This is the prequel to a story I'm starting, thought I might post it as a one shot to see if people are interested. just to make things clear: this is NOT the Impmon/Beelzemon from the Digimon Tamers series.

Disclaimer: I do not own digimon, but I do own Rei and the storyline.

The sound of leaves being crushed softly filled the forest air. Light broke its way threw the dense trees into scattered patches on the rich green grass. Streams of water whispered into the depths of the forest as the many creatures enjoyed the soothing sounds, grateful for this in contrast to what they had been used to hearing.

One creature in particular was making his way through the forest, a new area of which he had stumbled upon. He was headed towards the Clearing; a hidden area in the forest where there were no trees to block the sun, and where all the streams connected into one conveniently placed lake.

He walked confidently, aware of the many other creatures' and their eyes of which were glued to his rather small figure. They seemed to laugh quietly in mock; his confidence in contrast to his stature. He scowled at the mocking sounds around him.

"Heh, laugh all ya want. I might not be powerful-lookin now, but just ya wait 'till I found the treasure! Then we'll see who'll be laughin then, eh!" he yelled out rather arrogantly as the mocking lessened.

His emerald green eyes were shut in contemplation; opening one at times to make sure he was still going in the right direction. He was short; roughly three feet. He was purple all over, save for an evil smiley-face tattoo on his belly as well as a rough butterfly shaped patch of white as his face. Around his neck was his signature red bandana and matching red gloves that clothed three fingers on each hand. He had elongated purple ears that shot up, and then pointed downward. His purple devil tail flickered from side to side as he walked, his arms crossed behind his neck, resting his head comfortably.

He heard rumours that at the heart of this forest was a treasure; one so valuable that no one could even fathom its worth. Now this creature did not care much for treasure; but power. He had heard that this treasure held immense power; and so he decided he was going to claim this power for his own and finally evolve into his most powerful state. However, day after day for nearly a week; every time he would think that he found the Clearing, he would wind up back where he started. It infuriated him, but he was not going to give up so easily.

It was today where things had gone differently. Along the way he had taken a different turn, and he could no longer feel the other Digimon's eyes on him. The forest was awfully quiet. There was no wind, no usual song of the leaves as the winds danced through them, no more sounds of the babbling brooks. He opened his eyes in response to this realization and slowly brought his arms down, searching around the forest for some sign of life; but there was none. Even the light was unable to break through the leaves, and he suddenly felt very cold. Instead of feeling frightened, like any other Digimon would feel, he became excited. His heart began to pound as he picked up his pace and started running, his feet hammering the ground as he ran past the still trees. He looked up ahead and with a jolt, realized that there was a small opening in the heavily concentrated wildlife.

His eyes glittered with excitement, his legs quickening under his newly found adrenaline rush. I found it… finally, I found it! He thought excitedly. When he reached the opening, however, his confident smirk was quickly replaced by a contemplating frown; for in front of him was not the path to power, but instead was a large, cave-like gap created by the roots of a humongous oak tree. It seemed as though two or more people could easily fit inside it, but it was not this cove of protection that confused him, but the soft sound of sobs and snivelling coming from within. He poked his head into the root-cave and began looking around, speaking as he glanced for the source of the sound.

"Hey, what's with yer pathetic sobbin'? No wonder all the other Digimon left! Yer cryin' is givin' everyone a headache-" the little imp Digimon continued ranting until he found the source of the sobbing. He was instantly silenced out of the sheer absurdity of the situation.

In front of him, curled up into a tiny ball sobbing into her hands, was a young human girl. At the sound of his voice, she raised her head from her hands. Her face was streaked with tears, her sky blue eyes large and vulnerable, and her lips still quivering in fear, although her most recognizable feature was her oddly coloured hair. It was fire truck red.

He didn't have a moment to blink before she had latched herself onto him. All he had seen was a blur of red and suddenly he felt as though he gained seventy pounds. His first reaction was to push her away, which he attempted to do, except it resulted in her wailing slightly as she latched on even harder. He began to get furious with the small human.

"H-hey, quit hangin onto me ya sack of meat, 'else I'm gonna haveta force ya to get off!" he threatened angrily, uncomfortable and annoyed at the sudden physical contact.

The young girl's hold weakened slightly, but only because her shoulders began to shake as she became overwhelmed with sobs once more. The imp creature quickly grew impatient, his annoyance overpowering any form of sympathy he had towards the apparent human. He raised one of his arms, and opened his mouth once more, gathering the child's attention.

"Badda-" he started, planning to scare the young child as he ignited a single flame on one of his fingertips. He was about to finish the call for attack when she looked up at him.

They locked eyes and the imp couldn't break free of her gaze. Her eyes were red and puffy from tears, the large powder blue orbs screamed vulnerability and innocence as they gazed into colder, emerald green orbs. He could feel his sympathy matching his annoyance and eventually overpowering it. He let his arm fall as he sighed in exasperation. He couldn't do it; it wouldn't be right. She was way too easy pray; her reaction would bring no laughter to him for she seemed so pathetic.

"Uhh…" he started, trying to think of something somewhat reassuring to say, "Just, uh… quit the water works, alright?" He muttered awkwardly, hoping it would work.

The young child nodded quietly, wiping her tears away as her sobs turned to snivels. The imp creature saw his opportunity and took her by the shoulders and pushed her away. Her lips quivered slightly from the separation.

