A/N: Here we go. The grand conclusion to the Underworld Saga. I hope you enjoyed this special gaiden. This story has been a long time coming, but circumstances has putting it on hold for a long time.

The fight against Basilikmon... and that event will occur.

Anyway, enough padding. On with the finale!

xxxxx

Chapter 6

Act VI: Basilikmon

xxxxx

Anubimon's Pyramid Sanctuary/Corridors/9:16 PM

"Here I come! Digivolve now or die before I give you the chance!" Kuzuhamon hollered, gliding forward whilst goading the two Digimon.

Kotori and Himura held their Digivices out, drawing out energy to empower their partners.

"GO! SEADRAMON!"

"INUMON!"

"Seadramon... MEGA SHINKA! MetalSeadramon!"

"Inumon... MEGA SHINKA! YoukaiInumon!"

The two megas bolted through the corridor as they engaged Kuzuhamon straight-on. However, YoukaiInumon quickly drew Kuzuhamon's attention away and pushed her against a wall, allowing MetalSeadramon free passage ahead.

"Go, MetalSeadramon! That snake is just ahead! You can feel him out can you?"

Answering YoukaiInumon, MetalSeadramon growled and fired a beam through his snout, striking a dead end ahead. YoukaiInumon thrust his swords toward Kuzuhamon, attempting to stab her. The dark-armored woman flickered from YoukaiInumon's view and reappeared behind him, smashing the small of his back with her staff. YoukaiInumon sank to one knee and contorted in pain while picking himself off the floor. As Kuzuhamon raced up behind YoukaiInumon, Himura quickly bolted through with Kotori trailing behind him.

"No, you don't!" Kuzuhamon snarled, whirling around as she brandished her staff. "Not on my wat-!"

Bam!

One punch impacted Kuzuhamon's face, sending her sailing into a wall. YoukaiInumon dashed ahead, throwing one of his swords at her. She barely tilted her head, letting the sword bypass her at the last second and strike the wall. Kuzuhamon lunged forward, kicking YoukaiInumon into the wall. She teleported up close to YoukaiInumon and swung her staff... barely even catching the dark warrior, who flipped away. YoukaiInumon sprang back, doing a few backflips whilst distancing himself from Kuzuhamon.

"Huh, you think you can stall me? Your friends won't last against Lord Basilikmon."

YoukaiInumon smirked. "Funny. I could've sworn you implied the same thing when they fought you. What happened there? Too bad. I'm free."

Kuzuhamon scowled as her lips curled into an angry snarl. "But, Lord Basilikmon is on a different level than I am." Twirling her staff, she charged ahead and engaged the single-sword wielding dark canine, hitting his blade with her instrument. "I won't be long until I seal you back and you become my possession! Because that's what you are to me!"

"Vain to the end. How typical of you, Kuzuhamon," snorted the sword-wielding dark canine, who pushed his blade up and backed Kuzuhamon up to a corner. Black fire quickly materialized around his hands as the flames repelled the woman. The dark flames materialized around YoukaiInumon's blade, greatly enhancing his weapon. "I belong to and am loyal only to one!" Himura, Kotori, MetalSeadramon, I've stalled her long enough. Have you gotten to where the serpent's lair? He focused his eyes meticulously, waiting for Kuzuhamon to initiate her next attack.

xxxxx

Anubimon's Royal Chamber/9:25 PM

"River of Power!"

Boom!

Blasting an entrance through the wall, MetalSeadramon glided into the enclosed chamber of Anubimon's throne room. He quickly soared into the air, flying around the ceiling whilst surveying the room. Kotori and Himura dashed into the room, finding MetalSeadramon high above in the ceiling. Suddenly, they abruptly paused as they picked up on a deep, raspy growl emanating behind a wall of darkness. They looked ahead and saw two glowing eyes facing their direction, staring the children down and with murderous intent.

"Welcome, Chosen Children. I can see why that fool Anubimon selected you two to restore balance to the Underworld," Basilikmon hissed behind low chortles that echoed throughout the chamber. His eyes faded into the darkness as he slowly poked his snout as his forked tongue flickered out and tasted the air. "Unfortunately for you little rats, this is where it all ends... FOR YOU!"

Swish!

Like a giant gust of wind, a powerful force impacted a pillar situated near Himura and Kotori.

The pillar began to collapse as Himura and Kotori bolted away from the debris falling over them.

"Himura! Kotori!" MetalSeadramon bellowed as he dove in, swiping the pillar aside with his tail. He swerved around as strong force blasted his face, sending him sailing through the chamber. He quickly curved his body and propelled himself forward. He caught what looked like a long green tail shooting out toward him. "Damn you!" He swerved around and let the tail narrowly miss him. "Kotori, Himura! Are you two ok?"

