The Dark Bandit

The Dark Bandit

Part One

Miyako Inoue grumbled to herself about the annoying skirts she was forced to wear. She had never really been a tomboy, not like her older friend Sora, but she disliked having to carry along such tedious skirts. She had to lift them over the mud and dirt. And there was a lot of dirt and mud around.

There wasn't much she could do about it, however. She just had to lift the big, clumsy things and carry them as she walked to the market.

As if it wasn't enough trouble having to carry the basket and all its items, she grumbled. Of course, it was just after a rainstorm, which meant there was even more rain and mud than usual.

But despite the mud and dirt and heavy basket, Miyako wasn't complaining too much. She and Sora Takenouchi, her best friend, were heading to market, and it was a beautiful day. Behind her, was Hawkmon, one of her most loyal friends and a close companion. The little brown bird had no trouble keeping his feathers clean as he fluttered above her.

Sora didn't seem to care much about keeping her skirts clean. She skipped along cheerfully, lifting the hem above the mud only when she felt like doing so. Miyako glanced enviously at Sora, despite the mud that was beginning to get on her dress.

She had short, red hair that fell loosely about her face. Every morning her mother or one of the servants would pin it up and make it look nice, and by the time the mid-day meal came around, it had fallen down and was hanging loosely around her face.

Sora usually looked the best in blue, Miyako thought, and indeed everyone agreed. Today, the tomboyish girl was dressed in a blue skirt. She wore a bright white apron around her waist that would most likely not be quite so bright white by the time they returned home. As she walked and skipped along the path from the manor, she waved her basket along cheerfully, humming a cheerful tune to herself. Behind her was Piyomon, her digimon, a little pink bird with blue trim. She chatted with Hawkmon as they flew behind their partners.

Miyako followed along with Sora as quickly as possible. She lifted her skirts in the air, trying her best to keep them from getting dirty and trying to keep up with her friend at the same time. She had decided long ago that if she wasn't going to look as beautiful as her friend, she should at least try to keep her clothes in neater order.

Unfortunately, a dirt path after a rainstorm is the most impossible place to keep a skirt clean.

"Sora, wait up!" she half-wailed towards her friend, who was already quite a ways ahead of her.

"Oh come on Miyako," Sora cheerfully shouted back. "We're almost there. Don't hold us up now!"

"I'm not!" Miyako replied. "I'm just trying to keep my dress clean!"

Sora shrugged. "Why?" she asked. "It'll only need to be washed again anyway!"

Miyako sighed. She'd had this argument with her friend a million times before. It was pointless to argue any further. Sora simply didn't think it important to keep clothes quite as clean as she did.

"It's such a nice day I don't see how you can walk so slow anyway," she added from some place ahead of Miyako.

With a sigh, Miyako lifted her skirts again and hurried after her friend. In a few minutes, they were in the marketplace, and Miyako went to work buying some of the things she had been sent to buy.

Her father was officially designated something like an Earl, but Miyako had never paid much attention to anything like that. She hadn't had much contact with the rest of the upper class of the country. She was still young, only sixteen, and before that been considered too young to spend time with the nobility. She and her family had lived in the country for as long as she could remember, and though her parents and her elder siblings occasionally would greet important visitors or go to the palace, she'd never quite been interested, to be honest.

Sora was two years older than Miyako. Her father, a noble of good standing, had been killed when she was a child, and as a result, her mother had been given a decent estate in the countryside and been assured that she wouldn't be bothered. Despite Lady Takenouchi's attempts to curb her daughter into a young lady, Sora was still unmarried and unengaged. Her mother was at her wits ends and about to give up, but Sora had never, in all her times going to court, found any nobles that had interested her in the least.

When Miyako's parents were married, they had moved to their manor in the countryside not far from Sora's mother's estate. Even though Sora was older than Miyako, and the age of her next oldest sister, their similar interests had led her to befriend the younger Inoue girl instead. 

Today, Miyako's thoughts lie with that court in question. As she had just passed her sixteenth birthday, it was decided that she should go to the palace to celebrate Princess Hikari's sixteenth birthday. It would be her first time in court, and she was nervous.

"I've never even seen Princess Hikari," she commented to Sora as the two girls examined a fruit stand selling apples. "And I haven't a clue how to act around nobility."

"All I've heard about her is that she has a Tailmon for a partner," Hawkmon offered as he helped them examine the fruits.

"Yes," Piyomon chirped in agreement. "A very rare digimon indeed."

"Yes, and her brother has an Agumon," Sora agreed. "Your family's nobility, Miyako. Surely that should tell you something."