"There, see? Yer gonna be alright, kid," he said as he attempted to give the child a reassuring smile, only it came off as more a smirk than anything. He wasn't used to giving genuine smiles.

The girl smiled back, one of innocence. She felt safe with him around; he had been the one to find her and –attempt- to comfort her and she was grateful. Her eyes sparkled up at the creature.

He found himself very uncomfortable under her gaze of adoration; he was used to being treated with glares or insults. He cleared his throat and took a step to the side, looking off in attempt to see if the Clearing was close by. He noticed that she was still staring. He started walking away.

"Alright then, uh… you'll be fine, kid. Wait here 'till more humans show up, I guess," he said, ignoring her wide, questioning eyes as he continued walking away.

He searched for twenty minutes or so until he heard footsteps. He had gotten the feeling that he was being followed but he wasn't sure, now he was. He stopped instantly, causing the follower to crash into his back. He wasn't surprised in the least to see it was the human child. He looked at her with an annoyed glare, but she merely looked up at him with her big, innocent and adoring eyes.

"Didn't I tell ya to wait?" he said in frustration, crossing his arms and staring down at her, not bothering to mask his annoyance. She gave a small nod. "Then why'd ya follow me?" he demanded angrily, causing the girl's lips to quiver. "Gah, no more water works, kid!" He exclaimed with a grimace, not wanting to face the girl's tears again. "Go back, already!" he ordered.

The girl shook her head once, narrowing her eyes, crossing her arms and standing up straighter as if to prove her point. They locked eyes again, each of them staring down the other until the other would break. The imp creature's stubbornness mirrored the child's as they both refused to back down. It was only until a rustling in the bushes nearby that snapped the child out of her determined will and caused her to cower behind the imp. He turned his attention towards the bushes and noticed a small, round creature with pink spikes coming out of its head/body with a leaf tail. He rolled his eyes and turned towards the frightened human who hadn't opened her eyes since she heard the noise.

"Geez, yer more pathetic than I thought," he started as he gathered the child's attention, "It's just a Budmon. An in-training Digimon; it won't hurt ya," he advised as the girl opened her eyes and glanced at the Budmon which had already started hopping away. The imp made an annoyed sound, "Tsk, yer scared of that overgrown seed but not me," he said as he puffed up his chest and attempted to look tough and scary to the child, but his air-filled cheeks and silly demeanour merely caused the girl to laugh.

The sound caught the imp off guard as he let out all his air at once and stared at her in mild shock. The only thing he heard from the girl was either her sobs or snivels. While those sounds filled him with annoyance and pity, her laughter gave him a calming affect. He shook his head out of those thoughts and put up his tough guy façade once more.

"Hey, quit it! I ain't tryin' to be funny!" he exclaimed in frustration, "I'm Impmon, the most powerful Digimon ever!"

This caused the girl to giggle quietly and nodded, as if to say 'sure you are'. Impmon rolled his eyes and continued on his way, the girl following closely behind. He glanced over at her, not even bothering to tell her to get lost anymore and continued looking straight ahead.

"What's the deal with ya, anyway? A human in the Digital World hidin' in a tree's roots; what's up with that?" he asked, rather curious. The girl stayed silent. "And how come ya don't talk? You too stupid with yer so-called human teachings?" the girl shook her head at this. This surprised the imp slightly that she answered. "So why don't ya talk?" She shrugged, looking down at the floor. He rolled his eyes again. "Look, will ya leave me alone already? If ya didn't notice, I ain't the nice type and I don't-"

The entire time he was ranting, he didn't notice the extremely obvious pitfall trap. Luckily for him, the young girl noticed in time and pulled him back. He looked at her in anger and surprise at her actions. "What's the big-" he started as the girl picked up a rather heavy rock and threw it where the imp creature was about to walk. The ground crumbled in on itself on contact. He stared at the pitfall, his eyes and mouth widened in shock. Within the pitfall lay dozens of Dokugamon, poisonous spider digimon, glaring their sets of eight eyes at them from not only destroying their trap, but not falling into it.

"Heh… guess yer good for something, after all," he mumbled and the girl knew this was the closest she would get to praise from him, so she smiled her wide and innocent smile.

He glanced at her for a moment and realized something important; he not only tolerated this kid's presence, but he even, dare he say, enjoyed it. That would be a first for him, but then again, he didn't know it was possible for humans to be in the digital world. He smirked at her adoring eyes. This kid makes me feel like a million bucks, not that I already didn't know I was, he thought arrogantly, but, heh… I like it. The thought to himself as smugness filled his thoughts and expression.

"Alright, kid. If yer so intent on followin' me around, guess there's nothin' I can do ta stop ya," he stated as the young girl's eyes filled with complete joy. This caused him to smirk, "Just don't slow me down!" he warned while pointing a finger at her face.

The girl responded by furiously nodding her head, her face not being rid of that stupid grin. It gave Impmon a kind of warmth in his heart. A feeling that he didn't exactly like due to his tough persona, but one that he didn't reject, either. He wouldn't admit it but, deep inside his heart, he was relieved to finally have someone by his side. He had felt lonely for so long, and this young child was starting to fill that void for him. However, throughout all the time she spent tagging along with the Digimon; never did she once say a word.