Kotori replied, calling out from behind another pillar. "We're ok!"

Himura cursed, watching a large serpentine head emerging from the dark corner. "Damn! Look at that! That must be..."

"Basilikmon," the tomboy mumbled angrily, coldly narrowing her eyes. "He's just as big as I remember."

"You were lucky to have dodged that, but I'll make sure to crush you under the weight of my tail!" Basilikmon hissed, slithering out of the darkness and revealed his 50 foot long body (whilst having a thick hide and a body as wide as 10 feet).

The long serpent's skin pigmentation was dark green whilst spikes lined up across his back. Yellow skin covered his belly entirely and was completely free of the sharp spikes that constituted his whole back. His neon yellow eyes contorted as they scanned and viewed the Underworld Chosen in the distance. Purple streaks lined across and embellished the sections underneath his eyelids. As his mouth gaped, the gargantuan revealed long, 10-foot long fangs, which dripped with venom that splattered and eat through the ground like acid. The prominent feature of the monster was the red gem embedded on his forehead, which was the source of power the Chosen sought to destroy.

Lifting his upper body, Basilikmon glared over his prey and snickered. "Why don't we get this over with, little rats? It'll feel much better once we play a little game of cat and mouse. Make it amusing and run all you want!"

As he widened his yellow eyes, he casted a frightening gaze that induced a hypnotic glare. Himura and Kotori suddenly felt their bodies became petrified, but it was out of fear. Luckily, for them, the serpent didn't turn them to stone… yet. Kotori barely turned her head, facing Himura and noticed the fear etched on the boy's face. Kotori could sense explicable fear and she couldn't blame him. Even Kotori was reduced to fearing for her own life.

"We're way over our heads, Kotori…"

"No, don't say that."

Himura felt a cold shiver that made him lose control of his sanity. "…stop! Just stop! I don't want to do this anymore!"

"Himura! Stay strong! Don't let him intimidate you!"

"Even you're scared, Kotori," the boy murmured, shaking his head and explicably expressing fear. "I can tell. You don't know what Basilikmon is capable of. This thing… he's a monster… nothing we've ever faced!"

Basilikmon snickered as he lowered his head closely.

"GET AWAY FROM THEM!" MetalSeadramon bellowed as he headbutted Basilikmon and knocked him away from the children. He threw out his tails, quickly ensnaring the deadly serpent in a tight grasp. "Kotori, Himura! Don't let him bring you down with scare tactics! He's trying to throw you two off your game! WAKE UP!"

With that, Kotori quickly snapped out of it and violently shook Himura's shoulders.

"Himura! You heard him! Wake up!" The tomboyish girl cried out, shaking the boy's shoulders while bringing him back to his senses. "Don't let Basilikmon overwhelm you! He's just using mind games to sink you! We need to keep our heads on straight!" Realizing Himura was unable to respond, she clenched her right hand and walloped the boy with a hook.

Bam!

One punch registered and knocked Himura back to his senses.

The boy blinked, rubbing the bruise on his cheek. He raised his head and saw Kotori standing over him while shaking her fist.

"You've got a hard head, you know that?" Kotori smirked as she knelt over, pulling Himura up to his feet.

"Kotori… I…"

"We don't have time to be worrying ourselves over what could happen to us. Let's just worry about the now. Look above us."

The Chosen raised their heads and watched the pressing, violent engagement between the two serpentine beasts unfold. MetalSeadramon pressed his whole head into Basilikmon's torso and pinned him against a wall. The evil serpent grabbed a hold of MetalSeadramon's tail and swung him across, slamming him through a pillar.

Kotori furrowed her brows, wearing a poker face. "MetalSeadramon is giving it his all taking on that monster all on his way. Hell, YoukaiInumon is meeting Kuzuhamon head-on without hesitation. Don't let doubt and fear cloud you, Himura. That's a lesson I've been taught since coming here."

"And I shouldn't do the same."

"Yeah, now that's what I'm talking about!" Kotori said, self-reassured with the current dilemma. "Yeah, things might look scary, but we can't let Basilikmon keep us from our goal. We want to go home after this is all done, right?"

A non-hesitant Himura nodded, firming his resolve. "Yeah! I want to go home to see Yui-chan and my parents! I want to take Inumon along to see them!"

"That's spirit, but in order to do that we have to beat this snake and restore Anubimon!"