"Yes, but the only formal occasions I've ever been to were my siblings weddings," Miyako answered. "And then I never had to interact much. I just had to sit there and look good. No one paid attention to me because I was too young."

"Your last sister was married rather young," Sora remembered, paying for a few apples and taking a bite of one. "I guess your parents wanted to make sure you didn't do that."

Miyako shrugged. "Maybe," she admitted. "Momoe isn't very happy, I hear."

Sora shrugged. "That's why you should wait before you marry," she stated. "That's why I'm waiting."

"I'm not planning to get married," she replied. "It's just the princess's birthday. Probably any guys there will be interested in Princess Hikari and nothing else."

"They'll have a tough time," Sora replied. "Last I heard, her brother was very protective of his younger sister."

"Prince Taichi?" Miyako questioned. "He must be pretty old not to be married yet, either."

"He's my age," Sora answered.

"Have you ever met him?"

"Yes. Quite a few times. He's very charming. A little hot headed and impulsive, but a nice boy." She wrinkled her nose slightly and then shrugged.

Piyomon nodded. "Agumon is much the same," she agreed.

"Hot headed and impulsive?" Miyako asked. She chuckled slightly. "Sounds like someone else I know."

"Maybe," Sora replied with a shrug.

Miyako was about to ask another question or make another comment, when suddenly, a dark figure jumped in front of her.

"What on earth?"

Something whizzed through the air, and the dark figure lifted a gloved hand in the air and grasped whatever it was with practiced ease. Miyako gasped in shock.

"An - arrow?" Sora wondered.

"An arrow indeed," the dark figure replied. He turned around, and Miyako could see that he was, indeed, a human being. Dark, indigo hair peeked out from under a dark hat, and piercing blue eyes stared at her from behind a black mask. The figure was dressed all in black, except for a purple sash that was wrapped around his hat. On his shoulder sat a little green creature that she had never seen before.

"Miyako, are you alright?" Hawkmon questioned, hurrying to her side. She nodded nervously.

"Who are you?" Miyako managed to gasp, tearing herself away from the eyes. They seemed to be boring themselves into her very soul.

"Just a friend, milady," the figure replied. From his voice, height, and the few parts of his face she could see, Miyako noted he was a young man, not much older than she.

"A friend?" she asked. "Then tell me your name."

He shook his head, beautiful blue eyes closing for an instance. "That I cannot do, madam," he replied. He held out his right hand, and the arrow rested in his palm. Cautiously, she took it from him.

"An arrow? Aimed at - me?" she asked.

"So it would appear," the dark-clad figure replied, his eyes twinkling in slight amusement for a moment. "Someone out to get you, Lady Miyako?"

"Not that I know of," she managed to stammer, staring at the arrow in her hand.

"I would suggest you be as careful as possible," the masked figure warned with a serious expression. "If someone is out to get you, it would be wise to stay safe as possible."

"It looks as though you're in danger," the green creature on his shoulder agreed.

"I'll try," she replied in a whisper. "It's all new to me, however. I'm not used to having my life in danger, you know."

"Of course not," he replied. He smiled, eyes twinkling again. "If you'll excuse me, ladies." He turned and bowed to Sora, and then turned back to Miyako.

"You're leaving?"

"Afraid so, Lady. I do have other duties." He bowed deeply and turned to leave.

"Wait. Sir. Before you go. What do I call you?"

He shrugged, as though it mattered not to him. "Whatever you please," he replied. "My enemies call me a Dark Bandit."

Miyako could only stare as he turned to leave, disappearing within the trees as quickly as he had appeared.

Sora turned to her. "I suppose we should get you home," she told her shocked friend. "Your father will want to know about this."


Miyako was still in shock later that afternoon when she told her parents. Thankfully, Sora, Hawkmon, and Piyomon were on hand to report the incident. The Inoues were startled to hear that someone might be after their daughter, but relieved to hear she was safe. They were worried about permitting her to travel to the party, but reluctantly agreed when the other three promised to take care of her.

Her parents were, on this rare occasion, hosting a dinner with a visiting nobleman and his family. The nobleman had known her father when they were young, and was eager to visit. He also offered to take Miyako and Sora to court with him, as he was on the way with his son and daughter. Her mother told her that it would be good for her to attend the dinner so that she would learn to be more comfortable in formal situations.

And so, after a short rest that she didn't really need to recuperate from the shock of the morning, Miyako dressed in what she believed was one of her better dresses and did her hair in preparation for dinner.

Sora and her mother were invited to dinner as well, and Miyako was surprised to see her friend in more formal wear. Sora looked as though she wanted to rip off the extra skirts and corsets and run down to the marketplace again, but was managing to curb those desires for her mother's sake.

