Chapter 34

"You found a new DigiEgg!?" Yolei and Cody exclaimed in unison. The sparkle of excitement and shock in their eyes was illuminated by the flickering campfire. Sticks were shoved into the ground around the flames with fish skewered onto the ends for their dinner.

"Mhm," Kari said, nodding. She reached into her pocket and pulled out her D-Terminal. She pressed a few buttons and then held it out to them. Yolei eagerly grabbed at it. Gatomon jumped into Kari's lap, walked in a circle for a few moments and then settled down. A faint smile formed on Kari's face and she scratched behind her friend's ears.

"Whoa," Yolei uttered. "So this is the DigiEgg of Darkness." She handed the D-Terminal over to Cody who peered at the screen as well.

"It doesn't surprise me that you're the one who got that DigiEgg," Sora spoke up. "But it does have me worried. Are you sure you can handle it Kari? I mean, the darkness hasn't exactly been kind to you over the years."

"Kari can do it, I know she can!" Davis spoke up. He placed a hand on Kari's shoulder and gave it a squeeze. "She's much more stronger than we think! You should have seen her and Gatomon in there! It was amazing!"

Kari lowered her head to hide the light blush that blossomed on her cheeks. "You're giving me too much credit, Davis," she said modestly. Looking at her older brother and his friends she shrugged. "It's something that I have to do. I would be lying if I said I wasn't worried but…if this is a key to defeating Diaboromon I won't be afraid of it."

"Atta girl," Tai said with a broad smile. Then he clapped his hands. "Well, that's one DigiEgg down! Now we just have to find the other three and maybe then we'll get this whole prophecy figured out and we can beat Diaboromon once and for all."

"How do you think he's back?" Cody asked.

"This is the Digital World," Matt pointed out. "Digimon never really die here."

"Yeah, but Diabromon was part virus as well," Tai added. "Viruses are never really destroyed, are they? Tack on him being digital and, well…"

"Wouldn't that create an infinite loop of Diaboromon regenerating?" Yolei questioned, pushing her glasses up her nose. Everyone else fell silent and looked at her, waiting for her explanation. "Think about it. Digimon never die, right? They just get reconfigured and their data is rebuilt for them to live their lives again. Diaboromon, being half virus half Digimon would be able to regenerate a part of him over and over again. The virus part of him would be able to give him extra power to eat as much data as he wants to get stronger. So who's to say—"

"Are you suggesting that we'll never be able to defeat him?" Davis demanded, his hands clenched into fists.

Yolei let out an annoyed huff. "I'm merely suggesting that Diaboromon may be smarter than we ever thought and it could be much harder to defeat him this year if we don't find his weak spot. His heart, so to speak."

"He has no heart."

"I didn't mean literally, Davis."

"What she means is that everyone has a weakness," Kari spoke up. "Like when we first fought Diaboromon his weakness was using the internet against him, to slow him down. Once Izzy forwarded him e-mails to slow him down he was able to strike and stop the missiles he launched from detonating—"

"So all we have to do is leave and forward him e-mails again," Davis interrupted her.

"That won't work. He hasn't done anything to any data in the world. He's just done something in the Digital World," Cody explained.

"Maybe that's it," Sora spoke up.

"Huh?" The younger Digidestined uttered in unison.

"What do you mean, Sor?" Tai asked, confusion evident in his voice.

"As Kari said the way you beat Diaboromon before was to use the Internet against him because that was what he had taken over at the time. He didn't use any data from the Digital World," Sora explained, her hand to her chin as she began to pace. Her heavy hiking shoes crushed leaves and twigs under her feet. "You used what he was using against him, right?"

"Right," everyone replied.

"Well, he's messed up the Digital World and we know that a part of the way to beat him is by obtaining all of the Digi Eggs. What if something in the Digital World can be used to defeat him?" She paused and a blush formed on her cheeks as she rubbed the back of her neck. "I have a theory but I haven't worked it out all the way just yet."

"Just say it. It's bound to be better than what we're going off of now," Tai pointed out.

"Well…this situation reminds me of Apocalymon. He used Puppetmon, Seadramon, Machinedramon, and Piedmon as a way to slow us down before we got to him. We were able to defeat him and save the Digital World from his control. Now that Diaboromon is back so are the rest of the Dark Masters…" her voice trailed off.

"I think I know where you're going with this," Yolei said, jumping up in excitement. The sparkle in her eyes reflected the tone in her voice. "You're saying that The Dark Masters could be protecting Diaboromon and his weakness. Or that they are his weakness! Even better!" She pointed her finger in the air. "The Dark Masters hadn't been reconfigured when the Digital World came back but now, at this moment, here they are! I think that Diaboromon used some of his power to bring the Dark Masters back and, by doing that, gave them some of his power to be as strong as they are! Yes! Yes!" She snapped her fingers. "Diaboromon had to give a part of himself to create the Dark Masters, effectively weakening himself."

"So defeating the Dark Masters is our only way of beating Diaboromon?" Cody asked. Yolei nodded, a smug smile sitting on her face. "I expect he wouldn't make it easy and how you defeated them before wouldn't work. Does that mean we have to find their weaknesses as well?"

"I wouldn't put it past Diaboromon to make us work for his defeat, if we get that far," Matt mused aloud. "But still, our best bet would be to get the whole group back together so we stand even a little bit of a chance." He frowned. "If only there were reception towers around here." Sora lightly punched him on the arm for the lame joke.

"So what should we do now?" Kari asked.

"I don't know about you all but I don't want to have to sit around and wait for them to get us like a bunch of sitting ducks," Davis commented.

Tai looked off in the distance, the heat from the camprire warming up his back while the darkness in front of him left him cold. The moon and stars were out, illuminating everything in front of him. He tilted his head back as his eyes settled on a high peak in the distance.

"That's where we're going," he decided, pointing at the peak.

"You mean…" Sora started.

"Yeah," Tai said, turning to look at her and then at Matt. "We're going to Infinity Mountain."

Kari brought her hand up to her mouth to stifle a gasp. Even the name of the peak made her blood ran cold. She had heard of the horrors of Infinity Mountain not just from her brother but from TK as well. Her heart sank as she thought back to the story he told when he had to watch Angemon get deleted before his eyes.

She gripped onto Gatomon a little tighter. She didn't know how she would be able to make it through if she were ripped away from her. When her mind shifted over to her blond haired friend her lips pressed together in a straight line. If she could feel the darkness here she could only imagine how strong it would be up there. But she knew that, if TK were there with her, he'd want her to go up that mountain and face it. And she'd want the same for him.

"Are you sure?" Kari asked.

Tai nodded. "Positive. It's the best place to go. It can be seen no matter where we go and I'm sure that Izzy is probably leading the group there, think that that's where we're headed."

"But what if we go and they aren't there?"

He walked over to her and lightly placed a hand on her head, ruffling her soft hair. A shadow of a smile appeared on his face and his mind wandered a bit, thinking of how fast his little sister has grown up before his eyes. "That's a chance we have to take, Kar. We have no choice, really. Any leads we have we have to go on and, this way, our backs will be against the wall and we can see who is coming at us from any direction."

Matt sighed, "That settles it, then." He looked up as well. "Infinity Mountain, here we come."