As MetalSeadramon sprung himself off a wall, Basilikmon opened his mouth and released green acidic spray that melted through a statue. The former Dark Master evaded the spray and glided across the room, baiting Basilikmon toward him. MetalSeadramon turned his head, firing a guided beam through his snout that impacted the serpent's chest.

Surveying the whole, Kotori noticed the absence of Anubimon.

"What is it, Kotori?" Himura inquired.

She replied quickly. "I don't see Anubimon anywhere in here!"

Himura gasped. "Then, where could he be?"

"Wait, what's that just ahead?" The tomboy narrowed her eyes as she inexplicably noticed a statue resembling a jackal-headed, winged humanoid sitting in Basilikmon's den. As she reflected back when she briefly met Anubimon, she remembered the exact description of the Underworld's outward appearance. "It's… it's… Anubimon! Over there!" She immediately pointed ahead as Himura caught on.

Himura blinked. "Is that him?"

"Yeah, exactly how I remembered him! So, its true Basilikmon turned him to stone!" She exclaimed and bolted ahead. "C'mon, Himura, let's get over there while they're fighting above us!"

"Right!"

Hastily dashing across the chamber, Kotori and Himura headed toward Basilikmon's den. They reached Anubimon's stone in time as they examined him. Kotori lightly tapped the petrified form of the Underworld lord. Himura thoroughly examined the statue.

"Are you sure it's him?"

"Yeah, it's Anubimon!" A bewildered Kotori said, gazing over the statue with disgust. "Basilikmon did this to him?" Gritting her teeth, she called out to her partner, who was still evading around Basilikmon's acidic saliva. "MetalSeadramon! Aim for Basilikmon's gem! Do you see it?"

Noticing the red gem on the serpent's forehead, MetalSeadramon locked his eyes onto the jewel.

Basilikmon scowled angrily as he slowly turned, facing Kotori and Himura. "So, you've been informed of my weak point? Feh, no matter. There's no chance I'll allow your pet to destroy my gem!" He shot upward and headbutted MetalSeadramon into the ceiling, repeatedly pulverizing his head like a battering ram into the metallic sea serpent. "No chance! I won't allow you to destroy what is dear to me!"

Suddenly, Himura walked deeply further into the den and gasped.

"Kotori, there's more statues behind Anubimon!"

"No doubt those are all of Anubimon's victims," Kotori said as she saw 30 statues sitting behind Anubimon in three rows. Her eyes fell on the statues with sadness. "And they were probably Anubimon's guardians. They all tried saving him, but they were turned to stone. But, that won't happen to us… I promise you that, Himura!"

"River of Power!" bellowed MetalSeadramon, pivoting his head and fired a beam directly into Basilikmon's forehead.

The evil serpent lashed his large tail across and deflected the beam into the ground. A large explosion erupted from the impact, causing the whole chamber to shudder. Kotori and Himura fell on their backs, feeling the after effects of MetalSeadramon's attack.

"Almost had that stupid gem," MetalSeadramon grumbled as he caught Basilikmon's red gem glowing. The gem… it's…it's… damn!

"Take this, fool! Join Anubimon and become part of my collection!" Basilikmon hissed triumphantly as his gem fired a guided beam toward MetalSeadramon.

Narrowly tilting his body around, MetalSeadramon closed his eyes and barely let the beam catch him. The beam hit a golden Anubimon monument as it quickly turned to stone. Basilikmon laughed callously and bolted across the ceiling, blasting MetalSeadramon with a vicious headbutt.

Their collision caused tremors within the chamber, startling Kotori and Himura.

"MetalSeadramon! Stay on him!" Kotori shouted, observing the battle between the serpentine titans.

Himura gawked as he watched the behemoths slamming each other into the walls. "This is insane! This whole place is going to come down! We need to protect Anubimon and his friends before their statues break!"

"You're right!" Kotori said, attentively turning toward Anubimon. "Man, what's keeping Inumon so long?"

"I hope he's ok," Himura said.

"He'll be fine. I'm sure of it," she reassured him. "Let's take care of these statues before they break!"

"Yeah."

xxxxx

Corridor/9:35 PM

YoukaiInumon raced across the narrow path whilst Kuzuhamon hurled a barrage of black fox spirits. He caught the scorching fire balls and assimilated them through his black fire aura. Kuzuhamon flickered from view and reappeared above YoukaiInumon, catching him with a stiff shot from her staff. She swiftly approached behind and landed a kick to his back. YoukaiInumon fell facefirst on the ground as she stalked over toward him.

