Hello everybody. I am ssoooo very late with this oneshot for xXVen-nificentXx but real life got in the way quite a lot and this ended up a lot longer and with quite a different plot than I was original intending. Nevertheless the oneshot you've been waiting for for months is finally here, so I hope that you enjoy reading it. Hehe. I hope EVERYONE enjoys reading it but the requester especially.
Oneshot 10:- Mirror Mania
Worlds:- Digimon Tamers, Kung Fu Panda
Deep in the archives of the Jade Palace, at the top of the mountain at the tip of the Valley of Peace, the mighty Dragon Warrior, hero of China and the being who defeated the seemingly invincible Tai Lung and prevented the rise of the wily Lord Shen, sneezed.
"Aww come on," he muttered to himself as he wiped his nose with the back of his black, furry paw. "I can't believe Master Shifu's making us do this. I mean it was only a little accident on the job. No biggie and yet he completely flipped out."
"'Flipped out' is not the phrase I would use, Po," stated a female voice behind him, followed by a heavy thunk as the being it came from deposited a wooden box on the floor and kicked up another swirling vortex of dust in the process. "But this punishment does serve its purpose. Perhaps next time we have a group of bandits to take care of we could actually deal with them instead of standing around for five minutes while they robbed the place blind."
"Yeah, yeah, I get it, Tigress, I get it," the Dragon Warrior, known to most as Po, turned to face his fellow Kung-Fu master. "I said I was sorry about thirty times already, didn't I? I mean, come on. I got carried away, that's all."
Master Tigress shook her head, her orange and black-striped fur rippling in the dim light as her huge front paws dusted off her silken red robes. She still sometimes, in fact often, struggled to believe that the being in front of her had managed to do what she and the rest of her team – the Furious Five – had been incapable of doing. For the Dragon Warrior hardly looked or sounded the part of the role that he filled.
For one thing he was quite fat, with a belly that wobbled practically every time he took a step like a puddle that someone had just thrown a stone into. His arms were thick, though not with muscle, and his face looked like it couldn't hold an angry expression if his life depended on it. Not that it couldn't – Tigress had seen Po angry a number of times and he could look very serious when he wanted to, but those times were few and far between.
Oh yes, and he was a Giant Panda. Not exactly the first animal you would think of as candidate for a Kung-fu warrior.
But the key to his success was not that everybody underestimated him – he was generally an amazing Kung-fu master, and to think he had come from such humble beginnings as the adopted son of a goose who ran a noodle restaurant in the valley below. Po had idolised Kung-fu Masters like the Furious Five for so long, and no he could hang around and fight alongside them on a daily basis.
But today was not a day for fighting, for after the screw-up of their last mission their teacher, Master Shifu, had felt the need to discipline them while he himself set out to deal with the bandits that had escaped.
"Carried away?" asked another member of the Furious Five who was also in the dimly lit room, a large box wobbling into view seemingly of its own accord before dropping to the floor and tiny Mantis leaping out from behind it to land on top. "You stood there trying to plan out the best possible way for us to just enter the village that was being robbed for ten whole minutes and most of them had scarpered to who knows where before you would let us go past!"
"Come on, guys," Po threw up his arms. "You've got to make a spectacular entrance when you go in and face the bad guys. It's a classic scene, where you let the victims know that the heroes have arrived while letting the bad guys know that they're about to get a major butt-kicking all in the same motion. We did it when the musician's village was being attacked by those wolves of Lord Shen's."
"Yes, but the effect of that was rather ruined by the fact that I had to catch you to prevent you from crashing into the ground twice during that entrance," said Crane, another member of the Five. "And then when we all landed in stance, you were still facing the wrong way."
"Yeah, and that's why I wanted to make sure we got it right this time," Po said. "You can't just go storming in and taking out the enemy without making an entrance. Otherwise there's no point."
"I believe the point of that would have been to deal with the bandits," Monkey swung down from a shelf near the ceiling. "Which we couldn't really do just standing there while you planned out what each of us were meant to do."
"Again, I said I was sorry for that," Po mumbled.
"Lay off him a little, guys," the finally member of the Furious Five, Viper, instructed them as she slithered out from beneath another shelf, hacking dust. "Po's finally living the dream he's had all his life – it's only natural that he should want it to be as he envisioned it."
"Thank you, Viper," Po grinned. "At least somebody's on my side."
"Let's just make sure that next time we do things faster," Tigress suggested. "I'd rather not be sent in to accomplish any tasks such as this any more than necessary in the future."
"Yeah, cleaning out and organising the archives of the Jade Palace?" Crane lifted a wing to gesture around the dark shelf-stacked room. "Not really my idea of fun."
"It's not that bad," Po grinned. "They've got some amazing stuff in here. Like all these scrolls that were written by Master Flying Rhino himself. There's got to be some awesome new Kung-fu moves that I can learn from these things… and, and here!" he rifled through a box and pulled out a perfectly round shield. "The shield of Captain Alligator! Why isn't this on display in the Sacred Hall of Warriors with all the other cool stuff?"
"He's got a point with that one," Mantis chuckled. "Definitely nicer to look at than the Invisible Trident of Destiny."
"And safer to look at than the Sword of Heroes," Monkey agreed.
"Po," Tigress interjected, resting the shield from Po's hands. "We're not here to see what's cool and what's not. We're supposed to be organising and categorising all of the scrolls in here as part of Master Shifu's disciplinary action. And the sooner that we get it done and get out of here we can all go and have some out that noodle soup you love so much."
Po's stomach growled loudly and he patted it a bit sheepishly. "Well, I gotta admit that does sound good."
"Then let's get to it," Viper nodded, hooking out a couple of scrolls with her tail. "I think these are some of the ancient scrolls written by Oogway during his earlier years. Where do these go?"
"Let's start a pile next to the Bow of Fate and the Hammer of Thunder," Mantis suggested.
"What about in there?" Po asked, pointing to a small cabinet hanging from the wall with a chain wrapped around it and linked with a heavy looking iron padlock in the middle.
"No, Po," Tigress placed a paw on his chest to stop him from moving over to it. "Master Shifu has given us all express orders not to look in there and I won't have us getting into any further trouble than we already have."
"Why, what's in there?"
"Just leave it, Po," Tigress gave him a stern look.
"Alright, alright," Po nodded. Tigress turned back to heap together a bunch of other scrolls and Po went back to doing the same thing. For about five seconds. Stealthily as a panda was able to be, which was actually surprisingly stealthy now that he'd got in some practice, he stepped over to the cabinet and stood in front of it, decisively breaking the chain with a swift stroke of one paw and pulling it open before any of the five could register what was happening.
As his eyes fixed on the single item inside, they lit up and he gasped in delight. "Whoooaa!" he breathed. "Is that what I think it is?"
The Furious Five swung around, eyes wide. "Po!" Tigress cried as the panda took the item out of the cabinet – a small handheld mirror with an ornate silver frame decorated with swirling vortexes and intricately carved, but strange animals. "Stop!"
"It is, isn't it?" Po cried in delight. "It's the Mirror of Parallex! Legend tells that this mirror has the power to take anyone who looks into it into other dimensions with just a single thought. Ohohoho! I've always wondered if this was evil real but…"
"Po! Put it back!" Tigress cried. "The Mirror of Parallex is not to be meddled with! You don't know what…"
But before she had finished talking the Mirror suddenly began to glow with a searing white light, which enveloped Po's head and forced him to shield his eyes with his other paw. The Furious Fives started forwards simultaneously in alarm, not sure what they were going to do but planning to either yank the mirror out of his hands or push him out of the way of whatever was about to happen.
But it was a futile gesture. As their own bodies all entered the light emanating from the mirror, there was an unpleasant sensation in the pits of all their stomachs as if they had been flung upwards by a giant catapult and all six of them and the Mirror disappeared in a flash and swirl of colours, leaving the dust of the room swirling and a couple of scrolls rolling away.
After that, the room remained dark and completely empty, devoid of Kung-fu Masters.
"So… remind me why we're here again?" the small, white bunny with big ears asked.
"Terriermon!" chided the blue haired human boy sitting behind him.
"What?" Terriermon asked with a pout. "I was just asking."
"Have you not been paying attention to anything that we told you?" asked their mount, an enormous cat creature with orange fur lined with black stripes, huge eagle-like wings sprouting from its shoulders, a long thin tail and a round, purple shield at the top of each limb – one of the twelve (or rather eleven) Devas, servants of the Digimon Sovereigns, whose name was Mihiramon.
"Some of our fellow Devas have gone missing when out on patrol recently," said the other flying being, the huge serpentine dragon Digimon Majiramon – another one of the Devas. "We don't know where they could have gone or where they were when they disappeared – it's like they've all completely disappeared off the map. We thought that Lopmon should be informed that something seemed to be happening to her former comrades."
"Yeah… I know why we're here," Terriermon said. "I know all of that. What I was asking is why we need to be here. I mean I know that there's trouble in paradise for you Devas and all but it sounds like something that you could handle for yourself, surely. How many places could somebody the size of Vikaralamon be hiding?"
"We've tried searching for them," sighed Mihiramon. "We've done it all ourselves but we've found nothing, so we only thought that we should let Lopmon know just in case we Devas were being targeted for some reason. If we were then she too might have been in danger."
"And you know that I cannot just abandon my former comrades if they're in trouble," Lopmon said from Majiramon's back. "They were the only family that I had until I met Suzie and the rest of you guys," she added.
"And I wasn't going to let Lopmon go off without me," Suzie said, hugging the bunny close to her from behind and causing Lopmon to start hacking as she struggled for air.
"And if Suzie goes…" Henry started.
"…Then so do we," Terriermon nodded. "Yeah, fair enough I suppose. Which Devas did you say had gone missing again? Besides Vikaralamon that is. Seriously, where could a guy that big possibly hide himself. It's not like you wouldn't see him if he was just hiding behind a tree."
"Not unless it was one seriously big tree," Henry agreed.
"We don't know where they are and that's what worries us," Majiramon said. "Even the Sovereigns are at a loss to explain their current whereabouts. But in answer to your question, five of us have gone missing so far. Besides Vikaralamon, there's also Pajiramon, Indramon, Caturamon and Vajramon."
"The pig, the sheep, the horse, the dog and the ox," Terriermon said grimly. "Including the one that doesn't like us most – Indramon. Are we really going to try and rescue his sorry butt?"
"Indramon might be a stubborn old mule but he's loyal enough to the Sovereigns," Lopmon countered. "It's true that we rarely saw eye to eye but he is still a Deva. That means that if we can find where he is then we are going to rescue him just as we will rescue the others. Still it is alarming that all of them could disappear without a trace. That's almost half of our original number."
"Do you think they could have been deleted somehow?" asked Henry, worriedly.
"I doubt it," Mihiramon shook his head. "If one of them had been deleted then it's likely that Anubimon would express deliver their Digi-Egg back to the doorstep of the Sovereigns. No, whatever has happened to them it will be more complex than having them simply be deleted. At least I assume so."
"Well I hope that the teachers don't take it out too hard on you guys from missing school to come and help us," Lopmon chuckled.
"Oh, things might get a bit rowdy when they get back," Terriermon grinned. "Especially when Rika gets mad that you went on a dangerous sounding mission without taking her along, Henry."
"Yeah, let's just stay off that particular subject shall we?" Henry shuddered. "And focus on actually finding the missing Devas."
"We're approaching the rendezvous point where we'll be meeting with the others," Mihiramon called as he swept down towards the floor of the desert level they had been flying across for the whole conversation, Majiramon following close behind.
As they neared the ground, several other figures looked up to see them approach, and as they descended they began to look much more familiar to them. The remaining four Devas were all gathered together, watching them approach – the huge, serpentine Sandiramon, the robust rooster Sinduramon, the small rat Kumbhiramon and the meddling monkey, Makuramon.
Makuramon's face twisted into a look of disgust at the sight of the Tamers when the dragon and the tiger alighted on the ground. "Oh, now this I object to," he sniffed. "I mean really, what were you two thinking? I said all along that informing Lopmon was unnecessary but now we're bringing back the humans to work with us in an internal affair like this. Where will it end? With all twelve of us running around doing the bidding of one of these small creatures."
"Know your place, Makuramon," Sandiramon hissed, looming over the much smaller Deva. "The Sovereigns have decreed that the Tamers are trusted allies of ours now, which means that were are no longer enemies with them. You would do well to remember that before you do something that would lead Azulongmon to strip you of your rank as Deva."
"Demote me?" Makuramon asked indignantly. "That will never happen."
"Whatever, Monkey-boy," Sinduramon waved a wing contemptuously as the Tamers and their bunnies disembarked. "There are only two of them here anyway. And Lopmon is here too. It's good to see you again."
"And you, Sinduramon," Lopmon chuckled. "Though I am a bit on the small side now compared to before. How's things with you?"
"Well aside from the fact that almost half of our members are missing, not too shabby," the rooster acknowledged.
"Heh. I've always said that we don't even need most of them anyway," Kumbhiramon sniffed. "All they ever did act like they were better than everyone else."
"Yes, because you don't do that at all," Mihiramon rolled his eyes. "Just pipe down Kumbhiramon. You too, Makuramon. The Tamers have come to help us and that's all that matters. Right now we need as much help as we can get if we're going to find our missing brothers and sister."
Makuramon opened his mouth, but since he was probably only going to object again, Sandiramon hissed at him and he clammed up.
"Well, we'll do what we can," Henry said. "Who'd have thought that one day we'd be attempting to help the Devas after our initial encounters with them," he chuckled.
"Well, let's start with the facts," Terriermon said, standing tall as he could like some sort of drill sergeant. "Where were the other Devas supposed to be patrolling when they went missing and how long ago was this?"
