still hadn't answered her first question and she had not pressed him.

"Hey Taiya, do you still want to know the answer to your first question?" he asked, surprising her again.

"Yes I would like to know your answer but I won't force you. And I would like to know if you keep surprising me on purpose," she replied, shaking her head.

"I'm surprising you? How?"

"Just by being so…different than when you're around the others in the group."

"Oh, I guess that is true. And, no, I have never meant to surprise you. It's just that you are so different from Takuya; you don't force me, threaten me or do anything that Takuya does. It's nice to be with someone like that."

"Thank you. And why did you ask if I still wanted to know why you ran away?"

"Well, it is a valid question since you are with me and I trust you enough to know that you won't tell the others or laugh at me," Shinya said looking down.

"The reason you ran away is not something to laugh at. There was something in the group that drove you to run away. For all I know, I could have been the reason you ran away. I won't tell anyone because I know if you didn't want to tell the others then it's something that you don't want them to know. I won't tell them unless you give me permission to just like I asked Kouichi to get my permission before he told everyone about me."

"Well, my reason is that I hate them. Tommy doesn't help me or try to talk to me; Kouji has threatened me; Zoe is always helping Takuya; Yutaka does whatever he's told by Takuya; Kouichi is just the same as Kouji; Yamato just doesn't seem to care; JP is just a jerk to me; and Takuya keeps telling me what to do and doesn't let me make my own decisions!" Shinya yelled in anger. They had stopped walking as Shinya listed off the reasons that he hated everyone. Shinya was red in the face from yelling and from his anger.

Taiya was silent for a moment before she asked, "And why do you hate me?"

Shinya was taken aback. He then said, "I don't hate you. Why do you ask that?"

"You probably hated me before you started talking to me. As I recall, you screamed at me when you noticed that I was following."

"Oh yeah. Sorry about that," he said sheepishly but meaning it. "Well, I don't hate you now but before I hated that you were so silent and that you poured water over me."

"I also poured it over JP as well and everyone else tried to talk you two out of fighting. And hating me just because I was silent is a bad reason to hate me. Neither are good reasons to hate me. But that's not the only reason you left."

"How do you know?"

"You're the only one without their Spirit. That has to build so resentment or at least jealousy. You've been one who's needed to be protected instead of being the protector. I would guess that you also left the group to find your Spirit. Is that true?" Taiya asked looking at Shinya.

"Yes," Shinya said looking down at his feet. Taiya sighed.

"Look, I might not know how you feel but I can imagine it. You feel helpless and completely dependent on others. I hate that feeling. I would rather do it my self than let others do everything for me. However, I think that just by running away…you won't find your Spirit."

"Why do you say that?"

"Haven't you noticed that whenever someone gets their Spirit that they are either helping someone or that once they have their Spirit they fight to protect or help out in battles? I think that by wanting to help or protect is the way that you get your Spirit."

"How can you be sure?"

"Think back to when Takuya got his Spirit. Before Agunimon appeared he was fighting Daemon to stop Daemon from destroying the Celestial Angels. Then, when Kouji and Yutaka got their Spirits they were defending Takuya. Zoe got her Spirit after Kouji and Yutaka were forced back to being humans. Tommy's Spirit is the Spirit of Ice so he knew he could freeze SkullMeramon and put his fire out. Yamato probably wanted to help the others when he got Arbormon. Duskmon was an evil digimon who would have destroyed us if Kouichi had not gotten his Spirit. And JP was the last one of the original Chosen to get his Spirit, and he got it just before Zoe and I were dead."

"What about you? Why do you think you got your Spirit because you wanted to protect or help?" Shinya asked.

"Me? Before I got my Spirit, Kouji ran away to fight. I had been the one pushing him and I was the only one who noticed. After he began to fight, I began to wish that I could stop him or the battle because I didn't want him to get hurt any more than he was. Then, Ranamon came to me."

"It might be the reason, it might no be. Either way, I'm going to find my Spirit." Just before Taiya could say something, there was a rustle from the bushes. Taiya snapped around to face the bushes, her hand on her D-Tector.