"What's wrong? You had so much more momentum before," Kuzuhamon chortled as she kicked YoukaiInumon over on his back. "You put up a better fight than this. I'm sorely disappointed. Where's the fire you had?" She raised her staff whilst a purple orb forged near the central part of her belly. "Any last words before I seal you?"

"Second wind," YoukaiInumon chuckled as he picked up his sword and pointed it directly into Kuzuhamon's gut. "Dark Fang Blade!" He howled as a violent burst of flames propelled into Kuzuhamon and repelled her 40 feet across the corridor, sending her sailing into the chamber. "Oops, yeah I should be gentle with a lady, but you're an exception." Note to self, the next digi-lady I ever meet… better not be a nasty one.

xxxxx

Anubimon's Royal Chamber/9:37 PM

"GAAAAH!" MetalSeadramon roared in excruciating pain as Basilikmon bit down into his back.

Fortunately, Basilikmon's narrow fangs weren't used yet, which he would normally use to immobilize his enemies.

"Relax. I'll wear you down first before I immobilize you with my venom. You should feel honored to have lasted this long with me, former Dark Master," Basilikmon chuckled as he threw MetalSeadramon into the ground. "Such a shame you had to sell out and become a little brat's pet. MetalSeadramon, why bother selling yourself short and becoming her partner? You had all the territory and power you could ever hope to gain before the Chosen defeated you."

"…that was all in the past. After seeing what you've done to the Underworld, I won't ever fall down that dark path again…" MetalSeadramon solemnly declared, lifting himself off the ground. "Had I continued where I left off, I'd become as revolting as you."

Taken aback, the evil serpent sneered at him and hissed. "You squandered all that you had and could've gained!"

"Not anymore. At least, I didn't have to cheat and steal a scale from Goddramon to become a monster."

As this secret was broadcasted to him, Basilikmon frowned. "So, you know my secret? I bet those damned Paradise gods told you everything you need to know about me. Well, it doesn't matter. You won't live long to tell anyone about my secret." He gaped his mouth, revealing his long, narrow fangs. Purple venom dripped from the serpent's fangs and melted the ground. "My venom will be enough to burn through your armor and corrode your innards. I will make it slow and agonizing for you, former Dark Master."

Kotori watched in horror, drawing out her Digivice. "Get your tail up, MetalSeadramon! C'MON, GET UP!"

"Farewell!" Basilikmon laughed as he swooped down and sunk his fangs…

…only to stop as he saw Kuzuhamon sailing through the entrance MetalSeadramon created earlier.

"What is this?"

Suddenly, MetalSeadramon rebounded as he headbutted Basilikmon and pushed him into a wall.

"There's Kuzuhamon, but then where's Inumon?" The boy expressed deep concern as he shifted his view toward the entrance and saw YoukaiInumon emerge with his flaming sword in tow. "Yes! I knew I'd keep my faith in you!"

"Whoo! Look at this place! MetalSeadramon made a huge mess!" YoukaiInumon joked, catching Himura and Kotori from the distance. "Guys! Glad to see you're ok!"

"Yeah, but Anubimon isn't! We just found him and his friends sitting here as stone statues!" exclaimed the dark-haired boy, who turned and caught Kuzuhamon sitting up. "She's getting up!"

YoukaiInumon pivoted his head and watched Kuzuhamon flying toward him. The warriors' weapons collided as Kuzuhamon's staff meshed with YoukaiInumon's sword. Brimming with renewed power, YoukaiInumon pushed Kuzuhamon back and slashed at her with his burning sword. Kuzuhamon lifted her staff, countering his sword slash.

"My pride won't allow me to fall in defeat to you, you mongrel!"

The sword-wielding canine sighed. "You never learn to quit. My power are now… is stronger than yours!"

"Is it because of that stupid boy? I find that ludicrous! How can a Digimon partnered with a human achieve greater power than a lady such as me?"

"Because you're NOT a lady!" YoukaiInumon roared as the black aura around him knocked Kuzuhamon back. Then, with a single sword of his scorching black sword, the dark canine howled. "Dark Fang Blade!"

With one swing, YoukaiInumon not only cut through Kuzuhamon's staff, but also shattered her purple armor entirely. The defeated Kuzuhamon fell back, completely covered in a black body suit and with her silver-and-black hair coming loose and hanging out. Her purple eyes and human face stared diligently at the warrior who defeated her.

Kuzuhamon gasped, gazing at the ceiling as she tasted her second defeat. I lost… to that mongrel… again? This… shouldn't be possible… A soft smile adorned the woman's lips as she hit the ground. But, if am I to be defeated by any man… I'm glad it was him… you won this time, Inumon.

And with that, Kuzuhamon fell unconscious.