It had been nearly a week since they met, and they were already far away from the forest of which they met. They got swooped up by a data stream and suddenly, they wound up at the lowest level of the digital world; the desert plain. Impmon would rant from time to time, how he never found the amazing treasure because the data stream got to them before he could find it and how much it 'pissed him off', but the girl would just listen and nod when he'd turn to look at her.

"Holy hell, this heat is killin' me out here! That stupid Burgermon said that the village was just a day away, n' we've been travellin' fer three days now!" he growled angrily, "If I see that burger-wearing digi-moron again, I'll badda-boom the snot outta him!" he exclaimed in frustration as his feet forever hit the burning desert sand. The young girl merely rolled her eyes; she was used to his rants by now. He looked back at her for a moment, sweat glistening down his face, drenching his bandana. "How are ya not dyin' in that get-up of yers! It's gotta be over a hundred degrees for ya in that thing!"

The young girl was sweating under her layers of clothing; a golden coloured hoodie with black and red shorts. Sown onto the hoodie was a strange, dragon head design that, when put over her head, gave her the appearance of a dragon. He questioned where she got it a few times, but never would she answer. She merely shrugged at his comment and wiped sweat from her forehead.

Impmon sighed in exasperation. "Of course ya won't answer me. What, didja take some sorta vow of silence? And I thought havin someone around who talked would be annoyin', but this 'no talking deal' annoys the hell outta me even more, geez!"

The young girl pursed her lips. She contemplated answering him back, with words this time, but she wasn't sure if she should. It had been so long since she said something that she was afraid the moment she would open her mouth, the faucet would be unleashed and she would be crying her eyes out once more. The sound of Impmon's jump for joy at the sight of a large rock snapped her out of her thoughts.

"Yeah, all right! Finally, some shade in this desert hell! Break time!" he shouted happily as he ran towards the rock, the young girl following quickly in tow. The rock gave off enough shade for the two to lie down against it.

They sat there for a while, just enjoying the lack of the angry sun beating down upon them and enjoying the blissful chill of the shadows. A few moments passed by until Impmon opened one of his eyes and looked her over. She was really young and pretty short in size too. He wasn't sure of the 'evolution' that humans went through, but he knew it went according to age rather than stages of digivolution. From what he heard, she would be in between in-training and rookie. She noticed him staring and gave him a questioning look. He pursed his lips.

"Look kid, if we're gonna be travellin' together, I gotta know somethin' 'bout you. Hell, I don't even know yer name," he stated in frustration and she nodded slowly and pursed her lips as well. "I'll start with somethin' easy... Uh… I think the question is, how old are ya?" he asked and she pondered for a moment before counting off her fingers and lifting up her hand to show five fingers. He nodded slowly, realizing that he was correct in thinking, in digimon terms that she was in between the two stages. "Alright, now this one ya actually gotta say somethin'. What's yer name?" he demanded, surprising himself at how eager he was to hear her speak. She hesitated for a moment.

"…Reikiya, my name is Reikiya," she said, her voice so soft and quiet it was barely a whisper, but he heard it. He wouldn't show it, but he was overjoyed to finally get some words out of her. He lightly shoved her with a smirk gracing his features.

"There! Finally, I get some words outta you! Geez, it's been long enough," he stated and the young girl merely smiled in embarrassment. There was one question that had been nagging at the back of his mind for a while now, and he felt compelled to ask. "How'd ya get here, anyway, from human world I mean?"

Reikiya frowned and shrugged. "I'm… not sure. It's kinda fuzzy," she pondered; although it hurt her mind a little as she tried to dig for answers. "I was really sad and lost… and someone told me to go in the tree and wait. But no one showed up," she continued, and it surprised the viral creature at how innocent and soft her voice was portrayed. Her lips quivered at the emotions within the memory. "I was alone for a long, long time… but then you found me," she said, her eyes lighting up instantly and the most genuine and pure smile spread across the five-year-olds' features. It gave the viral a warm, tingling sensation that started in the core of his heart and spread to the corners of his entire being. "And then I wasn't scared anymore!" she finished, looking at him with her adoring eyes once more. The viral felt heat rise to his cheeks, the tingling sensation seeming to materialize on his face. He turned away so the child wouldn't see his flattered expression and blushing face.

"Um, Mister Impmon, your face is all red," she pointed out, furthering his embarrassment. He coughed nervously once before continuing.

"Y-yeah well, all this mushy stuff is makin' me sick so quit it!" he exclaimed, masking his touched emotions with annoyance. The young girl looked down sadly.

"I… I'm sorry, Mister Impmon…" she mumbled quietly. The imp sighed and applied his hand to his forehead. He looked at her through tired eyes and took out his hand to ruffle her hair. She looked up at him in surprise. He grinned at her slightly.

"Eh… it's alright, Rei. It's not like ya can help it, 'cause I'm so awesome ya can't control yer adoration for me," he said smugly, although the child didn't really detect the arrogance and instead only heard the words of her accepted apology. She smiled as his hand lifted from her head.

Suddenly, darkness shrouded all over the digital plane. The five-year-old looked around in alarm at the sudden change and the imp merely rolled his eyes.

"Geez, kid. Yer such a scaredy Gatomon! Nothin's gonna getcha here, alright? All 'em digi-morons wouldn't bother ta try an' fight me cause I'd just badda-boom their asses right outta here!" He stated confidently with a smirk, causing the young girl to smile broadly in his direction. "Got it? So quit bein' a wimp and get some rest, we got lots of walkin ta do tomorrow," he stated as she nodded, sending him her look of adoration once more.

