AN: Here is the next chapter for Shinobi of the Digital Hazard. I want to apologize right now for how long it took, but it's getting harder for me to find reason to write. That in NO way means I'm giving it up though.
Disclaimer: I do NOT own Naruto, Digimon, or anything else that may appear in this Fic.
When Digimon Start to Disappear
The day after Renamon digivolved for the first time into Kyuubimon, Naruto was sitting at his desk in his room looking up all possible information that he could find on Lucemon through the Digimon Database that was on his laptop, before he had to leave for school. Since Megidramon told him about what happened to the portal that was supposed to bring him supplies from his world, Naruto had been looking for any and all information he could possibly find on the angel Digimon, who was likely responsible for its disappearance. And what he found was disconcerting to say the least.
Lucemon was not only one of the Seven Demon Lords, but the strongest one of them as well. Even as a Rookie level Digimon Lucemon was supposed to have more than enough power to take on most Ultimate level Digimon, than there was his other two evolutions that were even stronger. The most information he could get on them was what they looked like, a grown up angel that also had devil wings and a large evil purple and gold dragon, and a couple of their attacks. He got about the same amount of information for the other six Demon Lords when he looked them up on the Database, but considering they were all Mega level Digimon he didn't really need much more information to know that they were all extremely dangerous.
Naruto couldn't help the small smirk that crossed his face; the possibility of facing such a strong opponent in the future was exciting. He was now the new Kyuubi and while that might mean he was extremely powerful it also meant that there weren't all that many people he could fight and go all out against, but here was an opponent he wouldn't need to hold back on when they finally meet. He of course also knew that he wouldn't be able to fight all Seven Demon Lords by himself, if the need to fight them ever arose, and that he would need the other tamer's help.
'Of course things aren't all that bad either.' Naruto silently mused. Last night Rika had finally made a breakthrough in the way she treated Renamon. After almost losing the fox digimon to Dokugumon Rika finally showed how much cared for the yellow kitsune allowing Renamon to digivolve into Kyuubimon. The nine tailed fox digimon was than able to defeat the giant spider with little trouble. Naruto was truly happy for his friend she was finally starting to realize that digimon weren't just bits of data, and that they were actually alive. Hopefully she would now be a little more open minded to working with him and the others.
Noticing the time Naruto began to gather his things, "Hey Coronamon Patamon I'm heading out now." Naruto said to his two digimon, getting a goodbye from Patamon and a distracted halfhearted bye from Coronamon, before he headed out the door. Walking down the street on his way to school Naruto absentmindedly rubbed the back of his hand trying to soothe the slight pain he felt from where the symbol for the Digital Hazard was located, and ignore the minor headache he also had. He doubted it was anything to worry about, but it sure was a pain having to deal with it. He figured it was the Digital Hazard preparing to upload information into his head, like how Megidramon first did when he was sent here. Hopefully it would stop soon though.
"Did you catch that energy fluctuation?" A short light-brown haired woman wearing a white jumpsuit and goggles covering her eyes asked. Since the day started there had been many spikes of energy throughout the city shortening out minor electrical devices, and wrecking varies traffic signals.
"I'm already searching for the source." Another woman, with long reddish-brown hair that wore the same outfit, replied back to the short haired woman, as she typed something on her keyboard, sitting in her chair that was back to back with the other woman's seat.
"This area sure has had a lot of activity lately. What do you thinks going on?" The short haired woman questioned curiously.
"I think something big is going to go down soon." The long haired woman replied honestly.
Hearing her colleague's answer the light-brown haired woman became slightly worried, "Like how big?" she asked somewhat nervously.
"If these readings are correct, and I think they are, then we're gonna get a level of bioemergents unlike anything we've seen before." The long haired woman said shocking her coworker with the likely hood that even more digimon would soon be bioemerging. The two lapsed into silence for a few seconds before the short haired woman spoke up again about something that she had been curious about for a while now.