"That takes care of her," YoukaiInumon panted while wiping his forehead. "But, what a tough chick, but can't deny she's the best opponent I've had. Even if she's a pain…" He turned around, giving Himura and Kotori a thumbs up. "It's been settled."

"Now that's what I'm talking about!" Kotori said.

Himura added. "Is she dead?"

"No, but she won't be awake anytime soon," he reassured the children.

Suddenly, a dart-shaped projectile hurtled toward YoukaiInumon. He evaded the attack, leaping back with quick reflexes. He quickly looked up at the ceiling and saw Basilikmon hovering over him.

"Basilikmon," YoukaiInumon grumbled, readying his sword. "And I just expended a lot of my power just to take down Kuzuhamon."

"Congratulations, mongrel, for conquering my general," the devilish serpent cackled between low hisses. "But, I'm afraid I'll be cutting your momentum short!"

"Yeah?" The dark canine rebuked and leapt up into the ceiling.

"No! Inumon!" MetalSeadramon called out while pulling himself from a pile of rubble. "Close your eyes! Remember what Goddramon and Holydramon warned us! The gem on his forehead… don't look at him!"

Recalling the warning given to him, YoukaiInumon shut his eyes.

Basilikmon lunged forward and swung his tail down, batting the dark canine down.

"YoukaiInumon!" The metallic sea serpent cried out, closing his eyes. And believe me it's not easy if you're not used to fighting blind! I've had to keep my eyes closed this whole time!

"Damn. MetalSeadramon just can't fight well with having to keep his eyes shut!" Kotori stood, growling with frustration. "Himura, we've got to do something. I know we should be guarding Anubimon, but… sitting here… just not my style!"

The pre-teen male concurred, dropping a rope that tied a group of statues together.

"C'mon, MetalSeadramon… do something!"

As YoukaiInumon stood up, he glanced around with his eyes closed and utilized his other senses to probe Basilikmon's presence. His nose picked up on the vile serpent's scent and turned around.

Wham!

The serpent swung his tail and batted YoukaiInumon away.

Bam!

Basilikmon drove his head into YoukaiInumon and pinned him into a wall. He repeatedly used his head like a batting ram, pulverizing YoukaiInumon as he did to MetalSeadramon before. YoukaiInumon cried out in agony as Basilikmon relentlessly headbutted him.

The dark canine's blood-curdling cries ignited a fire in Himura. The boy shook his head regrettably and bolted out of the den. Kotori dashed off after him.

"HIMURA! GET BACK HERE!"

"I can't stand by any longer, Kotori! Don't try and stop me!"

"You're only going to get in the way! Himura, I'm telling you to stop!" She yelled, almost pleading to him.

Pivoting his view, Basilikmon saw Himura running toward his direction.

"How quaint, child, but how foolishly reckless!" Basilikmon cackled as he swung his tail and knocked Himura aside.

Kotori gasped in horror. "HIMURA!" She hurried over toward Himura. "I'LL GET YOU AWAY!"

"Himura…" YoukaiInumon groaned, noticing his partner lying on the ground with injuries inflicted by Basilikmon. "Bastard! That's my friend you just maimed!" He tried slashing Basilikmon with his sword… only to be struck with another headbutt. "GAAAAAH!" He howled out in excruciating pain.

"I've got to… save you, Inumon," Himura coughed while sitting up.

Kotori retorted as she seized Himura's right arm. "Not in your condition! Let's get the hell away from here!"

"I've grown weary of this chattering! Die!" Basilikmon bellowed as he a projectile dart fired from his mouth and targeted Himura.

"Himura! MOVE!" YoukaiInumon shouted.

Suddenly, Kotori felt a sudden rush overwhelm her as she pushed herself in front of Himura…

Shick.

…and was struck by Basilikmon's poisonous dart. She fully took the brunt of the attack as it struck her chest.

At that moment, brief images of a dark-armored Valkyrie woman who resembled Kotori flashed before the tomboy's eyes. During this brief interval, she saw scenes of the woman and a young man resembling Himura. Both of them shared a kiss as a large black cloud engulfed a heaven kingdom in the background.

Is… is that Himura… and I…?

Himura, YoukaiInumon, and MetalSeadramon froze in alarm as cold dread filled their bodies. Once Kotori's body fell, her Digivice fell from her hand.

"K… Ko… KOTORI!" Himura naturally erupted with a loud cry as he threw himself over Kotori. "Kotori! I'll get this out of you! Stay with me!"