Dinner arrived all too soon, and Miyako settled herself into the parlor, sitting beside her mother and Sora and awaiting the guests.

Her father stood when the servant arrived, announcing the arrival of Lord Motomiya. When the Lord and his family arrived in the parlor, the rest of the party stood as well.

"It's good to see you again," Lord Motomiya greeted, shaking hands with Miyako's father. The handshake was abandoned for a hug a few moments later as the two old friends greeted each other. Their digimon, Lord Motomiya's Guilmon and her father's Muchomon greeted each other similarly. Miyako's mother and Lady Motomiya greeted each other as well, as did the Lady and Sora's mother. Their digimon, a Kiwimon, a Mushmon, and a Floramon, also exchanged greetings.

"Sora, you've grown into a beautiful young lady," Lady Motomiya commented, and her husband agreed. Sora blushed slightly and curtsied as she had been taught to do, feeling slightly out of place.

"And this is my youngest, Miyako," her father announced, causing the Lady to run into another string of "how-cute-we-haven't-seen-you-since-you-were-this-high" comments. Miyako mirrored Sora's curtsy and tried to remember the last time she had seen them.

"Oh, of course, you must meet our children," Lord Motomiya announced, suddenly remembering the three youngsters standing beside him. "This is our eldest daughter, Jun, and our eldest son Daisuke."

Jun was a tall redheaded girl, a few years older than Sora with an Alruamon beside her. She wore a long green skirt and had a pair of light brown eyes. Her brother had a small blue digimon Miyako had never seen before by his side. He had similar eyes and hair as his sister, and he was dressed in a dapper outfit.

"And the third, dear?" Miyako's mother questioned.

"Ah yes. Ken," Lord Motomiya recalled. "This is the son of one of my best friends. He's a good friend to Daisuke, and is traveling with us to court. Lord and Lady Inoue, may I present Ken Ichijouji."

Miyako turned to the enigmatic figure standing nearby. He was utterly handsome. Daisuke had been adequate looking, and Jun had been somewhat pleasing to the eye, but this Ichijouji fellow was positively handsome. His dark, indigo hair fell softly around his face and his dark eyes peered around him with a striking intellect. Beside him was a green digimon that she had seen before.

Miyako suddenly felt a shiver run down her spine. Could he be? She shook her head faintly. Doubtful.

"Lord. Lady," the young man stated, bowing slightly.


Dinner on a whole went marvelously. The food was appetizing, and the conversation passed effortlessly between the adults as they conversed amongst themselves.

Jun was seated between Sora and Miyako, and the two found her to be interesting conversation, despite her incredibly cultured upbringing. Miyako was fascinated by her tales of the happenings at court, and Sora was eager to hear of Prince Taichi's latest adventures, having not seen her friend in a long time.

Miyako found her eyes drifting across the table every so often and into a pair of dark blue eyes. Somehow, every time she glanced at him, he was always glancing back. And when he did, she would blush furiously and look away, embarrassed that he'd caught her.

Jun noticed her hostess's infatuation at the second glance and grinned mischievously at Miyako. "He is good looking, isn't he?" she asked.

Miyako looked wide eyed for a moment, then blushed for the millionth time that evening and nodded, turning away slightly. "He seems rather mysterious," she commented softly.

"He is," Jun's Alruamon offered. "Daisuke is his closest friend but I supsect even he knows little about him."

"And his family?" Sora asked.

Jun shrugged slightly. "His older brother was killed shortly after he joined the King's army. It affected him deeply. Seems he hasn't been the same since."

"What of his parents?" Piyomon questioned

"They were quite distraught. Osamu was a brilliant soldier. Terrible accident that took his life. It seems that the poor folks haven't been the same since. Ken spends quite a bit of time with Daisuke, I'd be surprised if they know he's alive anymore." She sighed dramatically.

"The past six years he's been quite alone," Alruamon added.

"Six years?" Miyako gasped.

Jun nodded. "His parents try to help, really, but they aren't much help. If it wasn't for Daisuke, I'd wonder if he'd be here now."

The other two girls gasped, barely hiding their surprise. Miyako sneaked another glanced towards the dark haired boy out of the corner of her eye, and saw he was speaking quietly to Daisuke. She turned back to her food before he could see her and send her into another blushing fit.


The next morning, Sora, Miyako, and the Motomiya party including Ken started off for the palace. Sora was excited about the trip, but Miyako felt nervous.

"Taichi has talked about you quite often, Sora," Daisuke informed his new acquaintance. The younger members of the party and their digimon were traveling in their own carriage, while the Motomiya elders rode ahead separately. 

