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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
a dirt path after a rainstorm is the most impossible place to keep a skirt
wait up!" she half-wailed towards her friend, who was already quite a ways
ahead of her.
come on Miyako," Sora cheerfully shouted back. "We're almost there.
Don't hold us up now!"
not!" Miyako replied. "I'm just trying to keep my dress clean!"
shrugged. "Why?" she asked. "It'll only need to be washed again
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.
such a nice day I don't see how you can walk so slow anyway," she added
from some place ahead of Miyako.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
I've heard about her is that she has a Tailmon for a partner," Hawkmon
offered as he helped them examine the fruits.
Piyomon chirped in agreement. "A very rare digimon indeed."
and her brother has an Agumon," Sora agreed. "Your family's nobility,
Miyako. Surely that should tell you something."
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
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."
shrugged. "Maybe," she admitted. "Momoe isn't very happy, I
shrugged. "That's why you should wait before you marry," she stated.
"That's why I'm waiting."
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
have a tough time," Sora replied. "Last I heard, her brother was very
protective of his younger sister."
Taichi?" Miyako questioned. "He must be pretty old not to be married
my age," Sora answered.
you ever met him?"
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.
nodded. "Agumon is much the same," she agreed.
headed and impulsive?" Miyako asked. She chuckled slightly. "Sounds
like someone else I know."
Sora replied with a shrug.
was about to ask another question or make another comment, when suddenly, a
dark figure jumped in front of her.
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.
- arrow?" Sora wondered.
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
are you alright?" Hawkmon questioned, hurrying to her side. She nodded
are you?" Miyako managed to gasp, tearing herself away from the eyes. They
seemed to be boring themselves into her very soul.
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.
friend?" she asked. "Then tell me your name."
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.
arrow? Aimed at - me?" she asked.
it would appear," the dark-clad figure replied, his eyes twinkling in
slight amusement for a moment. "Someone out to get you, Lady Miyako?"
that I know of," she managed to stammer, staring at the arrow in her hand.
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."
looks as though you're in danger," the green creature on his shoulder
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."
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
so, Lady. I do have other duties." He bowed deeply and turned to leave.
Sir. Before you go. What do I call you?"
shrugged, as though it mattered not to him. "Whatever you please," he
replied. "My enemies call me a Dark Bandit."
could only stare as he turned to leave, disappearing within the trees as
quickly as he had appeared.
turned to her. "I suppose we should get you home," she told her
shocked friend. "Your father will want to know about this."
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
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.
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.
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.
arrived all too soon, and Miyako settled herself into the parlor, sitting
beside her mother and Sora and awaiting the guests.
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
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.
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.
this is my youngest, Miyako," her father announced, causing the Lady to
run into another string of
Miyako mirrored Sora's curtsy and tried to remember the last time she had seen
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."
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.
the third, dear?" Miyako's mother questioned.
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."
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.
suddenly felt a shiver run down her spine. Could he be? She shook her head
Lady," the young man stated, bowing slightly.
on a whole went marvelously. The food was appetizing, and the conversation
passed effortlessly between the adults as they conversed amongst themselves.
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.
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
noticed her hostess's infatuation at the second glance and grinned
mischievously at Miyako. "He is good looking, isn't he?" she asked.
looked wide eyed for a moment, then blushed for the millionth time that evening
and nodded, turning away slightly. "He seems rather mysterious," she
is," Jun's Alruamon offered. "Daisuke is his closest friend but I
supsect even he knows little about him."
his family?" Sora asked.
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
of his parents?" Piyomon questioned
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.
past six years he's been quite alone," Alruamon added.
years?" Miyako gasped.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?"
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.
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.
Sora gasped in shock.
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.
Hikari isn't stupid and neither am I!" the older girl snapped back.
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.
I never!" Jun shouted. She lunged past her brother towards the other boy.
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?"
was having no problem getting along," Jun informed her brother in a less
than calm voice. "He insulted me."
takes two," Daisuke reminded his sister.
yeah, I'm sure you had nothing to do with it," the brother sighed.
shouted a reply back, and Ken rolled his eyes, returning to the window. Miyako
glanced towards Sora with questioning eyes.
we stop them?"
shook her head. "No. Don't bother. This is normal."
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.
carriage jolted to a stop and the younger members of the party filed out, followed
by their digimon.
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.
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.
much longer is the trip going to be?" Miyako wondered aloud.
at least a few more hours, dear," Lady Motomiya replied. "If we're
lucky, we'll arrive there late tonight."
slightly, tired from the already long drive, and nodded, turning back to her
be eager to rest tonight, Mother," Jun commented between bites.
"These long trips are always exhausting."
they are," the Lady agreed. "But don't worry. There will be nice soft
beds set up when we arrive."
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."
don't see why not," Lord Motomiya agreed. He glanced towards his wife and,
after seeing no objection from her, nodded.
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.
after dark before they arrived at the main palace.
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
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
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.
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
bowed again. "Follow me," he stated simply, and turned toward the
castle. Servants began immediately to unload the carriages and follow behind
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.
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.
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.
pleased with the arrangement. He didn't need to share a suite with anyone
besides Daisuke. The boy snored loud enough for four roommates.
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.
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
tired, too," the little blue digimon explained.
girls nodded. "I think I'll turn in as well," Miyako agreed. She
glanced toward Sora and Hawkmon.
will, too," Hawkmon agreed, bowing towards the group.
Good night everyone," Sora agreed. Piyomon beside her nodded.
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.
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.
not planning to go out tonight, are you?" Daisuke questioned from behind
him. The redheaded boy was visibly exhausted.
didn't turn around. "Did you close the door?"
course," his friend replied. "I'm not that dumb."
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.
shrugged. "Maybe. But if there's someone after her, they'll probably make
another move here."
V-mon asked. "Isn't the palace pretty safe?"
shook his head slightly. "Not if the assassin is working for the
King," he replied. He began to unbutton his shirt.
are going out, aren't you." Daisuke stated. It wasn't really a question.
may be my first chance to look around before anyone realizes I'm here,"
the dark haired boy countered.
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."
nodded. "I know," he replied, opening the trunk a servant had set at
the foot of his bed.
would the King be after us?" V-mon wondered.
not, necessarily," his partner explained. "But if he's been
corrupted, his men could be."
you think he is?"
not sure," Ken explained. He pulled a smaller box from inside his trunk.
"I've got to look around tonight."
you sure it's safe without Wormmon?"
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
not gonna like that," V-mon predicted.
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
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!