"When a Deva goes out on patrol its usually a clean-sweep of a certain level," Sinduramon stated. "Usually we winged Devas are the ones who do the patrolling since we can generally go faster than the ones that have to walk along the ground, but sometimes any one of us can go out on patrol. And it happened one by one over the last week. Pajiramon was the first to go missing and then the others just stopped returning from their own patrols as well."
"And were they all on the same level?" Henry asked.
"No… a different one each time," grimaced Sandiramon. "And there have been no reports of other disturbances either. That's why we worried that they were targeting we Devas specifically, hence the reason that we came to warn you about it, Lopmon."
"And I appreciate it," Lopmon nodded. "It seems like you might be right if what you say is true. But now we need to confirm it, and to do that we need to find the other Devas."
"Agreed," Majiramon said. "We've already covered a large stretch of the Digital World so…"
Suddenly some distance away there was a flash of bright, white light that caught the attention of every one of them. Heads whipped around as eyes trained on the flash, which seemed to occur approximately half a mile due west.
"What was that?" Kumbhiramon asked, as the light died away.
"I don't know," Terriermon muttered. "But does anybody else think that it's worth checking out?"
"It could just have been a random Digimon digivolving to the next level," Henry shrugged. "They can all naturally do that again ever since Calumon released the Catalyst, right?"
"That was a little bright for a single digivolution," stated Lopmon. "It might be best if we do go and look. Anything out of the unusual is suspect right about now if we want to rescue the other Devas."
Most of the group nodded and began to make their way in the direction of the light, which had already faded away, with Henry and Terriermon leaping onto Mihiramon's back and taking the lead to try and track down whatever might have caused it before it disappeared, while Majiramon seized the large Sandiramon in his hands and hauled him into the air after the other, faster Digimon, while Sinduramon took hold of Kumbiramon in his talons by the Rat Deva's pestle and hefted him up after them.
"Oh what, so I have to run?" Makuramon cried as the other Digimon heaved into the air without him. "Give me a ride with you, damn it! MA-CAAAAAA!"
One moment they had been standing in the dusty old archive building in front of the shining bright mirror and the next the Furious Five and the Dragon Warrior were all tossed to the ground and ploughed into sand, around half of them getting the horrible, grainy stuff in their mouths, resulting in large amount of hacking and spitting and rubbing at tongues to try and get all of the stuff out again.
Po was one such person, scrabbling at is tongue with his thick fingers and spitting every now and then to try and get rid of the itchy sensation in his mouth. "Aaw, ugh," he said. "Of all the places we could have landed why did it have to be sand?"
"It could be worse," pointed out Mantis. "We could be out in the middle of an ocean."
"At least we'd land softer," Po grunted.
"Well we could be fifteen-thousand feet up in the air and forced to drop all that distance," Mantis added.
"You'd probably survive that anyway," Po shrugged.
"Well," Mantis folded his pincer-arms to the best of his ability. "We could be stuck in a completely alternate universe… oh hold on. We ARE!"
Po struggled to his feet and looked round to see the accusatory faces of all of the other Kung-fu masters. He grinned sheepishly and rubbed the back of his head with one paw, revolving on the spot so he could see most of them at once with the two eyes he had in his face, but there was always at least one just behind him. "Come on, guys," he said sheepishly. "Let's not… get carried away?"
"Agreed," Tigress said grimly. "Because we already have one of our number who gets carried away enough. Po, what were you thinking using the Mirror of Parallex! If you know everything about it that you seem to know about all our other artefacts you know how difficult it is to control!"
"Yeah, I know but… but come on! We're in an alternate universe! How awesome is that? How many people can claim that they have done this in their lives?"
"And can we get back?" Crane asked pointedly.
"Well, of course we can," Po grinned. "I read about the Mirror of Parallex. I know that we can use it to get back to our dimension – in the exact same place that we departed from."
"And do you know how to work it?" Tigress questioned.
"Well… no," Po muttered. "But come on, how hard can it be right?"
"Quick question?" Viper raised her tail. "Where is the mirror?"
Po looked down at his empty paws and blanched, searching around for it wildly, and finally he spotted it lying in the sand a few feet away. He hurriedly snatched it up and held it carefully in his paws. "Alright," he grinned. "No sweat. Now we just…"
A shadow fell across them and each of them looked up sharply. Simultaneously, five sets of jaws dropped.
"N… No… No way," Monkey gasped.
"Is… is that…?" Crane breathed.
"I think it is," Mantis was… well… bug-eyed.
"A dragon?" Tigress and Viper said at the same time, in a tone of complete reverence.
"No… way…" Po's face suddenly lit up with boyish delight. "An actual dragon! This has got to be fate or something. I mean, I am the Dragon Warrior, right?"
"It's coming towards us," Mantis observed.
"Brace yourselves," Tigress called. "It may not be friendly!"
"Relax, guys," Po smirked. "If it's not friendly, then we'll take of it no problem."
"You certainly sound like you have guts, stranger!" the dragon boomed as it landed in front of them. Po looked up… and up… and further up… towards its incredibly distant head. It was a lot bigger than he had originally thought and his jaw sagged slightly as he backed away from it.
"Oookay," he said, moving behind Tigress. "Might want to… you know… not startle it."
"Great advice, Po," Crane muttered.
"What are these strange creatures?" said another voice, and for the first time the whole group noticed that the long white thing they had all taken from its underbelly was in fact another creature being held in the dragon's hand, which he deposited on the ground next to him. Simultaneously, all of the others turned to look at Viper, who was staring in incredulous disbelief at the truly enormous snake that was also now towering over them. She'd met a couple of pythons in her time and they had always been big… but this thing was at least twenty times bigger again!
But before Viper could say anything there were more creatures beginning to arrive, each of which was a shock to the Kung-fu masters. Tigress' jaw hung open at the sight of a winged tiger much larger than her swooping in to settle beside the dragon and Crane stared in bewilderment at the small bird that curved around a few moments later, some kind of strange rat creature gripped in its talons which it placed on the ground.
The dragon lowered its head to the ground and allowed a strange creature with blue hair and some kind of white rabbit to jump off its neck, while similar brown-haired creature and brown bunny hopped off the tiger.
"Is that a panda?" the young girl asked, pointing at Po. "A Pandamon?"
"That is not a Pandamon," the brown bunny shook her head. "It's too large to be a Pandamon. But I cannot deny that it is a panda."
"Are you saying I'm fat?" Po asked, patting his prominent belly.
"Nobody needs to say it, buddy," Mantis said, hopping onto Po's shoulder and patting him with a pincer.
"These are not Digimon at all," the dragon observed. "And they are clearly not human or Digi-Gnome. I have never encountered anything like them in the Digital World."
"Who are you?" growled the tiger, taking a threatening step forward. "What is your business here?"
Po leapt into a Kung-fu stance. "Be warned, Mighty Winged Tiger," he said. "If you think about trying to attack us I shall have no choice but to go all kung-fuey on your behind!"
"Huh?" the tiger blinked.
"You heard me," Po smirked. "I'll have to be all like WAH! HAHA! YOW! KAZAI!" he began to punch and kick the air with a surprising amount of precision but the ridiculous noises he was making kinda lowered the effect.
"What are you doing?" the rooster blinked.
"Martial arts," the boy said. "Kung-fu by the looks of it. I know quite a bit of Tai Chi myself. Essentially it's a fighting style, but its also about being the best that you can be."
"It's like Jackie Chan," the girl grinned.
"Who?" Monkey asked.
"Hold on," Tigress placed a paw on Po's arm and lowered his guard. "We are not here to fight anybody. We have landed here from an alternate universe due to an unfortunate mishap and we intend to be leaving as soon as possible."
"Wait a minute," the white rabbit blinked. "And alternate universe. So these guys are actually animals like those in the Human World but who can actually talk?... How awesome is that? Mihiramon, this is an actual tiger – the creature that your own Digimon design was based off."
Mihiramon frowned and stepped closer. "Her pelt is a different shade to mine," he said. "And she has no wings. But I do see the resemblance. Greetings, my lady. I am Mihiramon. What is your name?"
Tigress rarely lost her composure but when faced with a winged tiger many times bigger than her she faltered slightly, "Er… I am Tigress. Master Tigress."
"Wow. Inventive name," muttered the white rabbit.
"Terriermon," the brown rabbit hushed him.
"Momentai," grinned Terriermon.
"You take it easy," Po said. "This is all too awesome for me to take it easy!"
"Hey, you know what my catchphrase means?" the white rabbit blinked. "Oh… well I suppose you must. You're a panda. You must live in China – or your world's version of China anyway."
"Got that right, little buddy," Po nodded. "What's your name, and for that matter what exactly are you? And what is your friend?" he added with a look at Henry.
"I'm Terriermon and this is Henry. He's a human being, as is Suzie over there. But I'm a Digimon. Everyone else here is a Digimon – but we come in many shapes so there are many Digimon who look like other animals, like Mihiramon over there."
"Are you saying there are no humans in your world?" Henry asked.
"Never heard of anything like you before I'm afraid," Po said. "Then again, I've never heard of a Digimon before either."
"Well it makes sense," Crane interjected. "If we are in a different universe then it's only natural to think that everything in it is extremely different."
"It is fascinating," agreed Viper, moving closer to the enormous snake the loomed even bigger than the tiger. "Good morning up there. My name is Viper. What's yours?"
"I am Sandiramon," the snake replied. "Forgive me if I sound rude, but I was under the impression that snakes grew… a bit larger."
"Some do," Viper smiled pleasantly. "But I am not one of those snakes. I do not need size. All I need is a flexible body and a strong tail and I get by."
"Fair enough," Sandiramon chuckled.
"Thank you very much, you guys!" growled a fresh voice and the group turned to see a newcomer running up from across the sand. "Next time why don't one of you ungrateful idiots lend me a ride instead of forcing me to run all the way here."
"Hey, it's another monkey," Po acknowledged.
"Why is its head shaped like that?" Monkey asked, stepping forwards to inspect the newcomer with curiosity. "It makes him look like he's wearing a giant egg on his shoulders."
"MA-CA!" Makuramon growled. "Well your face looks like… looks like… when I come up with a suitable retort… I swear I'll…"
"A bit sensitive, isn't he?" chuckled Crane, as he stepped over in the direction of Sinduramon and looked down at him. "And there is a fellow avian here as well. For all the differences there might be between our worlds I can definitely see a few similarities as well."
"Why are you taller than me?" Sinduramon huffed. "Almost everyone I meet is taller than me, even the other birds from another universe."
"I'm not taller than you," Mantis pointed out as he bounced over to them. "I think I beat you in terms of being a small package. But I notice that there aren't any bugs here."
"Well, that guy looks a bit like a bug," Monkey snickered, pointing at Kumbhiramon. "Will he do?"
"Hey!" Kumbhiramon growled.
"MA-CA-CA-CA!" Makuramon howled. "I've been saying that for years. Maybe you're not so bad after all."
"Why you…" Kumbhiramon's short temper flared up. "I'll show you not to insult me! And I'll show you the difference between me and this bug! Come on then, insect! Have at me!" And he lunged forwards and stabbed the pestle on his back in Mantis' direction.
Before anyone could act or even before Kumbhiramon's strike could hit the ground, Mantis had connected a solid two-legged kick to Kumbhiramon's chin, tossing him back into the air, only for Mantis to slam into the top of his head and back towards the ground, adding in a couple of strikes to each cheek in lightning green movements so that by the time Kumbhiramon's face planted into the sand Mantis had already hit him six times.
Mantis landed on his head as he groaned and stared at the incredulous bunch. "What?" he asked. "He was trying to stab me. And he seemed to think being called a bug was insulting. I had to teach him a lesson."
"Ugh… what hit me?" Kumbhiramon muttered with a mouth-full of sand.
"Never underestimate a Kung-fu master," grinned Po. "Speaking of which, I may be a panda," he turned towards Majiramon, "but I also go by the title of Dragon Warrior. Though this is the first time I've met an actual dragon in my life. Words cannot express how full of awesomeness this whole thing is."
"Dragon Warrior, huh?" Majiramon smirked. "You know… for some reason I quite like that title. I wonder what it might be about it."
"Ohohohoo," Po said giddily. "I'm having an actual conversation with a dragon. This is unreal! This is amazing!"
Tigress turned away from Mihiramon and cleared her throat. "Fascinating as all this may be," she said. "We cannot be staying here. Po, we need to use the Mirror of Parallex and get back into our own universe before we're missed. If Master Shifu finds that we've been meddling with the mirror it will be all of our necks on the line."
"Oh can't we stay a bit longer," Po asked. "I mean how many other times are we ever going to get the opportunity to talk to a real dragon! Or a tiger with wings! It's like a combination of you and Crane."
"It's like what they might have if they ever had kids together," Mantis snickered.
Crane pulled his hat down over his face in momentary embarrassment and Tigress glared at the insect. "Try to refrain from making inappropriate comments, Mantis. This is a serious situation. And besides, I am true to Kung-fu. I will not be having children anytime soon."
"You could always adopt," offered Suzie. "I saw in the news that Angelina Jolie's adopted lots of kids."
"I don't know who that is, but it is irrelevant," Tigress shook her head. "Po, we need to go."
Po sighed. "Yeah, I suppose you're right," he lifted up the mirror. "Still, it was awesome while it lasted. Now… how do I work this thing?"
"Did you leave the manual in the cabinet?" Viper asked.
"This thing comes with a manual?" Monkey blinked.