Kotori gazed up at Himura's face as her vision slowly began blurring out. She weakly muttered to the boy kneeling over her. "H…Himura…"

"KOTORI! No… no… stay with me!"

As his mind fractured from the horrifying scene, YoukaiInumon naturally reacted as any friend would when another falls. He threw himself into Basilikmon with eyes open, but now he couldn't care less. All he could think about was wearing through Basilikmon's hide. Before he could go full berserker, Basilikmon caught YoukaiInumon with a beam that fired from his gem. YoukaiInumon howled in pain as he fell and turned into a statue.

"YOUKAIINUMON!" MetalSeadramon roared as he, more so than Inumon and Himura, erupted into a blind fury. Without hesitation, he used the blade tips of his tail and slashed through his own eyes. Ultimately, he made sure to blind himself and thrust himself toward Basilikmon.

"BASILIKMON! YOU BASTARD! I'M COMING FOR YOU!"

"Idiot! If you come at me recklessly, you'll be turned to stone, too!" The devilish reptile laughed as he caught MetalSeadramon gliding toward him. However, at that moment, he noticed something peculiar about MetalSeadramon; most notably were his eyes. "WHAT? You… you cut your own eyes?" He… he finally saw a way through my power!

"YOU WON'T GET AWAY WITH THIS!" MetalSeadramon roared as his snout brimmed with impulsive energy. He directed it at Basilikmon, blasting his forehead gem. "RIVER OF POWER!"

Boom!

"NOOOOOO!" Basilikmon's horrifying screeches filled the chamber as he fell back with his forehead gem shattered. "This… this can't be…! You… you clever bastard!"

With the gem damaged, every petrified Digimon in the chamber and across the Underworld were restored.

Namely, the first victim, Anubimon, was restored to normal.

Blinking, Anubimon glanced around his chamber frantically. "What… what happened?"

"Lord Anubimon! We've been freed!" A Jackalmon called out behind Anubimon.

The Underworld lord glanced over his shoulder and became relieved when his colleagues were back to normal. He shifted his view ahead as he noticed Basilikmon and his damaged gem.

"How did…?" Anubimon stared further across the chamber and noticed the Underworld Chosen. "They… they returned! Underworld Chosen, you did it… no." His eyes fell on Himura and Kotori. "The girl's life energy is fading. Basilikmon, you bastard, you didn't…!"

Once restored to normal, YoukaiInumon came to and saw Anubimon gliding toward them.

"Lord Anubimon, you're free!" YoukaiInumon cried out.

The Underworld lord nodded sadly as his eyes fell on Kotori, who was sitting limp in Himura's arms. "Yes, but at the cost of this girl's life…"

"Kotori…" MetalSeadramon lowered his snout near Kotori's cold and pale face. "Say something. Anything. You're just screwing around, right?" Being in denial didn't help matters. He felt Kotori's life substantially fading away. "You can't… you just can't… Kotori! Wake up!"

"I'm sorry, MetalSeadramon. I truly am," Anubimon said with grief. He quickly shifted his tear-filled eyes on Basilikmon, who barely started to lift his head. "Basilikmon, for all the crimes you've committed against me, the Underworld, and most of all for what you've done to this child. I sentence you to… ETERNAL IMPRISONMENT IN THE DARK AREA! YOU AND KUZUHAMON TOGETHER WILL JOIN THE REST OF THE SINNERS!"

As Anubimon's eyes turned red, a giant whirlpool of darkness materialized under Basilikmon. The serpent screamed in agonizing terror as the abyss pulled him in.

"YOU CAN KEEP ME CONTAINED, BUT I WILL ESCAPE! JUST YOU WAIT… ANUBIMON!" Basilikmon boasted, screeching like no tomorrow. "MARK MY WORDS! ALL THOSE YOU'VE IMPRISONED WILL ESCAPE! SOMEHOW AND SOMEWAY, I WILL KILL YOU WHEN WE MEET AGAIN!"

Kuzuhamon's unconscious body was also pulled into the vortex and banished into the Dark Area.

Basilikmon glared hatefully toward Himura, YoukaiInumon, and MetalSeadramon, laughing. "…you can't save her. My venom by now should've destroyed her central nervous system… she only has a minute until she's gone… too bad… looks like… I WIN! Let these last agonizing moments be ingrained in your memories… for eternity… GAHAHAHA!"

As Basilikmon's head was pulled in, the serpent was sealed into the Dark Area. The whirlwind vanished as cold silence filled the chamber.

Though Basilikmon was sealed, the damage he caused wasn't fully healed.

One unfortunate casualty came out of this mission.