She truly believed he was all-powerful and that nothing could beat him and he knew it. He saw it in her eyes, her complete and utter trust in him. Whenever he would see digimon giving that look to each other, he would always mock them, thinking to himself that you can't depend on anyone, that your all alone in this world and no matter what you do, at the end of the day it all depends on your own power, your own abilities. But now, seeing that look on her face, it didn't seem so stupid anymore. She was a powerless little human girl who believed in him. He realized at that moment that he never wanted to see that gleam in her eye die out. He never wanted to lose this warmth in his heart that she gave him and that he would prove to her that he truly is the hero she sees in him.

She yawned loudly, snapping the viral out of his thoughts. She began nodding off until her eyelids could no longer hold themselves up and she allowed them to fall. A few moments later, soft snoring was heard. She began tilting slowly in his direction until her head landed softly on his shoulder. Still uncomfortable with physical contact, he gently moved her away from him, allowing her to curl up into a ball on the ground, using the dragon head as a pillow. He looked at her peaceful sleeping figure and gave a small smile.

"…Guess it won't be too hard, takin' care of this kid," he mumbled quietly to himself, closing his eyes as well.

A Few Weeks Later…

He was running. Further and further he would run from the other rookies he once called his friends. Each of them threw attacks at him as well as each other. They chanted words of malice and victory.

"I bet I'll be the one to get his data!"

"Nuh-uh, I'll get it!"

"Then I'll just get you first!"

Shrieks of death would be heard in the distance, but he couldn't turn around. They were too hot on his heels. They would soon reach him, kill him and use his data to empower themselves. It was then that he noticed a data stream in the near distance. Hope filled his heart as he began running towards it, to his escape, away from his killers.

"…Mister Impmon…"

A voice heard to his left stopped him dead in his tracks. The young five year old was standing a few yards away, clutching the excess of her sleeve. Her eyes, once filled with joy and adoration were now filled with fear and worry. He yelled out to her to run, that the digimon would reach her and kill her. He could already see the digimon catching up and noticing her presence. Again and again he would scream for her to run to him, for the data stream was getting closer, but she would stay still. She then opened her mouth. He couldn't hear her words but he could read her lips.

"…You promised that the bad digimon wouldn't hurt me," she began, his eyes widening in horror as he saw the large hole in her chest overflowing blood, tainting her clothing as well as the floor. He saw the digimon who did that to her. He was laughing, running up to her, ready to steal her data. "But you lied," she continued as tears welled up in her eyes, as well as twisting a knot within the viral's stomach, "You lied and now I'm going to die," she said hauntingly. He tried to say something, anything, but his throat was so dry that the words couldn't find their way through to his mouth. The sight of her blood and data being consumed by the digimon made him feel sick to his stomach and caused an immense pain in his heart.

It was then that the data stream rushed up and swooped him away, but not before seeing her eyes. Her eyes, which had once been so pure and innocent, were now twisted into betrayal and sorrow. He cried out in emotional pain.

"Mister Impmon!" a worried voice snapped the viral out of his nightmare.

The world began materializing in front of him and noticed that the source of the voice came from the very one he failed to protect in the dream. Recalling her brutal death within the dream caused the nausea to build within him. He turned over and breathed heavily, shutting his eyes tightly.

The viral felt small, soft hands rubbing his back soothingly, momentarily taking him out of his thoughts. He risked a glance to look at her and noticed that her eyes were wide with worry, not betrayal or sorrow. He noticed that she was not dripping in her own blood nor was there a large gaping hole in her chest. This set him slightly at ease as he steadied himself to sit with his back against the rock wall.

He was used to having that dream; the dream where he's chased by those who want to steal his data, but he would always get away in the end by the data stream. Recently, it had been different. For some reason, the young girl would be involved in the dreams as well, and she was always too far away for him to reach her in time.

"…Are you okay? Did the big bad Boogeymon give you nightmares?" she asked, with an angry expression on her face, directed towards the Boogeymon as she balled her hands into fists, "Don't worry, Mister Impmon! I'll teach that meanie a lesson!"

Impmon sat upright; his face expression still paled from the nightmare, but now had a little smirk etched across his face at the young child's comment.

"Eh, please munchkin. If anyone's gonna give a beatin', it's me an' ya know it," he said with his trademark smirk of arrogance. The child stood up stubbornly, her hands still balled into fists.

"Yeah well… I still wanna rough-'em-up!" she exclaimed excitedly, throwing a spinning punch in the air, but wound up losing her balance and falling down on her butt with a 'thud'. She groaned in mild pain. The viral chuckled at her theatrics, looking around the cave for a moment.

It had been a few weeks since he took responsibility for the child and so far it had been smooth sailing. They travelled often around villages so the majority of the digimon were kind and not trying to kill them. They were still on the desert plain, however. In fact, they had been stuck inside of a cave for the last few days due to an on-going sandstorm that wouldn't let up. They were running out of food and he knew it. The only way to get food was to travel over to the MudFrigimon village, which was at least a five-hour trip away, not to mention the weather would be extremely harsh the whole way there. He sighed in exasperation before getting up. The girl looked at him questioningly.

"What are you doing, Mister Impmon?" she asked, tilting her head in question. He walked up to the mouth of the cave and looked over his shoulder.