"Has he?" Sora asked calmly, but her cheeks blushed a slight red. Miyako noticed and promised herself to tease her friend about that later. V-mon, the little blue digimon that traveled with Daisuke, nodded his agreement.

"What is Princess Hikari like, really?" Miyako asked the males. She had heard Jun's impressions of the princess but she was eager to get another perspective.

"She's nice enough, I suppose," Daisuke replied with a shrug. He glanced towards his friend, who was looking out the window. "Wouldn't you say, Ken?"

The boy looked away from the window. "She's very quiet," he stated in a soft voice. "Agreeable enough." He shrugged slightly and turned back to the window. "Too agreeable for my tastes," he added with a snort.

Jun rolled her eyes slightly. "Is that because she's more agreeable then you? Because you certainly aren't very at all." She snorted slightly. Alraumon beside her nodded.

"Jun!" Sora gasped in shock.

Ken turned away from the window, turning steely indigo eyes to his friend's sister. "I suppose I should be more like you, then?" he questioned mockingly. "Agreeably stupid?"

"Princess Hikari isn't stupid and neither am I!" the older girl snapped back.

Ichijouji snorted and turned away. "Sure," replied sarcastically. He placed his arm on the still unidentified green creature in his lap and peered out the window, indifferent to her insults.

"Why I never!" Jun shouted. She lunged past her brother towards the other boy.

"Hey!" Daisuke shouted, placing himself directly in his sister's line of fire. "Don't fight! It's a long fight and we're all cramped in here. Let's try to get along, alright?"

"I was having no problem getting along," Jun informed her brother in a less than calm voice. "He insulted me."

"It takes two," Daisuke reminded his sister.

"He started it!"

"Oh yeah, I'm sure you had nothing to do with it," the brother sighed.

Jun shouted a reply back, and Ken rolled his eyes, returning to the window. Miyako glanced towards Sora with questioning eyes.

"Should we stop them?"

Sora shook her head. "No. Don't bother. This is normal."

Ken sighed as he glanced out the window. The swiftly passing scenery didn't amuse him any more than the quarreling siblings on his opposite side. In his lap, Wormmon glanced up at him with worried eyes, but he paid no attention. It would be a long trip, he recalled. Perhaps it would do him some good to rest a bit.


The carriage jolted to a stop and the younger members of the party filed out, followed by their digimon.

Miyako yawned and stretched her tired limbs, eager to escape the confines of the carriage. It had been spacious, but with six people and digimon, it was a bit crowded. Hawkmon took to the air, and he and Piyomon perched on the carriage, eager to be in the open air again.

One of the servants riding along with them set up a blanket on the ground and began to set out food for the travelers. A short time later, the group was settled around, eagerly eating the food. Hawkmon and Piyomon also flew down to the ground, eager to eat.

"How much longer is the trip going to be?" Miyako wondered aloud.

"Oh, at least a few more hours, dear," Lady Motomiya replied. "If we're lucky, we'll arrive there late tonight."

Miyako yawned slightly, tired from the already long drive, and nodded, turning back to her food.

"I'll be eager to rest tonight, Mother," Jun commented between bites. "These long trips are always exhausting."

"That they are," the Lady agreed. "But don't worry. There will be nice soft beds set up when we arrive."

"Great," Daisuke cheered. "Say, Father, do you think it would be possible if Ken and I could walk outside a bit of the way? It's rather cramped in the carriage and we do need some exercise."

"I don't see why not," Lord Motomiya agreed. He glanced towards his wife and, after seeing no objection from her, nodded.

And so, after lunch was devoured, the girls entered the carriage to find it a little less cramped than beforehand.  Hawkmon and Piyomon decided to fly above the carriage for a bit as well, allowing the three girls to take a short nap while they continued.

It was after dark before they arrived at the main palace.


An official looking young man greeted the Motomiya party and their guests when they arrived at the palace. He was a short boy with dark hair and green eyes, who spoke softly and politely. Bowing when the Lord exited his carriage, he explained the situation.

"I am Iori Hida, the King's Advisor of the Interior. I have been asked to welcome you and show you to your rooms. The royal family regrets that they were unable to greet you properly, but they will do so in the morning," the young man explained.

Ken and Daisuke exited the carriage together. Ken peered at the boy. He was dressed plainly yet stylishly and appeared younger than he and Daisuke. He glanced toward his companion, who was too immersed in a yawn at the moment to give much thought to the boy.

"Great. I'm exhausted," Miyako spoke from behind the boys. Ken avoided glancing in the girls' direction, instead focusing on Wormmon, who had fallen asleep in his arms.