"Who's there? Show yourself!" she called out. The rustling stopped for a moment before something shot towards them. Taiya pushed Shinya out of the way before rolling to the side. Her D-Tector was in her hand as the digimon came out. It was a plant-like digimon with flowers with mouths on its vines.


Digimon Status:

Name: Blossomon

Attribute: Data

Level: Ultimate

Type: Plant Digimon

Attacks: Ninja Flower, Thorn Whips

Shinya: Blossomon is supposedly a very docile digimon but this one does not seem to be docile! The flowers on her tentacles are use to drive away attackers! Be careful! Her Thorn Whips can really cut you up!


"Thorn Whips!" Blossomon called out and her tentacles flew directly toward Shinya. Before they could wrap around him, Taiya pushed him out of the way and got wrapped up in the vines.

"Shinya, RUN!" she yelled at him as Blossomon lifted her off the ground. "AHHH!" Blossomon began to tighten its grip on Taiya and caused her to drop her D-Tector. Shinya was still where he had landed after Taiya had pushed him the second time. He just stared at Taiya who was still fighting to get free.

"SHINYA! WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? RUN! GET AWAY FROM HERE! AHHHH!" The vines tightened again.

'Taiya!' Shinya thought. 'Why did you push me out of the way? You could've Spirit Evolved and defeat that over-grown plant…so why didn't you?'

Flashback

"Taiya?" Taiya looked at him when she heard her name. "Why don't you be the leader of the Chosen? You seem much better than Takuya."

Taiya blinked at the compliment and then thought for a moment before she answered, "I don't know about that. I already told you that I don't like to be a leader. Besides, I'm scared…I think that Takuya could be the leader that the original Chosen know if he wasn't so busy worrying."

"I doubt he's worrying. He threatens to make us bait for that Daemon."

"Maybe it's because it's the only way some people respond to," Taiya said quietly…


"The reason you ran away is not something to laugh at. There was something in the group that drove you to run away. For all I know, I could have been the reason you ran away. I won't tell anyone because I know if you didn't want to tell the others then it's something that you don't want them to know. I won't tell them unless you give me permission to just like I asked Kouichi to get my permission before he told everyone about me…"

"Well, I don't hate you now but before I hated that you were so silent and that you poured water over me."

"I also poured it over JP as well and everyone else tried to talk you two out of fighting. And hating me just because I was silent is a bad reason to hate me. Neither are good reasons to hate me…"


"Look, I might not know how you feel but I can imagine it. You feel helpless and completely dependent on others. I hate that feeling. I would rather do it my self than let others do everything for me. However, I think that just by running away…you won't find your Spirit."

"Why do you say that?"

"Haven't you noticed that whenever someone gets their Spirit that they are either helping someone or that once they have their Spirit they fight to protect or help out in battles? I think that by wanting to help or protect is the way that you get your Spirit."

End of Flashback

'She's right. All of the others were helping someone when they got their Spirit. But…I don' think mines gonna come. Well, I don't care if my Spirit comes or not! I won't let Taiya die!'

Shinya then stood up and found plenty of rocks which he threw at Blossomon. Blossomon forgot about squeezing Taiya to death for the moment as more and more rocks hit it.

"Ninja Flower!"

"SHINYA, RUN!"

Just before Blossomon's attack hit Shinya, something jumped out of the ground and smashed the attack with its hammer. It was the Warrior of Earth, Grumblemon. He then turned to face Shinya and said, "You's alright? Me says we's show big plant thing or three. What's you's say?"

"I say yes," Shinya agreed pulling out his D-Tector. Grumblemon smirked before he changed into his armor form and entered Shinya's D-Tector. The symbol of Earth appeared on the screen and Shinya began to Spirit Evolve for the first time.

Frontier Spirit Evolution Theme: With the Will

Grumblemon's armor mode drew itself Shinya's D-Tectors screen. Shinya did an open palm punch with his left hand and watched as a ring of Fractal-Code appeared around his outstretched hand. He then pulled his hand back and began to scan the code before he thrust his hands back out.

"Execute!"