"I'm gonna go to the MudFrigimon village ta get some more food. Wait here, I'll be back before sunset," he said as he began to walk out the cave, the intense force of the winds nearly knocking him down for a moment. He felt her grab his arm and he looked at her through confused and narrowed eyes.

"Y-you're l-leaving m-me alone h-here, M-Mister I-Impmon" she asked lowly, her lips trembling as the question came out. He was about to ask what the big deal was but then he remembered the reason to her discomfort at being left alone.

Over the past few weeks, she made progress with her memories. She remembered being with someone in the forest and then being alone. She didn't want to admit it, but the person she was with who promised to return never showed up. She wasn't sure how long she was waiting, hours, days, maybe even weeks. It was lucky for her that the tree she was staying in was a DigiNoir delicacy tree. He closed his eyes for a moment before opening them and looking at her directly in her large, powder blue eyes.

"Ya trust me, don't ya?" he started as she nodded slowly, "Then don't worry. I promise I'll be back, alright Rei?" he said, ruffling her hair in the process. Her lips stopped trembling slightly as she breathed out. She bit her lip, her eyes narrowed in worry, but nodded just the same. "All right. Don't leave the cave, it's dangerous out there," he warned and she merely nodded back.

He took a step outside and she could hear him begin to curse at the horrible weather. She giggled slightly until his voice got further and further away and eventually died out. Now she was truly alone. She brought her knees up to her chest and rested her face against it, telling herself not to worry, that everything would be fine. Something nagged at the back of her mind.

A woman. Long blond hair. Eyes covered by a metal plate. A man. Silver armor. Dragon-shaped helm. W-who are these people…? The young girl thought to herself as she dug deeper into her lost memories. A face. Angry blue eyes. Braided red hair. Dragon skin armor. Dragon head-headgear. A sword the size of a body's. A baby. Crying. Digimon with cruel grins grabbing for the baby. A bright light. The bad digimon are gone. The man and woman are talking. A building. Two digimon. A cat and a bear. A forest. All alone… what…?

"Can't… losing focus…" the girl muttered in a voice that was not her own. Her eyes snapped open.

"Wh-who's there?" she demanded in a trembling voice, hugging her knees even tighter.

"Foolish child. You cannot escape me, for I am you."

Reikiya's eyes widened in panic, for words that were not her own escaped her lips once more. She began to tremble slightly, wishing with all her being that Impmon would be with her to scare away the scary lady.

The voice, hearing her thoughts, laughed. It was a sound without any emotion, with no joy or no cruelty either. "You wish for the protection of that weakling? I can easily rid this world of his presence, but sadly your presence is making it hard for me to do so. He may be 'taking care' of us, but his personality can get quite irritating."

This angered the five year old. She narrowed her eyes angrily and clenched her fists. "Don't say mean things about Mister Impmon! He's a nice digimon and he takes care of me!" she exclaimed angrily. The voice was silent for a few moments.

"We wouldn't need that rookie's protection if it weren't for the ones who abandoned us," the voice growled and it frightened the child with the severity in the voice's tone.

"A-abandoned?" the young girl questioned. She could feel her blood boiling within her from the question, but it wasn't her own anger.

"Yes," the voice snarled, "We were abandoned."

While these words were being spoken, she got mental images of those whom the voice was speaking about. The words Bearmon and Liollmon flashed through her mind. The voice made an unpleasant sound.

"Ah yes. Them. Those whom we thought were our friends. They never tolerated our presence. We would take away the attention they would normally obtain from the ones whom took care of us because we were… different. They put on an act, befriended us and gained our trust. Then one day, we went out to the forest to play hide and go seek. Needless to say, we hid, but were never sought."

Reikiya nodded slowly at the words, for they were piecing together the broken memories deep within her mind. A few questions nagged at her mind as she realized that she has heard this voice in her mind before when she sought her lost memories. "…You talked to me before, right, lady? Who are you?"

She heard the voice sigh. "In due time, child. I have given you enough information for your little mind to process. It has tired me to make myself present, so I shall slumber once more," said the voice as it began to fade away, back into her mind.

The young girl had no idea how to react. She recalled hearing that voice before, and a very vague image popped up in her mind, seemingly associated with said voice. A vague silhouette of a woman, at least ten years older than her, and what looked like dragon skin clothing. Her eyes widened in realization; the angry blue eyes, the long sword… it must be that voice. But why was it in her head? She pondered it for a few moments before her mind moved on to another thing she had mentioned. She tried to remember hard about the two digimon, but all she could remember was what the voice in her mind had told her. Something, or someone, deep inside her knew of her past and eventually, she would find out what it is.

Meanwhile, with Impmon~

The journey to the MudFrigimon village had not been an easy one, that's for sure. Angry digimon poked their heads out of their homes at his loud and colourful vocabulary as he finally made it to the village. He walked into the first bar he saw and struggled to yank the door open against the wind. He took a few moments to lean against the door, breathing heavily. The place was rather crowded, but a Burgermon employee managed to spot him, one who served both him and the disguised Reikiya. (Her hoodie and size gave the resemblance of an oddly coloured Agumon, which weren't that uncommon). The employee gave him an empathetic look as he brought him to a booth.

"Horrible weather ain't it?" the employee stated with a frown. Impmon snorted.

"That's one way of puttin' it," he grumbled both tiredly and angrily.