But right as Po peered at his reflection in the mirror, wandering if he could just will it to take them all back, something inexplicable happened. Po's shadow suddenly seemed to rear right off the ground and reach out its hand, snatching the mirror from Po's grasp. "Hey!" Po gasped, as the dark shadow fell back and slid away across the ground, carrying the mirror slightly above it – revealing that it was not Po's shadow, but had been hiding inside it.
"Give that back!" cried Mantis, as the Furious Five sprang towards it, but before they could get far a bolt of what appeared to be light lanced into the ground right in front of them and brought them screeching to an alarmed halt.
"What's going on?" Henry asked, as everyone around them immediately tensed up at the sudden attack.
"Going on?" said a voice unknown to all of them, as a figure emerged from out of a nearby pile of boulders, the shadow on the ground surging towards it and extending upwards to pass the mirror into the figures hand. "Why… it is the hour of change. That it is what is going on, human youth."
"Eh?" Po blinked. "What the heck is that supposed to be?" Everyone stared at the strange being, covered in green armour with a head and shoulder guards that tapered into a point a pair of round mirrors strapped to each arm like shields, with another mirror in his chest and another round one on his head that seemed to be acting as his face, with a thin red mouth set into it but no other facial features.
"Another Digimon," Henry raised his D-Arc and scanned it, the information appearing almost instantly. "Mercurymon. A Mutant type Digimon. Champion Level. It's main attack is Dark Reflection."
"I don't have a clue what you're talking about, kid, but that guy has the Mirror of Parallex!" Po socked his palm with his fist. "You think you can steal something from the Dragon Warrior. You're about the feel the thunder, my friend."
"Overconfidence shall get you nowhere in this fight," the Mercurymon's mouth twisted into a smirk, clasping the mirror firmly in one hand. "With this, I believe that I have every advantage."
"Careful, Po," Tigress said warningly. "If he breaks the mirror then we may be stranded here."
"Break it?" Mercurymon chuckled. "Oh no. I would never break such a valuable item. I have been looking for something like this for some time. Something which would allow me to gain the advantage I seek," he grinned. "And how fortunate that it should fall into my clutches in the presence of the remaining Devas."
"What?" Sandiramon said sharply. "What do you know about the missing members?"
"You shall find out soon enough," Mercurymon grinned. "Now excuse me while I gain more power." And suddenly he placed the Mirror of Parallex against the mirror in his torso and began to glow a bright white.
"What's he doing?" Suzie asked.
"I believe he is merging his data with that mirror!" Sandiramon cried in alarm. "If that mirror is powerful enough to allow people to move from one dimension to another then that means he would be boosting his own power by merging with it."
"He's forcing himself to digivolve!" realised Terriermon.
"We cannot let him take the mirror!" Tigress snarled and the Kung-fu masters rushed forwards, but they were too late. Mercurymon's glowing body expanded and enveloped the mirror and immediately began to balloon outwards and upwards, growing at an absurd rate while twisting and distorting into a brand new, strange form, and his voice could be heard laughing the whole time.
"What's happening?" Monkey cried.
"He's digivolving!" Henry shouted.
"Henry, don't you think we should get bigger too?" Terriermon cried.
Henry nodded and was about to kickstart a biomerge, when a booming laugh interrupted his train of thought and the new Digimon finished forming, looming over everybody, even Majiramon.
"Your efforts shall be futile," it said as the light show died down. "For everything is finally falling into place for me."
"What the heck is that?" Mantis blustered.
For what now stood before them barely even looked like a living thing. It seemed to be made up of ten giant green orbs, each with at least one red eyeball set in it except for the one at the top, which had a huge, gaping mouth, and the one in the middle which bore the Crest of Light, and all the orbs were connected by long golden tubes, like branches.
Henry's D-Arc flashed up the data on this new form. "Sakkakumon," he said. "Ultimate level Mutant Digimon. It says it's only special attack here is something called Rumble Blend."
"Look at that mouth," Terriermon recoiled. "Now that is something that nobody would want to kiss."
"What just happened?" Monkey asked. "Where is the mirror?"
The huge mouth at the top opened and laughed. "The mirror?" it repeated. "Why, I have absorbed the mirror into my Digital make-up of course. I now have dimensional power running throughout my entire body. And now I shall do what I came here for. Come Servants of the Sovereigns. I will have much use for you!"
"Are you behind the disappearance of our fellow Devas!" Sinduramon cawed. "Tell us what you know or…!"
Before he could continue the sentence several red beams of light lanced out of the many eyeballs dotted across the huge orbs, or tifarets, and enveloped the Devas. There were cries of alarm from each of them as they were suddenly yanked upwards as if by a Data Stream and surged up towards the giant Digimon.
"What's going on?" Suzie shouted.
"Hurry!" Tigress cried. "We have to get that mirror back!"
"Let's go, guys! YEAH!" Po yelled as he suddenly leapt into one of the beams of light.
"PO! WAIT!" Viper cried and tried to hook him out with her tail but Po was yanked upwards so fast that she was dragged in with him. Almost without thinking, the rest of the Five darted into the closest beams of light as well and were zapped up by the giant being as well, right before the beams of light closed and left the area devoid of anything but the Tamers and their partners standing before the giant Sakkakumon.
"Henry, now might be a really good time for us to biomerge and kick this guy's… wait, where do kick ten giant balls?" Terriermon started.
"We can't," Lopmon said. "He's sucked the Devas inside him. If we destroy him now we could kill them."
Henry was about to say more when more red beams lanced out from behind Sakkakumon and into the rocks, and Henry could distinguish more shapes being sucked up the beams and into the huge Digimon's body. "Looks like they're going to have some company in there," he murmured. "What does he want with the Devas anyway?"
The first thing Tigress noticed was the heat. As she materialised out of nowhere she span to land smoothly on all fours and reared back almost immediately at how hot the ground was. She blinked, surprised to find herself surrounded by what appeared to be several enormous volcanoes, with rivers of lava criss-crossing the landscape all around her.
She supposed she should count herself lucky that she had not landed in one of those. Honestly how did a peaceful afternoon organising the archives turn into this?
She had company too – Mihiramon looked around at her as she landed. "Oh," he said. "It's you. What are you doing here?"
"Rather foolishly, I leapt into the beam of light that sucked you up," Tigress grimaced. "I intended to find a way of getting the mirror back from that creature. But now it is nowhere in sight? Where are we?"
"Inside Sakkakumon," Mihiramon grimaced.
"Excuse me?" Tigress blinked.
"I have heard stories of this Digimon in the past," Mihiramon replied. "Though I thought it was only a myth. According to the story, each of its ten tifarets contains an alternate dimension, each one based on one of the ten elements. My guess he must have used the power of that mirror to create his new body and construct all of the dimensions that go inside those tifarets. And right now… I believe we are in the Flame Sphere."
"This is… one of the most ludicrous things I have ever heard in my life," Tigress folded her arms.
"Well, you come from an alternate reality so I wouldn't expect you to understand," Mihiramon sniffed. "The question is, how do we get out of here?"
Tigress was about to reply when suddenly there was an explosion of lava from out of one of the nearby rivers. Both the tigers scattered instantly as molten rock splattered down on the spot where they had been standing and a figure emerged from within the lava – one which looked like some kind of bipedal lion with a huge head of golden hair and an armoured chest and arms.
"A Flaremon?" Mihiramon blinked. "What…?"
"Come on then," Flaremon grinned. "Let's battle – cat to cat!" And with seemingly no warning or explanation he charged straight for Mihiramon. "RED LION DANCE!" he leapt into the air, his limbs igniting with fire as he began to rain down a huge array of spinning punches and kicks right at the tiger Deva.
"SAMURAI TIGER TAIL!" Mihiramon defended himself, his tail segmenting into several rods like nunchuks and lashing up with it, furiously blocking the attacks to the best of his ability, but it was only one tail against four limbs and Flaremon still managed to land several hits that tossed Mihiramon backwards with searing burns on his flank and a dent in on shoulder shield.
"You call yourself a Deva!" Flaremon grinned. "PURIFYING HOWL!" he added, and unleashed a huge energy blast from his mouth which struck Mihiramon in the belly and tossed him backwards like a giant doll, gasping as he felt his data fluctuate at the sheer intensity of the attack, as if the sound waves that accompanied the blast were deliberately making his body unstable.
Flaremon laughed as he poured more effort into his attack, but then yelped as something cannoned into the side of his face, almost breaking his nose and disrupting his attack. Mihiramon slumped, panting for breath as Tigress flipped to the ground in front of the lion Digimon.
"I don't know what you are, but I will not stand by and watch you mercilessly attack a good creature," she stated with a snarl.
"Big words for such a small feline," Flaremon massaged his nose. "Let's see what you can do then." And he suddenly sprang into another Red Lion Dance and began another flurry of punches and kicks.
He was extremely surprised when Tigress deftly avoided every single one of them, springing into a backflip to avoid two punches and spinning to the side to dodge a kick, rolling out of the way of another punch and diving straight between the lion's legs and seizing him by his tail just beneath the flame on the tip and using it to fling herself into the air. He span around to swipe at her viciously with furious energy but Tigress still managed to avoid being hit, rolling in mid-air and rebounding off one of his wrists to avoid another and swinging off his ankle like he was some giant tree and his limbs were the branches.
"Stay still!" he roared angrily, attempting to bring both fists hammering down, forgetting about the flaming attack and just trying to hit her, but Tigress seized one of the long armour projections that hung down from his shoulder-guards and spun around it to fling herself into his face and slam her foot into his nose yet again. He reeled back with a howl and Tigress seized him by the mane and swung with him to slam both her fists straight into the top of his head.
This dazed the Flaremon momentarily and he tottered on the spot, allowing Tigress to slide down the other armour projection and spring off it to kick him in the chest and send the much larger cat stumbling backwards. He lashed out at her but she spiralled to the side and avoided the attack, spinning around to plant her foot squarely in one of his eyes and rebound up into the air.
"WHY YOU…!" Flaremon snarled and slammed his hands together, lighting them both at the same time. "CRIMSON BEAST KING WAVE!" he roared, and the airborne Tigress' eyes widened as the flames grew and formed into the head of an enormous fiery lion, which Flaremon prepared to race above his head and launch straight at her in a blow she would be unable to dodge.
"TIGER WING BLADES!" interrupted Mihiramon who was now back on all fours, unnoticed by either of the other two. With his segmented tail he slammed the ground and produced a sudden shockwave that threw Flaremon off balance and almost caused him to topple over before flapping his wings and generating two air blades that sliced into his stomach and sent him doubling over. Tigress grinned and flipped herself over, powering herself downwards like a meteor and slam her hefty fist right between the groaning Flaremon's eyes.
That did it. Flaremon was knocked out instantly and he collapsed on his back, out cold, while Tigress landed on the floor beside him and dusted off one arm.
Mihiramon chuckled as he approached. "That was fast but remarkably impressive," he said. "Was that the kung-fu which you were referring to before?"
Tigress nodded. "I have faced more ferocious cats than him before. But still, I would very much like to get out of this mess that we have landed ourselves in."
Mihiramon was about to reply when a large red-irised eyeball appeared out of thin air next to them. Both of them tensed, but the eyeball projected another blast of red light over them and sucked them through it into the unknown.
Meanwhile, other members of Tigress' initial group were also learning more of the situation that they had found themselves in. "So this thing is bigger on the inside, basically," Po grinned up at the towering dragon Majiramon. "I don't even know how that works but it's so cool. Maybe that's how they fit all those souls inside the Urn of Whispering Warriors. I've got to figure out how that thing works without breaking it again."
"I don't find this situation particularly cool myself," looking around at the barren, rocky wilderness that they had found themselves in. "In fact I think it is urgent that we escape from this place immediately."
"Right, right," Po nodded. "So… how do we go about that? I mean, you're the expert here, right?"
"I'd hardly call myself an expert but… LOOK OUT!" Majiramon suddenly yelled, hoisting himself into the air as the ground beneath them began to fracture. Po yelped and immediately dashed to the left as the ground splintered all around him and began to drop away, necessitating him to leap onto one huge chunk of earth as it fell away beneath him and hurtle up it to leap onto firm ground before it fell into an abyss. He only just managed to catch himself with his arms and scramble up onto the solid ground as a large shape clambered out of the hole that had suddenly formed nearby.
"Another dragon!" Po beamed. "Man, can this day get any more amazing!"
This dragon was quite different to Majiramon, with dull green scales, four huge trunk-like legs and a pair of arms tipped with red claws that stuck out of its back rather than its sides, a long tail with a huge metal spiked ball on the tip and a wickedly sharp horn on jutting out of its nose.
"A Groundramon," bristled Majiramon as he alighted on the ground nearby. "I thought that this might be the Earth Sphere."
"Let us see which one of us is the greater warrior," the Groundramon snarled and thundered for Majiramon, ignoring Po completely as it raised its back arms and slashed forwards with its claws. Majiramon roared and clashed with the Groundramon head-on, his own hands seizing that of the Groundramon and holding them at bay, but he was unable to stop the Groundramon's horn from gouging his side. Majiramon gritted his teeth but ignored the pain as he forced the Groundramon back with a furious wrench.
The Groundramon roared and pivoted with Majiramon's throw, swinging its huge iron tail with brutal force. Majiramon threw himself into the air just in time to avoid the strike and coiled his body around. "DEVA ARROW!" he roared and exhaled a huge blast of fire that shaped itself into an arrow and lanced down at the Groundramon, which blocked the attack with a violent swing of its tail.
"Get down here and fight me!" it roared at the airborne Deva.
"Excuse me," said Po, tapping it on the leg. Groundramon blinked and looked around, only to receive a panda going, "YA-HA!" to the face with such a furious spinning kick that Groundramon's nose-horn was snapped off. Majiramon blinked, clearly not having expected such a swift attack from a hefty looking creature like this Po, but the panda was not out of surprises for the day.