"Kotori…" Himura cried as his tears fell on the girl's cheeks. His warm tears slid off her cold cheeks and splattered the floor. "She can't be… we promised we'd go back together when it was all said… and done! It can't end this way!"

YoukaiInumon lowered his head. He, too, shed tears.

MetalSeadramon turned away and cried for the first time… out of pain over losing his first true friend.

"Lord Anubimon, isn't there anything you can do?" MetalSeadramon turned and questioned the Underworld lord. "You're a god! Revive her!"

"I'm sorry," Anubimon lowered his face, distraught over failing to prevent this unfortunate tragedy. "But, that's beyond my power. I judge souls… I can't fully restore lives. It goes against the balance of life and death. I'm truly sorry for this. I couldn't prevent this. I was a fool… I should've sent her back home when I had the chance."

Himura held Kotori in his arms as he suddenly felt a light squeeze on his right arm. He noticed Kotori's hand holding his arm.

"…don't cry… Himura… I… love you…"

"Kotori!" Himura cried as Kotori's body faded and dispersed into data. The boy's eyes followed the data trails as they scattered into the air. "No… NOOOOOO! KOTORI!"

Anubimon, YoukaiInumon, and MetalSeadramon fell in deep silence as the Underworld lord's supporters gathered to give their prayer to the fallen child. Himura uncontrollably ran up and clubbed a wall with punches.

"HIMURA! STOP!" YoukaiInumon cried out as he pulled Himura away, restraining him. "She's gone. I'm sorry… but she's gone now!"

"NO! NO!"

Anubimon walked up to Himura and placed his hand over the boy's forehead. "Himura Tsubasa, I'm sorry for this tragic loss. I promise you… Kotori will see eternal bliss where she's going. If you wish to put the blame on me, you have every right to do so. I won't curse you if you hate me, but your time in the Underworld has expired. It's time I live up to my promise… your wish to be home… shall be granted."

With that, a white light basked over the chamber and engulfed everything surrounding Himura. The last thing Himura saw were Anubimon, YoukaiInumon, and MetalSeadramon's faces hovering over him. The light immersed into Himura's body as his eyes closed and he drifted into a deep sleep.

Kotori… please… be alive… at least… you can't be dead when I wake up. You'll be right there standing over me and readying to slug me. I want you to meet my family and my sister. But, let me be reassured that you're alive… Kotori Ayami.

xxxxx

Earth/Shibuya General Hospital/Room #455/April 26, 2001/1:03 AM

"KOTORI!" Himura shot up from a bed, screaming. He panted whilst his face was entirely covered with heavy sweat. "Huh?" He blinked shortly as he glanced around and found himself in a hospital room. "I'm… alive? Am I really back home?"

"Himura!" A little girl's voice rang out, catching the boy's attention.

Whirling around, Himura watched as Yui threw her arms around her older brother. However, rather than tears of joy, he noticed Yui's tears came from grief.

"Himura! Oh, thank goodness you're awake!"

"Yui-chan, I'm back."

"You were out for two months! I'm glad you're back!"

"Did I scare you?"

"No, but it's terrible."

"What is it?" The boy inquired, befuddled by what could've upset his sister. "How are you crying? Did something happen?"

"The girl sitting beside you. She… the doctors said she flatlined."

That quickly sunk deeply into Himura's heart and soul. He turned around as his eyes widened in horror.

He turned around and saw Kotori Ayami, her body now pale and under a thick sheet.

Kotori! No, then… it's true! Anubimon wasn't lying! "No, then… she… she really died," Himura gritted his teeth, shaking his head and cried.

"Himura? How do you know her?"

"She's really gone…"

"But, Himura! Our parents, too!" Yui cried as she covered her face, crying. "They're… they're also…"

Even though Yui couldn't finish her words, Himura's heart knew where this was leading.

xxxxx

One week and a half later

xxxxx

Shinjuku Family Cemetery/May 7, 2001/9:22 AM

Following that tragic day, Himura's life was forever changed. On that same day, he was struck with the news that his parents died in the same car crash that put him in a coma (on top of that, he lost an eye, too). His sister, Yui, was able to endure with little injury.

The weight of losing his parents and Kotori weighed heavily on his heart. Naturally, it hurt him and rightfully so. Although he couldn't prevent the accident and save his parents, he had a chance to save Kotori, but he didn't take it. Instead, Kotori gave her own life to ensure he lives. He never would imagine that he'd see someone close to him die before his own eyes. Himura was only familiar with Kotori during the past two months in the Underworld. But, to him, those were the longest two months he would never forget. Now, the adventure was over. He was grateful for making it out alive, but at what price? Kotori's own life. Even now, he believes that it should've been him that died and Kotori that lived. If there was one regret he had, it was that he never returned a 'love you' to Kotori before she passed away.