"Yeah well, it happens. Just gotta stick it out," said the employee as the viral rolled his eyes, muttering something about 'waiting three days for it to die out'. "What will you be having today, sir?"

Impmon rubbed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose. "Gimme somethin' strong, ta wake me up. Then I'll take all 'em buns ya usually throw out," he muttered tiredly. The employee raised an eyebrow at him.

"That's quite a lot of buns for one digimon," he informed and Impmon glared at him. He was way too tired for this.

"Yeah, so what? If I wanna eat, I'm gonna eat! So hurry it up will ya, burger-boy?" he snapped and the employee raised his hands up in appease.

"Alright, alright, I apologize," he stated with a raise of his eyebrows as he began walking away.

The viral closed his eyes, resting his head in one of his hands which was propped up by his elbow. He tried to shut the world out for a few moments to get some shut-eye, but those around him wouldn't shut up. He snapped his eyes open in annoyance and was about to turn around and tell them to shut their traps or he'd make them, but their current topic caught his attention.

"…Just disappeared. No one knows where it went," one of them gossiped to the other. The rookie tuned into their conversation, suddenly interested.

"I heard that Ophanimon and Seraphimon-"

Ophanimon and Seraphimon, the viral thought in shock at the prestigious names. The Celestial Digimon?

"-had brought it to an orphanage for a chance to interact with other digimon, but rumour has it that it took them into the forest and attempted to slaughter them for their data, but they got away in time and instead, it got lost,"

His eyes narrowed in thought. Went into the forest and got lost…? No, it can't be. Completely impossible. He heard one of the voices sigh.

"Rumour has it that it's really powerful, a mega level. But you'd never think that, for something so small,"

"They say it was originally part of the Olympus Twelve, but somehow the Seven Great Demon Lords got a hold of it and stripped away all of its emotions. Then the Celestial Digimon showed up out of no where and took it away,"

"Yeah, I heard that! They did it because without its emotions, it's a tactical killing machine. It has the wisdom of battle strategies that are sure-fire wins, tactics no one would ever think about. Everyone is trying to get a hold of it,"

"Poor thing, to be violated like that,"

"Don't be too sorry for it," one sneered, "After all, you heard what they did to it,"

"Yeah, what were they thinking? No good could ever come from merging a digimon with a human."

After that sentence, Impmon's mind went numb. He didn't notice the Burgermon who had came to bring him his drink, nor did he notice him bring bagfuls of bagels and breads. The last few words of the sentence kept replaying in his mind. Merging a digimon with a human. It had to be Rei. There were no other humans in the digital world, and they said that they found her in the forest, it must've been her. It couldn't have been anyone else. The reality of the situation caused the rookie's head to spin and the world to pass by in slow motion. He could hardly recall ignoring his drink, grabbing the bag of breads and walking out the door.

Nor could he remember the attack aimed directly at him.

It was nearly sunset and Impmon hadn't returned. A panicking feeling starting in the pit of her stomach, but she forced it back down. "No," she stated to herself stubbornly, "Mister Impmon will come back. He promised."

She tried to ignore the returning voice in her mind that voiced her doubts. She tried to shut it out, grabbing her head it her hands and shutting her eyes tightly.

"Be quiet, you mean, mean lady! Mister Impmon will be back, and then you'll see!" she cried, and the voice sighed.

"For your sake, child, I hope you're right."

Seconds turned to minutes, minutes to hours, and still the imp creature hadn't returned. The child's heart grew heavy, thinking that someone else had abandoned her. A sudden rage began to build inside of her.

"No," she growled as she stood up, clenching her hands so tight her nails nearly pierced the skin. She began walking to the mouth of the cave, looking out into the sandstorm, "I'm going to look for Mister Impmon," she stated with a nod as she took a step outside the cave, the storm instantly swooping her up.

She fell from the force, but held onto the rock wall to avoid being dragged further. She bowed her head away from the sand being aimlessly thrown around and took a deep breath before getting on all fours and crawling around. The voice in her head sounded surprised at her actions.

"What are you doing, child?" it asked curiously as the girl continued to crawl on the ground, trying hard to stay near large boulders.

"I'm… crawling… so the… mean storm… doesn't hurt… me…" she explained, having to time her words so the sand wouldn't go into her mouth.

She continued on crawling for nearly an hour or so before she saw sparks of red flames as well as something long flying through the sky. She crawled as fast as she could over to a boulder closer to the scene and widened her eyes in worry at the sight.

A Quetzalmon, a large champion-level white and red snake digimon was fighting a much smaller, much more familiar, purple figure. She couldn't hear them too well, but she didn't have to, to know what they were doing. They shot attacks at each other, but it was obvious who had the upper hand. Impmon jumped, nearly avoiding the snake's large tail, lit up his fingers and hurled the fireballs at it. It flinched back, but only slightly. As he fell to land, the snake digimon swept its tail and knocked the imp digimon down, hitting the ground multiple times before landing painfully nearly a yard away from the initial point.

Reikiya cried out to him as he landed closer in her direction. She quickly ran to his side and began panicking when he wouldn't open his eyes. "Mister Impmon, wake up! The mean digimon is getting closer!" she cried, noticing the snake digimon flying through the sky towards them. She saw his eyes flutter slightly and she was filled with relief and joy. "Mister Impmon! You're okay!" she breathed in relief, but then began coughing as the wind picked up once more, causing her hood to go up over her head.