"You think that just because you're a dragon means I'm gonna go easy on you?" Po cried as he swung upwards and hung onto Groundramon's back-head horns so he was astride its neck. "It's on, Ground Dragon!"
"Get off me!" Groundramon snarled and bucked its head, flinging Po upwards. The panda kept a grip on one horn with a paw but one of Groundramon's huge hands descended towards him and he let go, allowing himself to be catapulted backwards to land on Groundramon's back and the hand clouted Groundramon in the head.
"You feeling the thunder yet?!" Po cried as the other claw came towards him and he sprang onto his hands to double-kick it away.
"Damn it!" Groundramon snarled and sprang forwards tunnelling into the ground at furious speed and forcing Po to leap off him lest he get hit by the shower of earth that followed. As the panda rolled to a stop, Groundramon erupted upwards again next to him and yelled, "MEGATON HAMMER CRUSH!" lifting up his enormous tail and bringing it slamming down towards the Dragon Warrior.
"Oh no," Po muttered right before the tail slammed down into him and cratered the ground.
Groundramon grinned and Majiramon gasped, suddenly cursing himself for just hovering there and watching.
Then both of them gasped in astonishment as the huge tail-club juddered and lifted itself upwards, revealing Po just beneath it, pushing himself out of a kneeling position and forcing the tail into the air. "Sometimes…" he grunted with a grin. "Being a little chubby helps. Cushions big blows like that. But that… still… HURT!"
"Impossible!" Groundramon bellowed.
"TAIL OF DOOM!" Po yelled, right as he flung the tail club away to slam it into Groundramon's own face before he could regain his senses, knocking him for a loop.
Majiramon grinned and called, "Dragon Warrior! Get back!" before shooting upwards and disappearing into a sudden swirl of red light that appeared in front of him. "FLAMING ARROWHEADS!" his voice bellowed out and suddenly a grand total of one hundred and eight giant flaming arrows spewed out of the light and rained towards Groundramon.
Groundramon blinked as he cleared his head and gasped when he spotted the incoming attack. He immediately made to tunnel into the ground and avoid it but Po had practically read his mind and threw himself into a roll that carried him beneath Groundramon and swept his feet up to kick him right in the base of the neck. Groundramon hacked and lost his focus and moments later the flaming arrows skewered into his back, eliciting a roar of agony while Po was safely sheltered beneath his huge body.
Groundramon burst into data moments later, which dissipated to the winds as Majiramon re-materialised above. Po blinked at this unexpected way of death but before he could protest another eyeball appeared next to both of them and zapped them away once again.
"I did not sign on for this," muttered Crane as he stretched his wings and pushed himself upwards above the trees beneath him, allowing the wind around him to push him to greater heights as the opponent which had sprung out of nowhere circled around to chase after him.
The huge, white creature with the head and wings of some kind of eagle as well as the taloned feet of one for its front legs, combined with some the back legs, hindquarters and tail of some kind of equine creature, albeit with enormous claws on the feet instead of hooves, screeched at him as it shot up towards him. "You will not escape me that easily, Sinduramon!" it shrieked.
"I seriously think you've got me confused with someone else," Crane yelled back, tucking in his wings and suddenly reversing direction, moving with a sudden gust of wind to send him spiralling down in a rapid corkscrew to shoot past the enemy creature like an arrow, one long thin foot lashing out to bash the creature in the chin with surprising force as he shot past. The creature went "Ungh!" as its beak was snapped shut under the force of the blow but its sharp eyes blazed angrily as it span around itself.
"You will pay for that!" the creature roared, right before a lightning blast struck it in the back and it was sent briefly spinning.
"Hippogriffomon!" roared the actual Sinduramon as his small body swept by. "It's me you're after. I am the Deva Sinduramon! Now, deal with me!"
"So you are the one!" Hippogriffomon growled. "Then prepare to be eliminated! SONIC VOICE!"
"POSITRON PULSE!" Sinduramon countered, unleashing another lightning blast from the pestle on his back as the opponent blew a huge soundwave out of its beak. The two attacks rushed through one another without impeding the progress of the other whatsoever and both struck their respective targets. Sinduramon was tossed backwards but his armour protected him from substantial damage, while Hippogriffomon received a large char mark to its chest.
"Ack!" he cried.
"This fight is pointless!" Sinduramon crowed. "My armour is the toughest among all the Devas. You cannot penetrate it with a sonic attack." And he flared his stubby wings and used the wind to send him hurtling towards his opponent pestle first, aiming to skewer him.
"Perhaps not, but a sonic attack can affect you regardless of armour if big enough!" Hippogriffomon sneered and suddenly blew another huge attack, twice the size of the last one, which impacted on like a freight train, halting him in his advance and pushing him back against the wind. Sinduramon screeched as the intense sound tore at his ears and battered at the unprotected parts of his body, while Hippogriffomon closed the distance between them rapidly, eager for a kill.
But before he could get close enough, Crane's heavy wing slammed into his throat and cut off the sonic attack at the source. Crane looked up from beneath the brim of his hat. "You should really fight your opponents fair and square," he said.
"Out of my way!" Hippogriffomon snarled and slashed at Crane with his talons, but was rather shocked when Crane swept his wings across and deftly caught the attack and turned it aside. He lashed out twice more, but Crane span even when mid-air and skilfully deflected both other attacks before his foot shot out like a piston and caught the opponent in the throat yet again. Hippogriffomon hacked, and Crane's next spinning strike slammed him full in the eye, leading to a squawk of pain.
Hippogriffomon flared his wings and shot upwards to try and get out of range of Crane's unbelievable precise strikes but Crane moved with him and span gracefully to deliver a heavy blow with one huge wing that sent the much larger Digimon off kilter. Hippogriffomon tried to lash out with his much larger back talons but suddenly Sinduramon slammed him in the side with his pestle and flung him backwards, before frying him with another Positron Pulse and sending him falling.
"How the heck do you use your wings like that and still manage to remain in the air?" the rooster Deva ogled.
"A lot of practice," Crane replied.
But Hippogriffomon had regained his flight and narrowed his eyes, one of which was still smarting from Crane's kick. "Perfect," he snarled. "While the two of you are bunched together! HEAT WAVE!"
"Crap!" Sinduramon cried as Hippogriffomon blew a huge blast of superheated air straight up towards both of the two avian beings. The rooster tried to motor upwards and out the way, but Crane thrust out his wings, whirling around to face the Heat Wave head on.
"WINGS OF JUSTICE! KA-KA!" he yelled and he swiftly flapped his wings once with the speed and ferocity of a striking snake – Viper would have been proud. The sheer force of the flap created a sudden burst of powerful wind that washed over the Heat Wave air and blew it straight back the way that it had come.
"What?!" Hippogriffomon cried, then screamed as his own attack suddenly enveloped him, searing at his feathers and burning at his skin. Considering the damage he had already taken from Sinduramon, this prove too much and he burst into data, defeated.
Alarmed as Crane was by the fact that the enemy had disintegrated, he also grunted and said, "Seriously, why have I started make that noise ever since the incident with Lord Shen? And why do I shout the name of that attack now. Only Po does that!"
"That was remarkable!" Sinduramon chuckled.
"Thank you," Crane said. "But why did the enemy…"
He got no further before another eyeball popped into existence next to them. And you all know what happened next. Suffice to say, the Wind Zone was very quickly emptied.
"Damn it!" Sandiramon cried, swinging the battle-axe clutched in his long tail and deflecting the vicious spikes that were shooting towards his wide hooded neck, sending them spiralling away to land in the snow nearby and explode. The snow all around him bit at the Deva's scales with their coldness and the thick sheets of hail and snow that were pouring down around them were making it difficult for him to see, but he could quietly clearly make out the silhouette of the creature stomping towards him.
"You Mammothmon are supposed to be peaceful Digimon," he squinted through the snow battering at his eyes. "Why are you attacking like this? Are you in league with Sakkakumon?"
"I'm no ordinary Mammothmon!" roared the opponent. "I went rogue a long time ago and the rest of my herd banished me. They said I was becoming too dangerous. Ha! I'll show them dangerous! But first I shall show you dangerous!" And with a loud trumpeting bellow he stampeded forwards like a thundering juggernaut, trunk swinging violently and tusks seeking to impale the snake that was only just smaller than him.
Sandiramon bunched his coils and used them to swiftly shoot himself out of the way like an uncoiling spring, sweeping his axe around to slash at the Mammothmon's midriff. But the Mammothmon turned in mid-charge and the axe struck the metal armour on his face and bounced off harmlessly.
"Damn!" Sandiramon hissed.
"TUSK CRUSHER!" Mammothmon bellowed and the tips of his tusks shot off and lanced straight at Sandiramon again. Sandiramon avoided one with a wild swing of his coils but the other impacted with his side and embedded itself in, exploding moments later and flinging the snake backwards to land in a heap.
"Ugh!" Sandiramon grunted, rolling himself back onto his stomach as the Mammothmon pawed the ground, preparing another charge through the snow.
"C-c-c-c-cold," said a voice next to him. "S-s-s-sooo c-c-c-cold…"
Sandiramon looked down and beheld Viper right next to him. The much smaller snake was practically coiled into a ball and shivering violently, continuously rubbing her coils over one another in an attempt to warm herself up. Snakes are cold-blooded creatures and in a freezing environment like this one, Viper was practically unable to move and was desperately trying to warm herself up before she froze to death, as was very likely to happen if nothing was done.
Sandiramon, being a Digimon, was slightly tougher and the same rule didn't apply to him, but he was still feeling the cold around him as well and it was making his movements more sluggish than usual. As the Mammothmon charged again, he pulled himself in front of Viper, determined to protect this smaller snake at all costs, even if the opponent did have the overwhelming advantage here.
"VENOM AXE!" he cried, and launched another axe made of pure poison from his mouth, sending it flinging towards the charging Mammothmon. The Mammothmon swung its trunk and batted the axe aside like it was nothing and thundered on. Sandiramon cursed sent Viper flying with a flick of his tail to get her out of the way, while he charged the Mammothmon and slashed in furiously from the side with his axe. The blow connected and Mammothmon squealed in pain, but Sandiramon was yet again gored by the huge tusks of the beast and with a wrench of his head Mammothmon bodily hauled Sandiramon into the air and flung him away.
"You cannot defeat me!" the Mammothmon bellowed. "FREEZING BREATH!"
"Uh-oh," Sandiramon grimaced as the Mammothmon shot out a blast of freezing cold breath from his trunk. Sandiramon knew that if that hit him, he would freeze over almost instantly, so ignoring the pain he flipped over and motored away as fast as his body could respond. He spotted the near-dead Viper and seized her in his massive jaws without thinking, clamping his mouth shut with her firmly inside as he twisted away to avoid the Mammothmon's attack.
"Come back here!" the Mammothmon bellowed angrily, charging angrily after them and exhaling blast after blast of Freezing Breath. Sandiramon twisted his body around various snowdrifts, trying desperately to keep ahead and his brain working in overtime as he tried to come up with a strategy to beat this guy.
And yet he couldn't think clearly. The cold was really beginning to get to him now and his brain seemed to be as numb as his body was feeling.
A full three minutes past of manic slithering before Sandiramon's strength gave out too much and the Mammothmon caught up with him. Sandiramon turned to face it, rearing up and readying his axe, ready for one final stand.
"This is the end!" the Mammothmon chuckled. "FREEZING BREATH!" and he exhaled another cold blast straight at the snake Deva.
Right as Sandiramon was about to charge madly into the attack he felt a sudden tapping inside his own mouth. Blinking, he opened his jaws and almost instantaneously Viper shot out like a stone from a catapult, using her coiled tail like a spring and shooting over the freezing attack. It had been much warmer inside Sandiramon's mouth and Viper had managed to regain enough body heat to allow her body to work properly again, and she intended to take advantage of it before she froze up again.
Mammothmon barely saw her coming before she landed on his tusk and looped her body around its, lashing her tail in place before she sprang off and wound her body tightly around his trunk, tensing all her body's muscles as she did so and constricting hard, cutting off the airway through the trunk completely and halting the attack, which dissipated before it could reach Sandiramon.
"Let's see how you like be pounded, big boy," Viper smirked as the Mammothmon stumbled and tried to wrench its trunk free, but Viper's body was much stronger than it looked, as well as slightly elastic so he made to headway. Viper shot her head downwards and released her grip on the tusk simultaneously, allowing her to seize the Mammothmon's leg in her neck coils and haul its trunk downwards. The stamping Mammothmon ended up tripping over its own trunk and was brought down to the ground with a thundering crash.
"Whoa!" Sandiramon blinked. But even as the Mammothmon struggled to get back up he felt a surge of energy return to him as he lanced forwards again, wrapping his own considerably larger coils around the Mammothmon's bulk, trapping his legs with his body and pinning him down with his weight.
"Get off me!" Mammothmon demanded.
"Not happening!" Sandiramon growled.
Still wrapped around the Mammothmon's trunk as she was, Viper could feel her body rapidly losing energy again. She grimaced, knowing that this guy was so large that even her Kung-fu was going to struggle against him since she had no idea where his pressure point were.
But suddenly an idea sprang into her mind and she smirked. Keeping her body tightly squeezing the trunk, she lashed out with both neck and tail as soon as the thrashing appendage gave her the range. She lashed herself around both of the Mammothmon's tusks and with a cry of exertion she wrenched her body. A snake's body is like a single muscle and they can be unimaginably strong, and before Mammothmon knew what was happening Viper had hauled the tip of his trunk directly into his mouth.