"Spirit Evolution!" After scanning the code, Shinya's hands went to his sides and his clothes were ripped away. Grumblemon's armor then appeared behind him and changed before rocks exploded from the Spirit.

Grumblemon's armor began to appear around Shinya and took their proper places before fusing to him. Turning around, light brown light shaped like rocks disappeared from in front of his eyes to reveal sea green eyes in place of cocoa brown. Dropping down to his platform, he slammed the platform with his hammers, completing his Spirit Evolution.

"Grumblemon!"

Grumblemon was Kumamon's mature form height. He still had his handmade armor with the symbol on the front. Instead of just knee guards on his legs, he had armor covering the rest of his legs. His nose was normal sized and hidden under a cloth half mask that covered the lower part of his face and his ears were normal sized but still pointed. He had no head covering, so short, red hair was visible.

Grumblemon glared at Blossomon.

"Hey! You over-grown plant! Lets her go now! Seismic Sledge!" he yelled, pulling out his hammer and slamming it down on the tentacle holding Taiya. The tentacle released Taiya and before she could hit the ground, Grumblemon caught her.

"Thanks, Grumblemon," she gasped as he put her on the ground.

"No's problems! Nows me's going to shows that over-grown plant whats happens when it messes with me's friends!"

"Go for it."

Grumblemon nodded and turned to face Blossomon.

"Nows you's get it! Snake Eye Break!" With that Blossomon was turned into stone. Grumblemon then summoned his Grotto Hammer and smashed the stone Blossomon. Blossomon's Fractal-Code then appeared.

"You's are a bad plant! Now's be buried underground until you's is good! Fractal-Code! Digitize!" A digi-egg then appeared where Blossomon had been before it was scanned and flew off. Grumblemon then de-evolved to Shinya. He then hurried over to Taiya who was on the ground, panting slightly and holding her ribs.

"Are you ok?"

"I'm not hurt too badly if that's what you mean. Although I am pretty sure that I'm going to have a lot of bruises where that tentacle was," she said, wincing as she moved slightly. "So…where do we go now?"

Shinya thought for a moment before answering. "Well, it too late to start off to go anywhere, so let's make camp for tonight." Taiya nodded in agreement. "Then tomorrow we'll head to Toy Town and rejoin the others."

"Do you really want to rejoin the others?"

"Sort of. I don't think that it would be the best idea to just be the two of us."

"It is up to you," Taiya told him.

"One question though: why did you push me out of the way instead of Spirit Evolving and destroying that plant?"

"One, Takuya would kill me if I let anything happen to you; two, I thought that you might get your Spirit if I did and three, what kind of friend would I be if I let one of my friends get hurt?"


The Next Day at Toy Town

Everyone was having fun around Toy Town while they waited for Taiya and Shinya to come or for Takuya to tell them that they had to look for the two missing Chosen. The only one not enjoying himself was Takuya who seemed to be continually watching for the two to show up. The others tried to get him to join them but he continually told them no. The only one who could get him to go get food or do anything was Kouichi, who was only able to do that was by watching for them while Takuya was gone. He didn't really mind. He was worried but not as worried as Takuya and he thought that Takuya needed to take a break from being the leader for a little bit.

Takuya was coming back from one of his breaks when Kouichi saw Taiya. Or, at least, something that had many different shades of blue. They were too far to tell whether it was a digimon or a person, so he didn't say anything about it to Takuya. Instead he asked Takuya if he could stay for a little bit longer, which was fine with Takuya. After a few minutes of waiting, the two figures became recognizable. One, Taiya, was waving to the two and the other, Shinya, was just walking slightly behind her.

"Hey guys, Taiya and Shinya are here!" Kouichi yelled to the other Chosen. The six came running over to them and saw that the two had come to the outskirts of Toy Town. They then ran over to them.

"Are you two alright?" Kouichi asked when they had reached the two.

"For the most part, yes," Taiya answered.

"That's good," Takuya said before he turned to Shinya. "Now, WHY THE HELL DID YOU RUN OFF?" he yelled at Shinya. Shinya remained silent. "ANSWER ME NOW!"

"No. You may be my older brother but you are not the boss of me."