The imp fully opened his eyes, dazed for a moment before remembering the situation and realizing that Reikiya was stuck in the middle. He quickly, but painfully, got up and stood protectively in front of her just as the snake digimon landed.

The snake, noticing Reikiya's presence, raised an eyebrow, "I hadn't noticed you brought an Agumon with you, virus," it observed. The creature turned his head slightly to the girl.

"Rei," he started slowly, "Go hide behind the rock," he ordered. The girl shook her head fiercely.

"No! That big meanie was hurting you-"

"I said GO!" he yelled in fury as his body shook in anger, glaring at the snake digimon as it observed their exchange. The child's lips quivered at the ferocity of the order but nodded her head and began running. The snake digimon then noticed the odd footwear and shorts and its eyes widened. A fireball to the head snapped the snake out of its thoughts for a moment.

"Hey ya ugly over-grown lizard, I'm yer opponent here!" yelled the imp as he threw another couple fireballs.

The snake flew towards him and he readied himself to dodge, but it flew right over him. He realized with a stomach-twist that he wasn't the snake's target. He heard a yelp and quickly turned around with a menacing glare as he saw the little girl wrapped in the foe's tail. The snake hissed in the girl's face, its dark blue eyes observing her as she struggled in its grasp.

"L-let me g-go, y-you b-big ugly m-meanie!" she screamed and gasped as the digimon tightened its hold. "M-Mister I-Impmon!" she cried. Impmon couldn't contain his fury as he jumped up towards the snake and began kicking and punching it continuously in blind fury. The snake turned its gaze over to the viral with a glare.

"Wind Seeker!" it shouted as it flapped its wings harder to produce extremely powerful gusts of winds that cut like knives. Impmon managed to dodge the majority but was hit by a few, causing deep gashes in his arms and legs. His landing was not a painless one.

"MISTER IMPMON!" she sobbed, seeing his flickering figure on the ground. Tears rolled down her cheeks at the sight. She dropped her head, her hair covering her eyes as her shoulders slumped.

"Yessss," it hissed, "You are definitely the human in the description," he said, noting her red hair. He didn't notice the darkening sky or the sudden shift in the atmosphere. "When I attacked that weakling, I was only expecting to get some rookie data. I would've never suspected that you, the wanted child, would be with him," he laughed cruelly, "It must be my lucky day."

"Is that what you believe? Unfortunately for you, your luck is of no relevance to what's about to happen," a dark, emotionless voice emanated from the child.

The snake's eyes widened in fear as he noticed the child's hair was whipping dangerously around her, her whole body seemed to glow a dangerous blood red as her once soft, powder blue eyes were now a deep swirling sapphire vortex.

A bloodcurdling cry of pain echoed across the digital plain as the snake digimon stared straight ahead, wide-eyed and mouth agape as a thin line appeared on his skin, cutting him completely in half. It burst into data nearly a moment later.

The girl landed gracefully on the ground. In her hand held a beautiful greatsword, bigger than her own body. It had a golden hilt, its end a cherry red with a black and white snake design twisted together. The actual sword had a much larger design of those same two snakes, only intertwined and imprinted on the same cherry-coloured background. The white snake's mouth was facing the tip of the sword, whereas the black snake's mouth was facing the hilt of the greatsword. The weapon wasn't the only thing that changed, however. The girl herself grew in size as well, for now she was 5''2. Her head was protected by a dragon's head, which covered her face much like her hoodie, only now it was actual dragon skin armour rather than a design. Her eyes could be seen through the sockets of what would've been the dragon's eyes. Instead of the dragon's ears, there were two moderately sized light blue wings. Her hair still retained its red colour, only it was styled much differently. Two locks on either side of her face were held by elastics but flowed down past her shoulder. The body of her hair was separated into two long and large braids, which reached down to the middle of her back. Instead of her hoodie was a golden breastplate, which protected a rather developed chest, her stomach area bare, blue shoulder plate armor as well as dragon heads cloaked both her forearms that ended with black and cherry gloves. In the hand not occupied by the greatsword, she held a round shield with a pointed spike in the center. She wore a long, toga-styled material which hung loosely around her waist, covering up mostly her behind rather than the front. She wore black and red shorts, much like when she was a child, and ended with cherry and black shoes.

She looked over at the flickering figure, sympathy and sadness filling her from the child's heart. "I don't have to save him, child. We are powerful enough without him," she stated to Reikiya, who was currently the one being buried in the mind, but somehow her voice got through.

"You have to, lady! He's my friend, a-and he saved us before!" the young girl pleaded. "Please lady, you gotta!" The digimon maiden sighed.

"Fine, but only because he was injured due to his attempt at protecting us," she muttered as she walked over to the badly injured rookie. She knelt down and brought her hands out as they began to glow a light green colour, collecting the bits of data from the snake digimon that lingered in the air.

The imp opened his eyes slightly, noticing the creature in front of him. He knew this is what the digimon in the bar were talking about. He recognized the red hair, but just about everything else changed. He looked at her distracted eyes. They were cold, emotionless. The girl he knew… her eyes were alive and joyful.

"Who are ya? What happened ta Rei?" he demanded as he tried to sit up, but winced at the motion. She glanced over at him for a moment before turning her attention back to her glowing hands.