"Let go!" Viper cried and she released her grip on the trunk, which had been still trying to blow out a Freezing Breath. Before Mammothmon could comprehend what was happening he was blowing his own attack into his own mouth. Sandiramon and Viper uncoiled and sprang clear and moments later the Mammothmon was a large block of ice, frozen completely solid.
Both snakes panted furiously as they tried to regain their breath, both large and small shivering against the biting cold.
"I suppose that goes to show that size really doesn't matter," Sanidramon chuckled.
"Well," Viper grinned. "I would definitely say that that was a team effort."
"Reptiles all the way," Sandiramon intoned.
"Reptiles all the way," Viper shivered.
Ironically, the eye which opened up and sucked them both in saved Viper's life, for it whisked them both away to a place considerably warmer than the Ice Area.
Lightning flashed through the sky as Kumbhiramon backflipped again and landed on his spindly legs with a grunt of irritation. "How am I having so much trouble?" he growled. "Against a Champion level Digimon?"
A high-pitched buzzing laughter was his only answer. "You can't even hit me, Deva. How do you expect to beat me if you can't even do that?" And a bolt of lightning seemed to spring out of thin air in front of him and slammed straight into Kumbhiramon's front. The Rat Deva was heavily armoured but the lightning just crackled across the metal and forced him to grit his teeth and he was zapped by many, many volts.
"You have messed with the wrong Digimon today," Kumbhiramon yelled as he leapt back and slashed with his pestle, but the opponent simply dodged out of the way. And who was the opponent, you ask? Well, it was a very small spherical Digimon with tiny feet and fists, as well as a metallic lightning-bolt sticking out of its forehead and smirk on the face set in its round body.
"No Thundermon is going to get the best of me," Kumbhiramon growled and whipped into several frenzied slashes with his pestle, but Thundermon just zipped backwards and forwards with incredibly speed like a little ping-pong or squash ball, meaning he was practically behind Kumbhiramon each time the Deva attempted to slash at him from the front. It was getting beyond aggravating.
Thundermon snickered again and landed in front of a rock as Kumbhiramon stopped, panting heavily as he glared at his much smaller adversary. "Do you not realise that it is futile?" Thundermon asked, a zap of electricity arcing up the bolt on his forehead. "You can't even touch me, and if you do you just get zapped. This is too easy for me."
"Oh yeah?" Kumbhiramon smirked. "Well maybe I can't hit you right now… but let's see what happens when I pull a DEVA CLONE!" Suddenly, there were six Kumbhiramon all standing around the boulder that the Thundermon was standing on and each of them launched right at him with a near blinding array of slashes with their single, tiny opponent. But Thundermon just smirked and blitzed upwards at a rapid pace, leading to the several Kumbhiramon to just crash into one another.
"Pitiful," Thundermon chuckled as the six merged back into one and the Rat growled in annoyance. "I guess this just means that – ACK!"
A green blur seemed to dart out nowhere and slam Thundermon from behind, sending the tiny champion flying into the ground and rolling away. The perpetrator, Mantis, landed on top of another rock and held his pincers in a combat position.
"I've never gotten to use this phrase before," he chuckled. "But why don't you pick on somebody your own size?"
Thundermon growled and pushed himself back into the air, sparking with electricity. "Who dares interfere in my battle?" he snarled.
"The guy who's about to kick your keister," Mantis glared. "If you have one that is."
Thundermon glared and zapped towards Mantis but the bug sprang over the shot with just about equal speed, bounding between several rocks, pursued by the tiny Digimon, who curved around to lance at Mantis again, and when Mantis ducked beneath him he changed trajectory almost immediately and came back, only for Mantis to spring around and lash out at him with a lash of his pincer.
The moment Mantis touched Thundermon though several volts coursed through his tiny body and he was flung away with a cry to crash into a rock. Thundermon laughed uproariously as he lanced in again to try and hit Mantis while he was down, but the bug just rolled aside again.
"It doesn't matter how swift you are," Thundermon cackled. "Even if you can hit me, you can't touch me without getting zapped, so you can't defeat me!"
"That's just unfair," growled Mantis, dodging five more lightning strikes from his equally sized opponent, including one where he barrel-rolled straight over Thundermon as he zipped pass. "Aren't you going to fight me like a… whatever-you-are?"
"No," Thundermon replied. "Take this. THUNDER BALL!" And he zipped upwards and discharged several dozen spheres of electricity each packing several thousand volts that pelted towards Mantis like hailstones before he too zipped down after them like a titchy comet.
But Mantis had always been quick on his feet and this was no exception. He noticed that he was surrounded by dozens of small rocks and pebbles and instantly he went to work, spinning around in a frenzy so fast that the eye couldn't keep track of it, each of his six limbs lashing out again and again to kick the small stones all around into the air like a backwards hailstorm in its own right. The pebble storm hit the electric storm full on and each stone collided with one of Thundermon's projectiles, obliterating them on the spot.
"Huh?" Thundermon gasped before at least ten stones struck him in the face one after the other in rapid-fire succession and threw him backwards, his entire body almost one big bruise. Mantis sprang up after him while he had the upper hand and slammed a pair of kicks into him before hooking one pincer around him and spinning over to hurl him to the floor like a bullet, whereupon he fell on him with a two-legged kick of such force he buried the opponent in the ground.
"And now the final touch," Mantis grinned, hopping over to a boulder twenty times his size, lifting it into the air with no problem and dumping it over the place that Thundermon had been, either flattening him or sealing him in. Mantis didn't know for sure.
Kumbhiramon blinked as he stared at the little bug. "Huh," he said. "Perhaps being small and like a bug really isn't so bad after all."
"Fear the bug!" Mantis cried.
"Hey Mantis!" a voice called out and the two looked up to see Crane and Sinduramon flying in. "Good to see someone else in all this madness."
"Nice to see you too Crane," Mantis nodded. Then he blinked and said, "What's your buddy doing?"
"Huh?" Crane asked, and turned to look at Sinduramon, who's eyes were flashing with anticipation. Abruptly, several lightning bolts fell from the sky and lanced into his pestle, and the rooster cackled as the electricity crackled over his body.
"Oh yeah," he said. "Good thing I landed in the Thunder Area. Everybody better watch out now."
Mantis and Crane's eyes both began to widen and what happened to Sinduramon next, but before they could comment on it beyond a "Whoa" apiece, two eyeballs appeared, two one either side of the group. With a yell, Kumbhiramon was sucked straight into one, while Mantis and Crane were sucked through the other. Sinduramon held on for a while, more lightning surging into his pestle from above, before he too was dragged in after Mantis and Crane.
"Yaaaaaaah!" Po yelled as he ran along, dodging from gleaming surface to gleaming surface as fast as he could and closely followed by his new opponent. He had no found himself inside the Steel Area it had taken a little while before he found the Digimon that was lurking within it, waiting for its prey.
No, he wished he hadn't.
It was one of the most terrifying things he'd ever seen in his life – a huge four-legged cat made entirely of metal bones with enormous sabre teeth and huge skeletal wings sticking out of its shoulders, though it didn't really look like he was capable of using them to fly. The eye sockets held glowing red eyes and the Digimon was now chasing after the Dragon Warrior with cold, emotionlessness.
"Good kitty! Good kitty!" Po yelled. "Don't make me have to pull out the big moves okay or else YAGH!" he added as the Digimon's huge paw descended on the place where he had been moments ago and send him running off again.
"You! SkullBaluchimon!" Majiramon roared as he swooped down from above. "Take this!" and he exhaled a huge torrent of fire from his mouth down towards the undead cat. SkullBaluchimon looked up and snarled as Po slid down a metal slope to get out the way, the flames gushing over the cat and screening it from view.
"Oh yeah!" Po raised his hands. "Whooo! That's what you get for messing with a dragon and the Dragon Warrior, buddy."
But he shut up quite quickly when the flames died away to reveal that SkullBaluchimon was just fine, and didn't even look charred by the attack, a dark black aura surrounding his body.
"Oh come on," Po groaned as the Digimon turned its frigid gaze up towards Majiramon. Moments later it bounded upwards with incredible speed, stretching its bone wings and revealing that actually it could fly. Majiramon braced himself and surged down to collide with the SkullBaluchimon head on, the both of them grappling with one another in mid-air for a moment.
But then Majiramon froze up. The dark aura surrounding the SkullBaluchimon was expanding outwards and surrounding him and suddenly Majiramon felt fear. Incredible, deep penetrating fear that seemed to plunge him into an abyss of panic and terror. He screamed and tried to break away but SkullBaluchimon held him fast and brought them both crashing into the ground.
Po stared in disbelief as Majiramon was reduced to a whimpering heap and SkullBaluchimon began to pound on him with its feet, slamming him down deeper and deeper into the ground which was cracking beneath him. Po instantly dashed forwards to help but the moment he entered the vapour aura suddenly he too felt the intense fear suddenly spring up inside him and he fell to his knees almost instantly, clutching his head.
"Oh God," he moaned. "Oh God. Help! AAAGH! AAAAAGHH!"
SkullBaluchimon swept its red, dead eyes over Po and raised a paw, ready to squash him into the ground.
That was when a pair of air blades slammed into SkullBaluchimon's side and knocked him away. The moment Po and Majiramon were out of his aura they both felt the fear suddenly evaporate and they blinked, gasping for breath.
"W-what?" choked Po.
"You mustn't let him get close to you!" cried a voice as Mihiramon suddenly wheeled overhead. "Don't go into the darkness around him for any longer than a few seconds or the fear will consume you."
"Good to know," Majiramon grunted as he pushed himself to his feet and growled, generating another Deva Arrow and launching it at SkullBaluchimon, who hissed as the arrow slewed through a gap in its shoulder bones.
"Po!" Tigress cried as she sprang up beside him. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah…" Po nodded as he got up. "Yeah, I'm fine."
"Leave this Digimon to us!" snarled Majiramon. "You two small ones go and try to find that mirror of yours. This is the Steel Area and Mercurymon is a Steel Digimon – it's likely that the mirror he merged with has become a part of this area of his body!"
Tigress blinked. "Then it is here? Po, come on! If we can find that mirror maybe we can end this!"
"I'm coming, I'm coming," Po nodded, and the two of them hurried off to try and find the mirror while Mihiramon and Majiramon swept up into the air, followed by SkullBaluchimon, and began their battle royale, Majiramon flinging several burning arrows at the opponent while Mihiramon swept around, waiting for his chance to strike at the other cat.
"Po, I'll get to higher ground," Tigress called. "Maybe we can spot the mirror from up there."
Po nodded as Tigress bounded up the nearest slope, pulling to a halt as he watched her go up. Po bit his lip and looked down at the ground with a sigh. In his brief moment inside the SkullBaluchimon's aura he had felt despair and seen visions of each of the members of the Furious Five lying twisted and broken, murdered in cold blood. And it had all been his fault. This he knew – it was all his fault that they were even here in the first place, in this world full of strange and very powerful creatures. If he'd just left the mirror alone then none of this would have happened at all.
All because he couldn't keep his enthusiasm in check.
Why couldn't he have left the mirror alone? Why did he always get his friends into trouble like this? Heck they wouldn't have even been in the archives if it hadn't been for his screw-up with the bandits. He was the Dragon Warrior – he was supposed to be the protector of China but while he'd definitely won some big fights, he still often treated things like a game.
He remembered Tigress' words when Oogway had first picked him as the Dragon Warrior. Maybe she had actually been right then. Maybe he wasn't worthy of this position after all. He was sure the Furious Five had got into less trouble when he hadn't been around than they did now.
But then he looked up and he saw his reflection staring back at him from the nearest chunk of steel. What he saw staring back at him was the same face he had seen staring at him when he had first looked at the Dragon Scroll. There was no secret ingredient to being awesome – it was all in the person themselves. He remembered the words of the soothsayer after he had remembered what happened to his parents. It was who you choose to be that makes you who you are.
"Po! There it is!" Tigress cried. "I'm going after it."
Po looked up and hurried after her as she darted away, dodging between the steel piles in pursuit of the fellow Kung-fu master. And sure enough, moments later he saw it, standing embedded in a wall of steel, and raced towards it, Tigress some distance in the lead.
Up above though, SkullBaluchimon fell back under another arrow barrage from Majiramon as the dragon curved towards Mihiramon. The dragon seized the tiger by his tail and swung him around with incredible force, hurling him straight towards the undead cat. Mihiramon tucked in his wing and his tail sharpened into a point as he cried, "ARMOURED TIGER TAIL!"
Under the assault of the two Devas, SkullBaluchimon fell. The pointed tail slammed into his face with the force of kamikaze plane, fracturing the metal skull on the spot and causing the undead cat to burst into data and vanish into the air. The two Devas nodded with satisfaction and looked around for any sign of their companions when another eyeball appeared and dragged them away once more.
And, right before Tigress reached the mirror, a second eyeball appeared directly in front of her and before she could stop she had barrelled straight into it.
"Tigress!" cried Po and hurried to catch up, throwing himself into the air and falling in after her right before the eyeball vanished.
As Tigress and Po landed on the other side of the portal and either flipped or rolled to a stop, Tigress yelled in frustration and punched the ground. "No!" she cried. "We were so close. So close to getting the mirror back and now this! We could have stopped all this madness if we'd just been a bit quicker."
"Tigress, Tigress!" Po interjected as he pushed himself to his feet. "There's no point in that now, alright? Yeah, we came close, but we can't blame ourselves for that. Look, I'm the one who can accept blame for this whole situation right about now, but we have to keep on going. Don't worry. We'll find a way to get that mirror back. And then we'll all go home for some of that secret ingredient soup at my Dad's place. Yeah?"