"If only... if only, I had been in her place," Himura whispered as he and Yui faced the gravestones where their parents lied. He and Yui said their prayers, leaving a basket filled with flowers. Two flower wreaths hung over the gravestones, which were hung by their godparents. "A lot of people turned up to our family's funeral. But, even with all those people, I still felt empty."

"C'mon, let's go, Himura. Our godparents are waiting."

Himura turned, focusing his view toward another gravestone. "Go on without me. I'll be there."

"You're going to her, grave, huh? I already said my prayer to her. You should, too."

"I plan to. This shouldn't take long," he said as he stopped in front of Kotori's gravestone. He knelt over, putting a flower over her frame picture, whispering. "I love you, Kotori. I hope when I pass on, we meet again."

As he stood up, Himura felt a quick tap on his right shoulder. He whirled around, taken aback. He sighed sadly but not without a slight smile curling on his face.

"She'll never forget you, Himura."

Suddenly, the boy spun around and saw nobody behind him.

"Down here."

Himura's eyes fell to the floor as he saw a small black-purred animal resembling a black dog sitting in front of him. He knelt down and gazed at the creature closely. His eyes widened in shock as he noticed a familiar device sitting under the canine.

"Can it be...? Inumon?"

"That's right, Himura. I'm KouInumon in rookie form. Anubimon has allowed me to return to stay with you."

"He did?"

"He expresses his sympathies and sent me to cheer you up."

"He... did..." Himura teared up, causing him to wipe the tears from his eyes. "I ... I don't know what to say."

KouInumon pushed the Digivice in front of Himura, wagging his tail. "You're not alone in your grief, Himura."

"KouInumon," he cried as he picked up his D-3 Digivice. KouInumon lunged into the boy's arms and cuddled up into his chest, sharing his grief. "Thank you. If there's anyone I wished would come besides Kotori, it's you... and Seadramon?"

"He's still in the Underworld and serving Anubimon as a guardian. They all haven't forgotten about what you and Kotori have done for the Underworld. Thank you, Himura."

Himura hugged KouInumon, closing his eyes as he smiled. "No, thank you, KouInumon." Kotori, did you hear that? They'll never forget us.

Staring over Himura and KouInumon, the spirit of Kotori hovered over them. She shared a smile, shedding a tear as she felt comfort looking over her friends.

"I'm glad to hear that, Himura."

"Kotori Ayami, are we ready to go?"

The tomboy glanced over her right shoulder as a blue-haired, pink kimono-garbed young lady hovered behind her.

"I'm ready to go to Spirit World, Botan."

The ferry girl nodded as an oar materialized under her legs. "You've said your goodbyes, yes?"

Kotori turned as she sat behind Botan. "I hope someway I can see them again."

"Perhaps you can one day, my dear," Botan said with reassurance. "Now, let's get going. After that last act of bravery, we've decided to make you a ferry girl. It's what Anubimon and Koenma arranged for you."

"Let's get the show on the road then, Botan."

"That's the spirit! Now, on to Spirit World!"

Glancing down, Kotori watched Himura and KouInumon leave the cemetery.

Though we've separated between life and death, nothing will severe our bonds. Take care of yourselves, Himura and Inumon. Let's all reunite on the other side. One day.

xxxxx

THE END

xxxxx

A/N: And that's a wrap! I'm happy to say I can put this story behind me after putting it on the backburner for so long.

I hope you enjoyed it. The adventure was short, brief, but still an exciting endeavor. It's not often a child dies on-screen in a Digimon series.

As far as the YuYuGiDigiMoon timeline goes (and if you keep up with it), this would be the first to go in chronological order. This comes before Wrath of Pharaohmon. Basilikmon and Kuzuhamon being sealed in the Dark Area sets up for their inevitable escape (when Pharaohmon frees them and the other prisoners). Kotori goes to Spirit World. It'll be another two years before Himura and Inumon meet the Tamers. Yadda, yadda. Everything has been set in place for Wrath of Pharaohmon.

Now, another issue to address: What is the significance of the Valkyrie lady in Kotori's visions? And what about the Valkyrie's lover? They resemble Kotori and Himura. Well, I'll delve into this issue during the Dawn of Chaos story. Watch for it. These visions will play a pivotal role in the future. =)

With this story complete, I can finally resume Dawn of Chaos! It's been three months coming, but I shall post Chapters 20-27 to make up for lost time!

Send your final overall reviews and stay gold!