Iori bowed again. "Follow me," he stated simply, and turned toward the castle. Servants began immediately to unload the carriages and follow behind the party.

Ken had been to the castle several times before and knew the grounds fairly well. He followed Iori and the rest of the party down polished marble halls and to a hallway with several rooms. Iori pointed out Daisuke's parents' rooms first and then led the younger people to their dwellings.

All the rooms were closely linked. Sora, Miyako, and Jun had a suite on one side of the hallway, with doors connecting the rooms. Each girl had her own bedroom and bathroom, and there was a small parlor which connected all three.

On the opposite side of the hall were Ken and Daisuke's rooms, which were arranged in a similar fashion. Their suite only had two rooms, however.

Ken was pleased with the arrangement. He didn't need to share a suite with anyone besides Daisuke. The boy snored loud enough for four roommates.

The servants who had followed behind the group carried the trunks into the rooms. Each of them had brought one trunk for themselves, and a smaller bag of little things. Each of them, that is, except for Jun, who had insisted on bringing two trunks and three large bags of clothes. Her Alraumon also brought three bags of her own, while the other digimon had packed only one each.

Daisuke only rolled his eyes at Jun's luggage. He bowed to the females and Iori while yawning visibly. "I think I'll sleep now," he explained. "It's been a long trip." V-mon beside him also bowed, mimicking his partner's actions.

"I'm tired, too," the little blue digimon explained.

The girls nodded. "I think I'll turn in as well," Miyako agreed. She glanced toward Sora and Hawkmon.

"I will, too," Hawkmon agreed, bowing towards the group.

"Yes. Good night everyone," Sora agreed. Piyomon beside her nodded.

Jun yawned almost as much as her brother and nodded, excusing herself and Alraumon as well before entering her room, not giving a second glance to the others.

"I'll sleep, too," Ken stated quickly before ducking into his room. Once inside, he surveyed his surroundings quickly. There was a fair sized bed and a large picture window on the opposite side which peered out at a courtyard.

"You're not planning to go out tonight, are you?" Daisuke questioned from behind him. The redheaded boy was visibly exhausted.

Ken didn't turn around. "Did you close the door?"

"Of course," his friend replied. "I'm not that dumb."

"I knew it was a mistake, helping her," the other grumbled. He strolled to the window and peered out at the darkened courtyard. "She's surely recognized Wormmon and myself already." He glanced toward the sleeping digimon in his arms and moved to place him on the bed.

Daisuke shrugged. "Maybe. But if there's someone after her, they'll probably make another move here."

"Why?" V-mon asked. "Isn't the palace pretty safe?"

Ken shook his head slightly. "Not if the assassin is working for the King," he replied. He began to unbutton his shirt.

"You are going out, aren't you." Daisuke stated. It wasn't really a question.

"This may be my first chance to look around before anyone realizes I'm here," the dark haired boy countered.

Daisuke frowned and sat on the bed next to Wormmon. "I don't think it's safe for you here. Taichi is a good friend, but if his father is out to get you, he'll follow him before he helps us."

Ken nodded. "I know," he replied, opening the trunk a servant had set at the foot of his bed.

"Why would the King be after us?" V-mon wondered.

"He's not, necessarily," his partner explained. "But if he's been corrupted, his men could be."

"Do you think he is?"

"We're not sure," Ken explained. He pulled a smaller box from inside his trunk. "I've got to look around tonight."

"Are you sure it's safe without Wormmon?"

Ken shrugged. "It's a risk I'll have to take. He should stay undercover anyway. As a rare digimon, him being seen with either of me is a risk I'll be discovered."

Daisuke frowned. "True."

"He's not gonna like that," V-mon predicted.

Ken shrugged again. "There's not much choice." He opened the box and removed its contents. "I'll be back in a few hours," he assured his friends.

Daisuke yawned. "As you wish. I'll be here. Sleeping." He turned to the door connecting his room and headed out, V-mon following him.


Don't worry, I don't plan to forget about A Stranger Digiworld. That will be finished soon. It's just that this little idea popped itself into my head and I couldn't resist typing it. Originally, it was going to be shorter, but now it's going on and on and I can't stop! Man, I love this stuff.

Anyway, to answer the questions apparent in this story. Yes, I know it's blatantly obvious who the Dark Bandit is. So? It was blatantly obvious who the Digimon Emperor was, too. Big whoop. If you don't know, stick around. The characters find out eventually. ^_^

I wasn't sure at first if I was going to include the Digimon, but now I'm glad I did. It factors in when you find out exactly who is after Miyako. Oops. I hope I didn't give away too much. Anyway, enjoy. I'll post this as often as I'm allowed to. Thanks for reading and enjoy the story!