Tigress grimaced and clenched her fist, but she nodded and got to her feet with a sigh. "You're right…" she said. "You're right Po. We will get it back. No matter the cost."
"That's the spirit," Po chuckled but then they both looked up at the place where they had landed and they both gasped in shock.
"Wh… what the…" Po gaped. "What the heck…!"
Mihiramon and Majiramon landed a little more smoothly than Po did as they were thrown into a brand new area, both of them flaring to a stop before they hit the ground and landing on their feet with ease. The area around them was incredibly dark, completely black, and yet they could both still see despite the fact there appeared to be no light.
"Well, hasn't this been fun?" Mihiramon muttered. "Quite the adventure we're having today aren't we?"
Majiramon nodded. "It looks like we got separated from those offworlders."
"I'm sure they'll survive," Mihiramon said. "That other tiger is quite tough."
"As is the panda," Majiramon nodded. "So… where are we now?"
"Well, judging by the décor, I'd say this could only be the Darkness Area," muttered Mihiramon dryly. Then his ears pricked and he said, "Ssh. Something's coming this way. No wait… make that somethings!"
Both the Devas tensed as they saw shapes looking out of the darkness ahead of them. As the shapes drew closer and became more easily discernible, both of the Devas' breaths caught in their throats and they choked in shock.
"What?" Mihiramon blinked.
"No way," Majiramon gaped.
"VENOM AXE!" Sandiramon yelled, spitting another poison axe directly at the newest adversary before shooting away as a tentacle came lashing down to slam into the ground behind him. He was forced to pull up moments later as another tentacle slammed down in front of him, but a deep scream of pain told him that his axe had hit its mark.
He had already guessed that this place was the Water Area, as evidenced by the enormous lake that he was currently on the bank of and the adversary looming out of said leg was a huge mutated looking cross between a squid, a human and a bat with blue skin large numbers of tentacles and a bulbous head with hooked nose attached to the front – it was a Dragomon, and it looked extremely angry.
"SMASH!" it yelled, pulling the axe out of its belly and bringing two tentacles down towards Sandiramon, who brought up the axe in his tail and slashed clean through them, causing Dragomon to howl in pain. Moments later, Viper slithered over the top of Dragomon's head and sprang into the air, twisting her body like a bullwhip from hell to slam her tail into Dragomon's nose.
Dragomon yowled, and swung at the airborne Viper but she merely hooked her body around the tentacles and slithered rapidly down them to leap up and simply repeat the previous attack, smacking Dragomon in the exact same spot as before. Dragomon howled and Viper fell towards the ground but before Dragomon could attempt another swing another Venom Axe buried itself in his domed forehead. Causing another yowl.
Dragomon snarled and produced a trident out of thin air which he grasped in one tentacle hand. "You die now!" he yelled. "FORBIDDEN TRIDENT!" and he surged off shore and lobbed it full-force at both of the snakes, seeking to impale them on its sharp prongs. Both snakes prepared to leap back, but found there was no need, for suddenly Crane whooshed out on nowhere and span about to knock the trident off course and have it slam into the ground nearby.
"Well, you sure took your time," Viper called up to him.
"Sorry!" Crane called back. "We had a few other guys to take care of before we could get here."
"Let's pull a combo on this guy!" Mantis shouted from Crane's back as the bird lanced down and seized Viper in his feet, hoisting her into the air. "Lob the trident up!"
Sandiramon took that as his cue and hooked his tail between the prongs of the trident, hoisting it straight into the air. As Viper slithered up Crane's legs and onto his back, Crane grabbed the trident's staff in his feet and hefted his wings to swing it around to it was facing Dragomon point first. Viper then sprang off Crane's back with Mantis clinging to her tail and cracked herself like a whip once more, flinging Mantis like a bullet towards the back end of the trident, which he hit dead-on with a four-legged kick and sent the trident shooting back towards Dragomon like a javelin.
Dragomon roared as the trident embedded itself in his torso, gasping for breath. But then a shadow fell over him and he looked up. His jaw dropped. As did Viper's. Sinduramon had just appeared overhead… but he was about thirty times bigger than he had been before due to all the lightning he had absorbed earlier.
"POSITRON PULSE!" he roared, and the electricity in question arced out of his pestle like a… well… giant thunderbolt. It struck the tip of the metal trident and conducted along its length into Dragomon, frying him instantaneously and causing him to burst into particles.
"That takes care of that," Sinduramon chuckled, as everyone came in for a landing. "Anyone seen any of the others. We got separated from Kumbhiramon ourselves."
"No idea," Sandiramon shook his head. "I guess we'll just have to…"
Cue giant eyeball.
"…move on," Sandiramon finished as all five of them were zapped through the portal.
Some of you might be wondering… where the heck is Monkey in all of this?
Well, to answer that question, we'd have to go to the Wood Zone, where Monkey and Makuramon have been the whole time, facing off against their own adversary. Needless to say though, the both of them have been having… problems with this particular foe.
"Would you quit it?" Monkey cried as he span away from another strike from Makuramon and sprang upwards to wrap his tail around a tree branch and haul him up onto it, holding a branch like a staff and using it to block Makuramon's next punch and kick in rapid succession before using it as a pole vault to escape another spinning kick.
"I can't help it, you know!" Makuramon growled back as he involuntarily pursued Monkey across the branch and slammed both fists at him. Monkey blocked both with the staff and Makuramon pushed against him with a snarl of, "It's not as if I'm in control of my own limbs right now."
The Digimon opponent some distance behind them was in a laughing fit, his hands raised and his fingers twiddling in the air in co-ordination with Makuramon's movements. "That's right," he said. "He's not? When you get ensnared by Puppetmon's strings it will take a lot more than the strength of an Ultimate level Digimon to break free of them."
"Damn it all!" Makuramon cried as he was flung into a backflip that Monkey sprang out of the way of by leaping off the branch and swinging from it by his tail, throwing himself into the air and swinging around a tree-trunk to throw himself at Puppetmon.
"Then I just have to take care of you!" the Kung-fu master cried.
"Ah-ah-ah!" Puppetmon heaved Makuramon off the branch and swung him on a collision course with Monkey. Monkey somersaulted overhead to avoid the flying Deva, but he was forced to repeat the motion when Puppetmon swung Makuramon back again. "You have to fight your friend before you can get to me, you see."
"No, I will not," Monkey grimaced as Makuramon tried to sweep kick him under Puppetmon's command, forcing him to leap back so he was balancing on his tail. He then lashed out with his thumbed feet and seized Makuramon by the arms, hoisting him into the air while still balancing on his tail and tossing him to one side, before springing onto his stick and catapulting right at Puppetmon. "I will fight you instead!" He brought the stick slamming down towards Puppetmon's head.
The wooden Mega Digimon grimaced and released Makuramon, grabbing his hammer and raising to block the strike. But Puppetmon was no Kung-fu master and Monkey was the most agile of the Furious Five. Monkey skilfully levered the hammer out of the way and slammed the butt of the stick into Puppetmon's chest to send him stumbling backwards and in a flurry of motion Monkey had spun around to bash Puppetmon across the face three more times before he slammed the staff yet again into the Mega's stomach so hard the stick snapped.
"Oof," Puppetmon cried. But then he stood up and grinned, swinging his hammer at Monkey who flung himself backwards and out the way. "You really think a wooden stick is going to do any good against a wooden Digimon."
"Maybe not, but will this!" Monkey grinned, lashing out with his tail, which curled around Puppetmon's neck like a lasso and using it to haul himself down and plant both feet into the Puppet's face. Puppetmon yelled and stumbled backwards, falling unceremoniously onto his butt.
"Hey!" he protested.
"Alright then, you asked for it," Puppetmon growled, grabbing his hammer again. "PUPPET PUMMEL!" he cried, sending a huge volley of energy bullets out of the holes in the hammer end. Monkey blanched and dodged backwards agilely, seizing another tree branch and snapping it off to make another staff and spinning it around madly in an attempt to deflect the shots, but they just slammed through the staff and forced Monkey to take shelter behind a tree.
"Yeah, now you're getting it," Puppetmon grinned. "I am not to be messed with, you hear?"
"DEVA BALL!" Makuramon yelled, leaping into the air and hurling a small sphere from out of his hand, which shot downwards and crashed into Puppetmon's forehead. Puppetmon growled and turned to face Makuramon but the ball promptly hit him in the back of the head. Makuramon grinned. "You aren't the only one who can control things," he said, waving his hand to send the ball crashing back into Puppetmon's face and then into the side of his head and then into the top.
Puppetmon's grip on his hammer tightened and he sprang up, spinning around to face the incoming orb and swept at it with his hammer. Makuramon jerked the ball aside so that the hammer missed, but Puppetmon's real intention became clear when he yelled, "FLYING CROSS CUTTER!" and lobbed the wooden cross on his back at him.
"MA-CA!" Makuramon yelled as the object scythed through the air at him, but Monkey hared out of nowhere and yanked him out of the way, pulling him off the branch he was standing on and to the ground, As the cross returned to Puppetmon's hand, the two monkeys got to their feet and faced off against him again.
"He's tougher than he looks," Monkey observed.
"It is to be expected," Makuramon grimaced. "He is a Mega-level Digimon after all. But it looks like none of our attacks have done any permanent damage so far."
"If I could hit him with my Primal Orb attack I would be able to drain his strength away," Makuramon said.
"Yeah?" Puppetmon raised his hands. "Well, I won't give you the chance. Come a step closer and you'll both become my puppets. In fact, why don't I just do that anyway. Then I can make you fight each other to my heart's content."
"Crap! Out of the way!" Makuramon cried as Puppetmon cast out his strings, but even as they sought to latch onto the two monkeys, Puppetmon was interrupted by something slashing into his back.
"AGH!" Puppetmon cried in surprise and stumbled around to find Kumbhiramon spinning through the air towards him once more to slash at him again. Puppetmon tried to grab his hammer and block but the Deva knocked the weapon aside so it fell to the ground and slashed at his front with his pestle once again.
"So what if he's a Mega," Kumbhiramon sneered. "We can take this guy down. At least I can actually hit the guy this time."
"I don't think so," Puppetmon scowled, leaping back and grabbing his Flying Cross Cutter again to heave it at the Rat Deva. But before it could connect both Makuramon and Monkey worked in unison, swinging down from the tree they had climbed with the use of the distraction and seizing the flying projectile in their hands with remarkable precision, bringing it to a stop and throwing it back in tandem. Puppetmon screamed in pain and the Cross Cutter sliced into his chest and bowled him over backwards.
"Let's do this!" Kumbhiramon cried as he dashed past the monkeys and threw himself into another whirling spin.
"No!" Puppetmon screamed and lashed out with more strings, ensnaring the Rat by each of his limbs and forcibly twisting him around so that he was facing the other two instead.
"Damn! He got the bug-like one," Monkey cried.
"Indeed," Puppetmon grinned. "Why don't I make friends fight each other again, huh?" And he controlled Kumbhiramon to charge straight towards the other two with pestle at the ready.
"Block me," Kumbhiramon replied calmly, then he added, "DEVA CLONE!" Once again, five identical copies of Kumbhiramon suddenly split away from the original and all of them whipped around to charge straight at Puppetmon, for none of them were under the Mega's control.
Puppetmon didn't have any time to react to this and the Rat copies quickly surrounded him and all slashed at him at the same time, tearing lines across his wood and causing him to yell in pain. Makuramon and Monkey both grabbed the original Kumbhiramon as the copies sliced through the strings as well.
"Now, Makuramon!" All the Kumbhiramon yelled as they also cut straight through the strings that attached Puppetmon to his Flying Cross Cutter.
"MA-CA!" cried Makuramon in triumph. "PRIMAL ORB!" he lashed out with one hand and send a clear beam lancing at the floored Puppetmon, which enveloped him and trapped him inside a clear sphere. Puppetmon gasped and reached for his hammer, but he didn't have the thing anymore, and he began to feel his energy being drained away almost immediately.
"Hammer," he groaned. "Where's my hammer?"
"You mean this?" Monkey asked, picking up said hammer with his tail and passing it to his hands. Puppetmon's eyes widened while Monkey smirked and immediately charged towards the trapped Digimon. Makuramon put more effort into his Primal Orb, draining away at Puppetmon's strength reserves as Monkey leapt into a whirling spinning leap, raising the hammer overhead. At the last second, Makuramon dropped the Primal Orb right before Monkey's strike could hit it and Monkey cried, "MONKEY PUMMEL!"
Puppetmon screeched as the hammer snapped his metal nose and cracked his wooden face, sending him crashing back into a tree where he finally exploded into data.
"Haha!" Kumbhiramon sneered. "Not even a Mega is a match for we Devas when we get serious!"
"I think that might have been a rather weak Mega by Puppetmon standards," Makuramon muttered to himself, but of course he would never admit that. "But you weren't bad for a newcomer," he added to Monkey.
"Heh!" Monkey grinned. "You've got a few moves yourself."
And, predictably, a sudden eyeball opened and all three of them were flung into another portal.
Two sets of eyeballs appeared in the Darkness Area at the same time and disgorged a large number of individuals all at once. It was a wonder that they all didn't end up in a heap, as Monkey, Makuramon, Kumbhiramon, Sandiramon, Sinduramon, Crane, Viper and Mantis all appeared at the same time and spilled out across the floor, some landing gracefully, others less so.
"Ugh, I think I've had enough of these zap-trips to last me a lifetime," Mantis said as he hopped off Viper's head on onto the floor. "So, where the heck are we this time? Why is it all so dark?"
"Did night fall already here?" Viper queried, looking around in bewilderment.
"No, this must be the Darkness Area," replied Sandiramon. "Makuramon, Kumbhiramon, it is good to see you are safe."