"I am Minervamon. I am the part of this child that is digimon," she stated as her hands glowed brighter, causing the red head's eyes to narrow. Impmon nodded slowly in understanding. She looked at him in mild surprise, "You do not seem phased by this information."

"I heard 'bout ya when I went to the bar," he explained as he felt his figure begin to stable.

"So then you must also know of all those whom are trying to capture us," she said, flickering her eyes over to him. "Do you know what would happen if they caught us?" she asked, her voice becoming dangerously low as her eyes flashed angrily. The rookie shook his head slowly. "They would forcibly remove me from her."

Impmon mentally flinched, "What would-"

"She would die," she cut him off and caused Impmon's mouth to snap shut. "We merged at a very young age. Her body has adapted to my digital data. The action will kill her instantly. I, on the other hand, will turn back into a digi egg. They will raise me to become the war-leading ruthless killer I was designed to be. The Celestial Digimon gave me a second chance by merging us. In time, our personalities will blend together. She will gain my knowledge and I… I will gain emotion," she whispered longingly, "but that is yet to come. Much time is needed to pass before that day."

Impmon paused for a moment, a question gathering in his mind. "What happens ta Rei? When yer out here, I mean," he asked, both curious and worried for his little companion.

"Do not fret for her; she rests now within our mind. Once we become human once more, she will take command," Minervamon explained, "Only once our personalities blend, she will be able to control this power," she finished. She looked over at Impmon and they locked eyes. The viral could've sworn he saw powder blue buried deep within spiralling sapphire. "She worries for you greatly, you know," she said quietly, diverting her attention back to her healing.

"Yeah well, I'm supposed ta be invincible fer her," he chuckled dryly, "I'm such a moron. A pipsqueak rookie tryin' ta take on a freakin' champion," he mumbled in self-loathing.

"She says you're wrong," stated the mega, surprising the rookie, "She says you're the strongest digimon ever," Minervamon chuckled slightly at the words as the rookie snorted out in disbelief. Then the mega became serious, "She says you're strong in your heart," she said softly, causing the rookie to stare for a moment at the mega, his eyes wide, "She says that if you hadn't found her, she would've died, by starvation or worse, and that if your heart was weak, you wouldn't have helped her. She says that's the greatest kind of strength," finished the mega softly as she looked over at the rookie digimon who turned his head to the side, clenched his fists as his shoulders shook slightly, a few unseen tears rolling down his cheeks.

"S-she said that, huh? T-that little munchkin… I always tell her not ta get all mushy on me," he mumbled, although his voice held no trace of annoyance. He felt deeply touched by her words and kept his head turned as long as it would take until the emotion was off his face.

"There," she stated, "Done."

The viral wiped his tears and looked over, his eyes wide in shock as he looked over at his now stable body. He even felt stronger somehow. "How…?"

"I used Quetzalmon's data to repair your own. It's one of the many battle secrets I have, those being the reason why so many people are after us," she explained as Impmon got to his feet. "Impmon, I have a question for you," she stated bluntly. He turned around, surprised at her use of his name. He nodded, gesturing her to continue. "Why is it you wish to protect us, or rather, the child?"

Impmon pursed his lips. This question had pegged at his mind a few times, but he had an answer. "I like how she looks at me," he started, earning a curious expression from Minervamon, "When she looks at me, her eyes aren't angry or bloodthirsty. She's the only person ta ever stick with me without wantin' ta tell me off or take my data. No matter how many times I'd tell her ta go away, she'd stick around, like the stubborn little kid she is," he continued with a smirk and a chuckle, but then his emerald eyes grew dark, "I don't ever wanna see those eyes lose their shine. 'Cause I tell ya, there are digimon here who wouldn't hesitate ta kill even a little girl if it meant gettin' some data," he growled in disgust, recalling the snake digimon. "That's why. I'll get stronger…" he started as he clenched his fists so tight they began to shake, "I'll protect her from 'em pieces of digi-trash and make 'em sorry for ever crossin' us!"

Minervamon looked at him, truly looked at him; a puny little rookie digimon swearing to protect her human side while she was dormant. At first the thought had made her nearly to laugh out loud, but now, hearing his words and the determination and commitment embedded in each word made her swallow her laughter. This supposedly evil viral digimon was emotionally broken down by one human child in a matter of weeks. Either this meant he was weak in holding up his barriers and duty as an evil digimon, or that he could end up being one of the best friends and protectors her human half could ever want. She decided it would be the second option. She nodded curtly before closing her eyes and sitting down.

"She is right, you know," she started quietly, her body beginning to shimmer in a golden light, "You have a good heart ," she finished as her voice drifted off.

The light faded away and in her place was the five year old. Impmon smiled one of his genuine smiles at her and she smiled back, her eyes regaining their innocence and adoration. Her eyes then closed as she fell to her side.

"Rei!" he exclaimed worriedly as he rushed to her side, relieved to see she had merely fallen asleep. She breathed in and out softly. He rolled his eyes in mock annoyance before picking her up and gently slinging her over his shoulder. She didn't wake up as he began walking, seeing a data stream in the distance. They had stayed here too long anyways; it was time to move on. The last thing he saw before being swept up was a MudFrigimon, along with a few other digimon he recognized from the bar, point at him and Rei. He realized with a scowl that they must've seen Rei as Minervamon killing Quetzalmon. He swore quietly to himself as they got broken up into data by the data stream.

It wouldn't be easy anymore.