"Hey Riley…?" the short haired woman began drawing her companion's attention. "Do you know why Yamaki was so interested on those files about that kid, Naruto Uzumaki, he asked you to find for him?" she asked curiously. "After all no matter how you look at it he just looks like an ordinary kid, right?"
"What makes you think I know anything?" The woman, now known as Riley, asked her somewhat accusingly, as she shifted her head slightly to get a better look at her coworker.
"W-well it's, uh?" the short brown haired woman began nervously, "Well it's just that between the two of us you're a lot closer to the boss than I am." She said cautiously not wanting to imply anything that dealt with Riley's relationship with Yamaki, even with all the rumors floating around about the two of them they were still just rumors, and she knew just how annoyed her friend became whenever they were brought up.
Riley was silent for a moment trying to decide if her friend really didn't mean anything more than what she had said. Finally she let out a sigh, before she went back to typing on her keyboard, and answered her, "Your guess is as good as mine. Yamaki didn't give me a reason and with him it's sometimes best not to ask." Riley answered truthfully. A few weeks ago Yamaki had asked/ordered her to find all possible information on a Naruto Uzumaki that was available. He never gave her a reason why, but he had specifically asked for her to report to him anything that was suspicious or strange with his papers, like if any of it was falsified in any way. Though when she turned in the information that she had gathered everything had come out legit and there didn't look to be anything wrong. After looking through the papers for hours Yamaki seemed to become only more frustrated by what he discovered as everything did in fact check out.
"Is that so?" The short haired woman murmured quietly, as the two fell into a comfortable, if not common, silence.
Not long after Yamaki marched into the room his lighter out opening and closing it repeatedly, "Riley, Talley report!" The blond haired man ordered stopping underneath the two women, and staring up at the screen covered ceiling.
"Sir, there have been energy fluctuations throughout the day." The short haired woman identified as Talley supplied.
"Is there any idea on what's causing these fluctuations or where they are originating from?" Yamaki questioned the two.
"The cause is still unknown, and we are currently trying to locate the source sir," Riley answered. Yamaki frowned, as he snapped his lighter shut before turning and making his way out of the room.
"Make sure to inform me immediately once you found something!" Yamaki ordered, as he left the room.
"Of course sir!" the two women replied in unison, as they returned back to searching for the source of the strange anomalies.
Shinjuku High school
"Wait, start at the beginning." The familiar voice of Henry said. It was in the middle of the afternoon during the last few minutes of lunch, as student's started to make their way reluctantly back to their classes. Currently the two tamers were in a hallway that was abandoned by the other students, allowing them to talk without having to worry about someone overhearing them, as Takato tried to explain what had happed earlier in the day to Guilmon.
"Okay we were just walking and then, I don't know it was like half of him was there and the other half was starting to be rubbed out by a malevolent eraser." Takato said frantically. It had to be one of the scariest things he had experienced in his short life so far. His best friend was literally disappearing right in front of his eyes and he didn't know why it happened, or what he could do to stop it from happening again.
Henry thought it over for a second before he gave his opinion, "Well digimon aren't of this world maybe some of them can't last long here and they get pulled back into their world, or something like that. Or maybe our world eliminates them like the body gets rid of a virus."
"But Guilmon just got here I don't want him to disappear. He just can't go back to the other side." Takato replied stubbornly refusing to accept that he was about to lose his digimon partner after such a short amount of time.
Popping up from out of nowhere Terriermon did his best to console the worried virus tamer, even if just a little. "Momentai, the world I'm from, the world you're from, they're really both the same world if you think about it." The rabbit digimon said from his perch on his tamer's shoulder.
"Yeah, well thanks, professor, but I want him here." Takato said back a bit of the hopelessness and sadness he was feeling creeping into his voice.
The half-Chinese tamer gave him a half sad half pitying look, "That may not be possible, Takato." Henry replied sadly.