"Monkey too," Crane nodded. "Any sign of Po or Tigress?"
"None so far," Monkey shook his head.
"So, what do we do now?" asked Makuramon. "Is there another enemy that we are supposed to defeat hiding in here somewhere?"
"We can probably assume so," Sandiramon nodded. "I am detecting incoming vibrations in the ground."
"As am I," nodded Viper. "Something's coming this way. I think there's more than one of whatever it is."
"HORN OF DESOLATION!"
"What?" most of the Devas cried in near unison at the sound of the attack as a huge light burst out of nowhere in front of them. With a crash, Mihiramon and Majiramon were flung against the ground, both struggling to push themselves back to their feet with gritted teeth.
"Guys!" Kumbhiramon shouted.
"Looks like we got a new fight on our hands," Mantis said. "If actually have hands that is."
"No, wait!" Mihiramon roared as he pushed himself to his feet. "We cannot attack! It's them!"
"Them?" Crane asked, but the Devas all gasped as several figures emerged into view up ahead, the foremost of them an enormous bipedal horse carrying a massive golden horn in its front hooves.
"Indramon!" Makuramon cried. "What are you doing in here?"
"Caturamon too," Kumbhiramon pointed to the obscure looking dog that hove in view behind the horse.
"And Vajramon and Pajiramon!" Sinduramon pointed with a wing to the centaur-like ox and sheep, the former carrying a pair of swords in is hands and the other with a large crossbow.
"And Vikaralamon as well!" nodded Sandiramon at the enormous tusked pig that loomed taller than ALL of the others. "The missing Devas. We've found them all!"
"Yes, but they're not in the mood for a reunion!" Majiramon shouted. "Look out!"
"HORN OF DESOLATION!" repeated Indramon and blew into the enormous horn, sending out another huge beam of bright light. Majiramon and Mihiramon leapt to one side as the blast impacted on the ground where they'd been, the slipstream of the blast tossing them both off kilter and sending some of the smaller members of the rest of the group backwards.
"What's going on?" Kumbhiramon cried. "Why are they attacking us?"
"We don't know," Mihiramon moaned. "But they won't respond to anything we do. It's like they can't even hear us or something. But what we do we do about it?"
"DEVA BLADE!" Vajramon shouted, slashing his swords in a X pattern which caused an X energy slash to lance towards Makuramon and Monkey, forcing them both to separate as the attack scythed past.
"DEVA BOW!" Pajiramon levelled her crossbow at Kumbhiramon and shot off a flurry of arrows from the end. Kumbhiramon darted back and tried to keep his back to them so that the arrows would only ping off his armour.
"HOWL OF THE HEAVENS!" Caturamon roared, unleashing a sound attack that dwarfed Hippogriffomon's from before washed over Sandiramon and Viper, causing them both to scream out as the sounds pounded against their vibrations-sensitive bodies.
"Stop this!" Majiramon roared, rearing up and his fire leaking flame in warning, but Indramon moved aside to let Vikaralamon through.
"BOAR BOG!" the huge pig called and unleashed a huge splodge of black goop from his jaws that oozed over Majiramon at high speed and held him fast. It continued towards the rest of the group and caught Mihiramon and Sinduramon as the two of them tried to take to the air, the three Devas thrashing wildly but unable to break free.
"Forget this!" Mantis cried. "These guys aren't our friends. I'm sure they'd mind less if we beat the snot out of them."
"Let's go!" Monkey agreed, and the four present members of the Furious Five jumped in to the attack. But Caturamon, Pajiramon and Vajramon all turned to face them and sprang forwards at the same time.
"DEVA HAMMER!" Caturamon yelled, transforming into a mallet and smashing the ground.
"TERRA BLADE!" Vajramon slammed his blades into the floor.
"THUNDER STOMP!" Pajiramon threw in, crashing her front hooves down heavily.
The three attacks combined generated a miniature earthquake-like shockwave that coursed through the ground and tossed Mantis, Monkey and Viper upwards. Crane was spared most of it since he was in the air, but the huge chunks of floor that were also hurled up thanks to Vajramon's attack crashed into him and drove the breath from his lungs, throwing him to the ground.
"Po," Crane gasped. "Tigress. Where are you?"
Neither Po nor Tigress were entirely sure what the answer to that question was. It looked like they were standing at the entrance to some kind of church, with light pouring in from windows that didn't exist and bathed the room in what might have been a warm glow had it been an actual church. The aisle and the seats that ran on either side of it, as well as the organ at the end of said aisle, made it look like a generic Earth church.
What was different about it was that in front of the organ was a large stone crucifix. And while that in itself was not that unusual, the fact that a tall woman with a helmet covering her upper face, a golden breastplate that matched her long hair and eight, white feathered wings was standing in front of it. Not that she had much choice because her arms were stretched out to either side, her wrists clamped in iron manacles and chained to either side of the crucifix, forcing her to remain in that position. Her ankles and knees appeared to be bound together with a long purple ribbon of some description and the cloth pulled between her teeth kept her thoroughly gagged.
"Erm… what's going on?" Po asked. "Is there some reason that that… person… is chained up over there?"
"I don't know but we better free her," Tigress said instantly, bounding down the aisle towards the captive woman. The woman instantly responded by shaking her head vigorously and letting out muffled grunts from behind her gag. Tigress pulled to a confused halt and the woman indicated upwards forcefully with her head, clearly trying to tell Tigress something.
Tigress looked up.
Tigress yelled in pain as she was suddenly swarmed by countless black creatures which looked like bats but were many times more vicious, which tore at her fur and her silken robe with claws and teeth and burned at her with their mere touch alone, the sheer number of them forcing her into the air and flinging her back across the room to crash heavily into the wall and slump downwards.
"Tigress!" Po cried in alarm hurrying over to her. She was alive and conscious but she gasped raggedly and held her stomach, which Po could see was heavily scalded through the holes in her once beautiful outfit.
A mocking female laughter echoed around the room as the perpetrator of the attack hovered downwards from the top of the organ and stood next to the bound and gagged angel with a smirk on her face. This woman was clad in black leather with a mask pulled over her face and bright red eyes, chains wrapped around her limbs, one hand with several huge red-tipped claws and a cloak that looked like a pair of wings.
"Oh now I won't have you freeing my prize," the woman cackled, lifting her normal hand to cup the angel's face and pull her head around briefly. "After all, what are the chances I'll ever get my hands on an Angewomon again."
The woman, apparently an Angewomon, growled through her gag and pulled her chained wrists to no avail, as the other woman released her face and grinned. "I have to admit, tying your legs together with you own ribbon was immensely satisfying," she said, as she stepped forwards to stand in front of the Angewomon. "Now then, I understand that I have you offworlders to thank for the birth of the Sakkakumon which we are now inside?"
"Who are you?" Po demanded.
"Such discourtesy," the woman laughed. "Why, I am a LadyDevimon of course. But I suppose you wouldn't be one to know that, being from another universe as you are."
"You hurt Tigress," Po said, bluntly.
"Naturally," LadyDevimon smirked. "I am evil, am I not?"
"I'm alright," Tigress grunted, pushing herself to her feet but wobbling and having to lean against the wall, breathing heavily. "Po, be careful of her. She's dangerous."
"Of course I'm dangerous," LadyDevimon sneered. "I take great pride in it. Now then, are you going to let me finish you off quickly, or do you want the torturous demise?"
"Hardly," Po glowered. "I'm taking my friend and getting out of here. And I'll be freeing that woman over there while I'm at it, so you better stand aside, Lady. Or you'll face the full wrath of the Dragon Warrior."
"Full wrath?" LadyDevimon laughed. "Oh, that is a good one. That is a very good one indeed. Do you not think I know what lies in your heart, panda? That SkullBaluchimon you faced in the Steel Area was my pet, and I am very annoyed that your friends killed him, by the way, so I intended to give you the torturous death from the beginning. But anyway, I could sense the fears that he generated within you. Your friends will all die here today, and it will be all your fault, because you just couldn't do as you were told. Because you couldn't dispel your fervour and because you couldn't control your curiosity."
"You don't know me," Po glowered.
"Oh, but I do," LadyDevimon laughed. "I felt everything. I felt how you keep screwing up on the job and getting your friends, who were all practically invincible in your world before they met you, into trouble. Because you always treat everything like a big game or some kind of joke. You are a failure of a warrior, and you know it."
"Po…" Tigress started, but Po raised a paw to stop her.
"No, Tigress," he shook his head, his eyes closed. "She's right. I do treat it all like a big game. I whine when things don't the way I envisioned them. I get distracted too easily by things like food…" as if to prove his point, his stomach rumbled. "And you guys keep getting put in dangerous situations because of me."
"You see?" LadyDevimon sneered. "I do know you, panda."
"But…" Po said, opening his eyes and fixing LadyDevimon with a glare. "That's just who I am. That's who I've always been. That was who I was when I first became the Dragon Warrior and despite all my shortcomings I've made it this far. It was this guy that Oogway chose, and it's this guy I'm going to stay. So what if I'm not perfect, or the guy I envisioned I'd be in my dreams. Nobody's perfect. It's not possible to be. I know who I am and for that I have inner peace. I am Po, the Dragon Warrior and a fat goofball. But this far goofball is going to take you down."
He shut his eyes again and Tigress watched in astonishment as he swept one leg forwards and around to take up a wide stance, his arms moving gracefully through the air as he moved into a combat stance. It was the same thing Tigress had seen him do in front of the cannons belonging to Lord Shen a few months ago.
LadyDevimon, meanwhile, was doubled over with laughter at Po's speech. "Oh that's rich," she said. "That's very rich indeed. You know what? Just prove how wrong you are, I'm going to take you down quickly. Before you even have a chance to blink." She raised her long clawed hand, which morphed into a single red-tipped spike and she levitated off the ground and shot forwards like an arrow. "BLACK WING!" she screeched, aiming the spike right between Po's eyes as she shot down the aisle towards him.
When she was three quarters of the way there, Po's eyes snapped open and he said, "Skadoosh!"
It all happened in the blink of an eye; Po's hand swung around and seized the spike just behind the tip and yanked it upwards dragging LadyDevimon's arm up with it. Po spun around in the process and hauled the startled LadyDevimon over his back to slam her into the ground in front of him, then sprang into a flip and crashed his heavy weight down on her back-first. LadyDevimon lost most of her air but Po was still in motion, having practically bounced back up still holding the spike, yanking LadyDevimon and seizing her by her ordinary hand to swing her into one of the seat rows nearby. LadyDevimon screamed as her back slammed against it hard enough to splinter the wood, and when she looked up Po was standing over her with one foot on her stomach pinning her there while his thumb and forefinger were clamped over her own forefinger, while his little finger was stuck up in the air.
"What?" she choked.
"What did I say about the wrath of the Dragon Warrior?" smirked Po.
"What the hell are you doing with my finger?" she asked.
"Oh, you don't know this hold?" Po chuckled. "Well, I might as well tell you, this is what we like to call the Wuxi Finger Hold. But perhaps its best that you don't know what it does, so I'll just say one more thing. Double Skadoosh!"
His little finger flexed down.
Tigress had to shield her face from the rush of golden air that followed.
Down in the Darkness Area, things were not going well. Sandiramon and Monkey had now both been caught in the Boar Bog as well, while Crane was carrying an injured Makuramon away while Pajiramon was trying to shoot them down. Crane was extremely hard put to avoid all the arrows.
Meanwhile Kumbhiramon was fleeing from Caturamon, who was in his mallet form and was trying to squash him like the bug he looked a bit like.
Viper and Mantis were both trying to avoid the swings of Vajramon's sword, the former trying to entangle his feet with her body and the other leaping up to kick him heftily in the nose, though the huge ox merely grunted and kept slashing.
And Indramon… Well, he just stood there and laughed, sucking in an attack from Sinduramon as the rooster tried to blast his way free of the Boar Bog.
"Damn it!" Sandiramon hissed. The Devas were weakened. They didn't want to hurt their comrades and they had all sustained damage in their previous fights, whereas the attacking Devas were fresh. "Has it really come to this? Are we really going to have to fully battle each other to end this?"
In the Light Area, Tigress had managed to gain a more stable footing and had recovered enough to assist Po in freeing the Angewomon chained to the crucifix. As Po worked on untying the ribbon pinning her legs and wings, Tigress unwound the chains from the crucifix arms and snapped them close to the manacle with her great strength.
The Angewomon pulled the cloth cleave-gag from her mouth and spat out the other lump of cloth that had been held inside by it. "Thank you," she said. "Thank you very much for my rescue, the pair of you," she smiled graciously. "And a very impressive victory over that LadyDevimon witch if I do say so myself. She may have underestimated you but the swiftness of the counter. And that final move. Most impressive."
"Well, I… had a good teacher," Po grinned.
Tigress punched him lightly on the arm. "You just keep outdoing yourself, Po. Though I still don't know what 'skadoosh' actually means."
"Does it have to really mean anything?" Po blinked. Angewomon chuckled. Po looked up at her and said, "By the way, why was she holding you prisoner like that? Did you do something to upset her or…"
"Not personally no," Angewomon shook her head. "That is an interesting story in itself, but we cannot hang around. I sense that your friends and comrades in this endeavour are in peril right as of this moment."
"They are?" Po blinked. "Where? Where are they?"
"In the one remaining area who's champions have yet to be conquered," Angewomon replied. "Do not worry. Everything will now be fine. The perpetrators of all of this have made a grave mistake in keeping me alive. They made a grave mistake in getting me involved at all, and now they shall pay the price. Come. Follow me."