If possible, Takuya got madder after Shinya said that. The other Chosen, except for Taiya, had shrunk back when Takuya yelled.

"Shinya…" He growled, "Tell me right NOW!"

"I said no."

Takuya then raised a fist to punch Shinya. Before he could even try though, somebody grabbed his wrist. Takuya partially turned to glare at the person, Taiya. Taiya was unaffected by the glare.

"Leave him alone, Takuya."

"Why should I? He ran away from the group. Do you think that it should go unpunished?"

"Depends. If you recall, I also left the group."

"SO?"

"So, if leaving the group is a crime then I should also be punished."

"You had a reason. Shinya did not."

"Is that so?" she asked sounding mildly curious.

"OF COURSE IT IS!" Takuya yelled back.

"I doubt that Shinya did not have a reason. Any choice a person, or digimon, makes has some sort of thought behind it."

"Your point…"

"That Shinya had a reason to leave the group. You should respect that. Besides, he's back with the group now."

Takuya then eyed her strangely. "Why are you defending him?" he growled.

"Because you're being unfair."

"Unfair. Is that it? Because it's not a good reason."

"Maybe not to you. But to me, it's a perfectly good reason."

Takuya yanked his arm out of Taiya's hold and faced her.

"You should stay out of this. Shinya is my responsibility. Not yours," he growled. Taiya looked straight at him before replying.

"I know that he's your responsibility. But, it seems to me that you are not doing a very good job of it." The other Chosen's eyes widened.

"What did you say?"

"You heard me. You. Are. Not. Doing. A. Good. Job. At. It," Taiya said again, slowly. Takuya was now angry with Taiya. He was so angry with her that he forgot about Shinya, who was also surprised that Taiya, someone who had never argued with Takuya, was now arguing while Takuya was in chaos mode and she hurt.

"Why do you say that?"

"Well, you say that Shinya is your responsibility. Yet whenever he does something that annoys the group, you threaten to hang him up in a tree so that Daemon will come and that most likely will get Shinya killed."

Takuya glared at her. To him, she was worse than Kouji was when he pointed out flaws. He then punched her. His blow hit her arm, which she had put up to defend herself.

When Taiya blocked Takuya's attack, pain shot through her arm and she grimaced in pain. She ignored the pain and punched Takuya, who had not expected her to retaliate. The other Chosen were shocked that she had punched the leader and just stood there. Taiya then hit him again causing him to fall to the ground.

"You know what? I take back what I said about you being not doing a good job at being responsible for Shinya." Takuya looked up slightly surprised. "No, you're not doing a good job being a leader."

Everyone's eyes widened but Taiya wasn't finished.

"You threaten everyone you're supposed to lead by making them 'Daemon bait' and I don't think that we can defeat Daemon yet. He's too strong and we don't have anymore power than our human Spirits have. You probably got lucky the first time since he had been fighting before and you were fresh." The other Chosen saw the truth in what she said. They never were keen on the idea of getting Daemon to come to them but they weren't going to say anything.

"You don't let everyone put in their opinions and you don't try to understand what it is like to be them. So, you know about five of us but that's not all nine of us. So far you haven't even tried to get to know us. So Shinya is your brother but you don't seem to see further than the surface. You need to try and see their reason from their point of view. When he or anyone else does something you didn't want them to do when they knew they could help, you threaten them. That's no way to be a leader. Currently, Kouji's a better leader than you."

All of the Chosen listened, surprised that the quiet girl would say what she was saying and that she was talking this much. "You had better show me why I should follow you, so GET OUT OF YOUR STUPID AND POINTLESS CHAOS MODE!" Taiya yelled before she turned and stormed away from Takuya and toward the town.


Tommy: I didn't expect Taiya to have an outburst like that. Did you guys?

JP: No, I don't think that any of us thought that Taiya could have an outburst.

Yutaka: You said it.

Kouichi: We should ask her about what happened and why she needs to Pixiemon's cave.

Yamato: Now who's attacking us?

Kouji: No idea!

Zoe: Next time on Digital Union, Frontier! Divided We Fall! It's time to Spirit Evolve!