She stepped away from the crucifix, her eight wings raising upwards around her and the ribbon which had previously bound her legs levitating upwards to wrap around her arms and float in a loop over her head seemingly of its own accord. Tigress and Po blinked in amazement, but Angewomon lead them around the back of the organ, where they saw another one of the huge eyeballs embedded in the wall and staring at them.
"Through here, we shall enter the Darkness Area," Angewomon smiled. "Allow me to take it from here once we get there."
And she levitated off the ground and swept through the eyeball. Po and Tigress glanced at each other and followed close behind.
What they saw through the darkness on the other side was an alarming sight – several of the others coated in some kind of slimy mucus coming from the mouth of a giant pig, including Monkey. Crane had an arrow in one wing and was being approached by a sheep with another one loaded, while Viper was being grasped in the hand of a giant ox, which Mantis trying and failing to free her.
"Guys!" Po cried.
"Po! Tigress!" came the responses.
Angewomon floated off the ground and spread her arms wide. "It's over!" she said, as she began to fill the Darkness Area with light that poured off her very body. "You have lost, Shademon. You cannot gain your victory now."
"Crap, it's Angewomon!" Indramon stepped back.
"What do we do?" Pajiramon sounded panicked. "What do we do?"
"You were clever to restrain me with chains with special chains that blocked by angelic powers," Angewomon smirked, raising her hands above her heads. "But now you shall pay the price for my imprisonment. HOLY AIR!"
A ring of energy formed around her hands and floated upwards, expanding as it hovered above her head and began to cast the entire are in a shimmering aura like a rainbow. Abruptly all five attacking Devas cried out as soon as the light touched them and began howling in apparent agaony, while everyone else felt their strength returning to them.
"Huh? What… What's happening?" Majiramon blinked as Vikaralamon's Boar Bog retreated back into his mouth as the pig screamed in pain.
"An exorcism," Angewomon replied. "That is what is happening."
Suddenly the bodies of the five enemy Devas turned completely black, and then the blackness peeled off of their bodies and rose into the air. Po gasped – it looked exactly the same as the thing which had been hiding in his shadow and taken the mirror from him in the first place. The whole room watched in fascination as the five bits of blackness formed into vague ethereal shapes, each one absolutely full of red eyes but with no other noticeably features.
"No!" one of them hissed. "It can't end like this!"
"It can and it has!" Angewomon brought her hands forwards and cried, "HEAVEN'S CHARM!" and swept them outwards, generating a ray of pink light between them that flashed across the gap and engulfed all five of the beings, which screamed as their bodies seemed to vaporise on the spot and they were reduced to nothingness instantly.
The fives Devas suddenly stumbled and blinked, as if seeing everything around them for the first time. "Ugh…" Vajramon muttered. "What happened?"
"Yes, I would quite like to know that myself," Mihiramon grunted.
"Yeah, I'd quite like to be in the loop here too," Po raised a hand.
"You…" Pajiramon turned to look gratefully at Angewomon. "You got them out? You got those… horrible beings out of us!"
"Yes," Angewomon nodded. "Your five comrades were possessed by Digimon known as Shademon, who enslaved their bodies to their own purposes and took total control over them."
Makuramon shuddered. "And I thought that Puppetmon's method of control was pretty bad."
"Well, that explains why you were attacking us like that at least," Sinduramon cawed.
"We tried to stop," Vikaralamon groaned. "But our bodies wouldn't listen to us. But thank goodness it's over now."
"It is not over," Angewomon said. "Not quite. Brace yourselves."
"Huh?" everybody blinked, and suddenly another eyeball appeared right next to them and every single person in the room was suddenly lifted off their feet and sucked straight through it…
"Okay, I'm getting impatient," Terriermon muttered as he glared up at the enormous form of Sakkakumon, which hadn't moved for well over half an hour now. "Henry, can we do something now?"
"Not unless it actually makes a move to attack us," Henry said. "The Devas are in there, as well as those offworlders. We can't attack it in case we hurt them in the process."
"Tch…" Terriermon muttered. "What I don't understand is, why didn't they suck us up as well? I mean they sucked the offworlders up by accident I think but the Devas was definitely deliberate. So why just them and not us."
"I don't know, Terriermon, but we may…"
Henry was interrupted when a huge column of light lanced out of the middle tifaret – the one bearing the Crest of Light and fell upon the ground nearby. The entire company of Devas, the six offworlders and Angewomon all appeared there and Sakkakumon finally moved, opening his mouth again and growling. "Damn you!" he snarled. "Damn you, Angewomon. Damn you offworlders! Damn all of you?"
"Whoa, where did that Angewomon come from?" Lopmon blinked.
"She's so pretty," Suzie cooed.
"And the rest of the Devas are here too?" Terriermon blinked. "Are you telling me we came all the way out here for nothing?"
"Your plan has failed," Angewomon rose into the air. "Surrender now or I shall be forced to deal with you too, as I have your comrades, Shademon!"
"Who?" Terriermon asked.
"Shademon?" asked Makuramon. "But I thought that you fried all of the Shademon that were possessing the other Devas."
"Is anyone else lost?" Terriermon asked.
"We are," Po raised his own hand again.
"Shademon are capable of splitting in half and forming two of itself," said Angewomon. "In the beginning there was just the one Shademon who possessed Mercurymon, and he conspired with LadyDevimon and all the others which you faced in there to try and attack the Celestial Heavens themselves, for Shademon abhor the light and need no other reason to try and extinguish it than the fact that it exists. He, while possessing Mercurymon, and LadyDevimon ambushed and captured me when I appeared in the Temple of the Prairie Level for the annual message from heaven. Shademon believed that if he could possess me then he could infiltrate the Heavens and allow his forces inside and backstab some of the more powerful members of the Heavens.
"But Shademon could not possess me. The Heavenly Light which fills my body prevented him from merging with me without causing extreme pain to his body which would kill him if he tried it for too long. But through his brief look into my memories he discovered that there were a few beings who could gain access to the Heavens who were not filled with the same angelic light as I."
"The Devas," guessed Henry.
"Yes," nodded Angewomon. "The Twelve Devas are Holy Beast Digimon, and can enter the Heavens whenever they like from the Celestial Temple because they are servants of the Sovereigns, though they are not technically members of the Heavens themselves. So Shademon went about trying to capture and possess the Devas to get him into the Heavens instead and might have succeeded were it not for all your actions here. But since I already knew his whole plan, Shademon and LadyDevimon could not kill me, for if they did, I would soon be sent back by Anubimon and as a member of the Heavens my memory would be intact and I could warn the other members of the Heavens. As an attack on the Heavens, it would allow the Great Angels themselves to actually step in, and they could not afford that, so they took me captive instead and masked my presence in darkness so the other angels could not find me. But in the end that was their fatal error, for once I was free I could wipe out the other Shademon with ease. And now, I shall do the same to the one that possesses Sakkakumon."
"No, you shall not," laughed Sakkakumon-Shademon, its entire body suddenly twisting around as if each tifaret could move independently as Angewomon let loose another Holy Air. Instead of washing over Sakkakumon, the holy aura was sucked up by one of one of the eyeball and expelled outwards and away.
"Did you not know?" Sakkakumon sneered. "In this form, I can record any attack that gets used inside my body and I can therefore reflect it back or indeed use it myself. I now know the attacks of ever single one of the Devas and you Angewomon. You cannot get rid of me now. I won't be leaving this Sakkakumon anytime soon."
Lopmon cleared her throat. "Um…" she smirked. "All the Devas, you say?"
"Huh?" Sakkakumon blinked – or would have if it had eyes.
"I think you're forgetting," Lopmon said as she glowed a bright white. "There are twelve Devas in total, not elven. Suzie!"
"Digi-modify!" Suzie swiped a blue card through her D-Arc. "Matrix Digivolution Activate!"
"Terriermon, Henry," Lopmon said as she burst into light. "Hold him steady. We can't destroy him since he's innocent and he has incorporated the mirror that the offworlders need."
"Gotcha!" Terriermon grinned, as Lopmon surged upwards, blazing with light.
"Biomerge activate!" Henry shouted, placing his D-Arc against his chest.
"LOPMON MATRIX DIGIVOLVE TO… ANTYLAMON!"
"TERRIERMON BIOMERGE TO… MEGAGARGOMON!"
Po and the Furious Five watched in astonishment as the towering Rabbit Deva emerged, and gaped still further at the towering green hulk of robot that was MegaGargomon. The two of them moved in synchrony without any further instruction needed – MegaGargomon activated his jets and shot forwards. Sakkakumon reared back and cried "HORN OF DESOLATION!" and spewed a huge energy blast from out of one of its eyes.
"Hey! You can't have a Horn of Desolation with a horn!" Indramon protested. "That's not right."
"POWER PUMMEL!" MegaGargomon responded and punched straight through the attack as if it was just a light tap. Sakkakumon reared back but MegaGargomon, who was easily as tall as it was, seized it by two of its connecting rods and pulled them together, holding the furiously writhing Sakkakumon relatively still and his iron grip preventing him from escaping.
"Now, Antylamon!" yelled MegaGargomon.
"Now, Suzie!" Antylamon yelled. "Use the card that Ryo gave to you last week."
"Okay!" Suzie cried, pulling out said card. "Digi-modify! Apocalymon's Reverse Digivolve Activate!"
"No!" Sakkakumon cried as Antylamon sprang into the air with a hugely powerful leap, carrying her so high up she completely cleared MegaGargomon's head, her huge hands clapping together and forming into a massive claw, which lanced downwards on a DNA-like helix. MegaGargomon heaved the wailing Sakkakumon upwards and the claw opened, only to close around a significant portion of Sakkakumon's bulk.
"NOOOOO!" wailed Sakkakumon as the attack took effect and he glowed and began to shrink back down until he was so small he was completely enclosed by the massive claw. Antylamon smirked and opened the claw, revealing Mercurymon and the Mirror of Parallex hanging mid-air, both of which began plunging towards the ground.
"The Mirror!" Tigress cried in alarm, but Antylamon was already de-digivolving and as Lopmon she swooped down and plucked the mirror from the air, sailing over towards Tigress while Mercurymon crashed to the ground behind her.
"I believe this belongs to you," she chuckled, landing in front of Po, and passing him the small mirror.
"Whohohoho!" Po grinned as he took it up. "You are one cool bunny, you know that?"
"I try," Lopmon grinned.
"Hey! What about me?" Terriermon's voice came from MegaGargomon.
"Terriermon!" Henry sighed.
"Momentai," Po grinned.
"Hey! That's my word!"
"Terriermon, they come from China. You cannot tell them that that's your word."
"Don't worry, you're freaking awesome too," Po laughed.
Mercurymon groaned and stirred, but when he looked upwards he found Angewomon standing over him, arms already raised. "No," he moaned, but the attack took effect and suddenly the Shademon within him was extracted and spilled out onto the sand. The weakened mass of darkness tried to crawl away, but a swift Celestial Arrow from Angewomon put an end to that futile attempt. It screamed as it was consumed with light and obliterated.
"And so ends that potential uprising," Angewomon said, as MegaGargomon de-digivolve next to her. "It's fortunate that Shademon did not consider you Tamers and your Digimon worth absorbing. Most likely that's because he's never even heard of you. Shademon normally live deep in the darkest places of the Digital World where no light ever penetrates. His lack of knowledge of you Tamers here proved to be his undoing."
"Well, we sure showed him eventually," grinned Terriermon. "What about the Mercurymon," he nodded to the unconscious Digimon.
"I'll make sure he is well looked after and makes a full recovery," nodded Angewomon.
"Sooo," Po piped up. "Does this mean we won? I just wanted to check in case any more butt-kicking was needed today."
"No, it is now over," Angewomon smiled. "You can now return to your own dimension in peace. Thank you for all your endeavours here today."
"Yes, you guys are something special," Sandiramon chuckled.
"Sorry about almost killing you," Vajramon muttered, looking more sheepish than Pajiramon.
"Nah, it's cool," Po said. "We know you weren't in control, no matter how confusing everything else about all this was."
"I wish we could stay longer," Viper smiled. "It would be nice to get to know some of you better. But we should get back before we're missed. We've probably already been discovered missing really."
"Yeah… and we should definitely get back before Shifu discovers we're gone," Mantis pointed out.
All six of the offworlders shuddered collectively. "Right guys, quick!" Po cried. "Gather round. I'm going to focus on the archive room – see if that helps us out."
The Furious Five gathered around the Dragon Warrior, and quickly waved their goodbyes as Po stared into the Mirror, which began to glow with the same bright white that it had before. "Come on, baby," Po muttered. "Take us home. Take us home. Take us home. Take us home. Take us home…"
As the last second he looked up and said, "Wait a minute! A rat, an ox, a rabbit, a dragon, a tiger… and all the others! Did we just go on a mission with the animals of the Chinese Zodiac?! AWESOOOOMMME…!"
And with another flash, all six of them disappeared again, landing safely back in the very room where they started.
Lopmon snorted. "Well," he said. "Looks like we made his day."
UUUUUGGHHH. SOOO TIIIRREED. And yet this was so definitely worth it. I really enjoyed writing this story, even if did end up being AT LEAST TEN THOUSAND WORDS LONGER THAN I WAS ORIGINALLY INTENDING! Hehe. Well, I hope that you enjoyed the story, everybody, especially you xXVen-nificentXx. I'm sorry I couldn't get this out sooner like I said I would, but like I said, life got in the way, and it was a lot longer than I intended. I also hope you don't mind that it's not really what you originally messaged me, but hey – I made it mostly about the Devas anyway, right. Since they're part of the Chinese Zodiac that actually made a lot of sense to me.
Well, see you when I can.
Fergus Flamacron, signing off.