"What? What are you trying to say, Henry? Do you know something? Tell me." Takato begged his friend sounding almost desperate.
"I just know that nothing can last forever, Takato. Nothing. I'm sorry." Henry said.
"Damn Henry, what's with that pessimistic attitude?" a voice questioned from down the hall startling the two boys and one digimon. Turning to the source of the voice they found a grinning Naruto walking toward them. "Did somebody steal your puppy or something?" he asked jokingly, as he looked between the two, "So what's going on?"
And so Takato retold how Guilmon suddenly started to disappear for no apparent reason, as the blond haired tamer listened intently.
"I'm not sure what caused it, but I don't think you should worry about it too much Takato." Naruto said after a moment of thought.
"But what do I do if it happens again? I don't want Guilmon to go back to the Digital world." Takato said the worry he felt still clearly evident on his face and in his voice for the other three to see. Naruto really couldn't blame the teen. In just a few short weeks Patamon and Coronamon had become some of the best friends he had ever had, he could only begin to imagine what Takato was feeling having created his digimon partner and now having to face the possibility of losing him.
Naruto patted Takato on the shoulder, as he gave the goggle wearing boy a reassuring smile. "Relax Takato worrying to much about it won't help things. Plus you said it yourself; you created Guilmon which means he's never been to the Digital world to begin with, so I'd be more worried about Coronamon and the others being pulled back than Guilmon." Naruto said before turning around and leaving, "Now come on the bell is about to ring, if we're late Ms. Asaji will triple our homework."
"But," Takato called out to Naruto still sounding worried, as he followed after his blond haired friend, giving a quick goodbye to Henry and Terriermon.
"You should listen to Terriermon and Momentai." Naruto said casually, as he waved to the remaining pair from over his shoulder.
Terriermon turned to face his tamer a large grin across his face, "See Henry, Naruto listens to me."
"Hm, for some reason that isn't all that reassuring," Henry replied calmly a hint of amusement in his voice.
The rest of the day passed by quickly with nothing of any real interest happening. At the end of the day Ms. Asaji was explaining something about a flood tunnel that extended all the way to Odaiba, but Naruto hadn't been paying too much attention to that. Since lunch his attention was focused on what Takato said happened to Guilmon, and what could have caused it. He understood Henry's idea about how the human world might be getting rid of the digimon because they didn't originally come from this world, but he didn't think it was that simple. When digimon crossed over to the real world their digital make-up changed slightly to adapt to their existence in this world, it was one of the things Naruto had noticed when he learned to read the binary code of both Coronamon and Patamon. It made them more than just data, but not quite flesh and blood. But if Takato was right and Guilmon was somehow being pulled away then something was bypassing the digimon's natural protection that allowed them to stay in the real world.
He would have to go home to make sure that nothing similar had happened to Coronamon and Patamon during the day, before he went over to the Nonaka residence and checked upped on Renamon.
After school let out Takato had become curious about where the little in-training digimon, Calumon, went when he didn't hang out with Guilmon or one of the other tamers. So he and Guilmon had begun searching for where the little creampuff went to during the day. Takato would have asked Henry and Naruto if they wanted to join him and Guilmon on this little adventure, but they both had already told him that they had something else to do. Though their search had come to an abrupt end when Guilmon had run off leading them to an alley, near the residential district, where Renamon was waiting for them, and soon after Rika had appeared behind them trapping them in the alley.
Rika didn't know what the goggle-head was doing here, so close to her home, and she didn't really care either way. She was getting annoyed at his continued sputtering, as he tried to figure out something to say to her, though she did smirk in slight satisfaction when Takato admitted that she could kick his butt if they fought. But the thing was she didn't feel like fighting the annoying goggle-head and his pet digimon. Plus the virus tamer would probably tell Naruto about this eventually. She blamed her change in behavior and lack of desire to fight completely on her… friend, her first real friend. He was slowly making her a better person just by being there for her. She cared about Renamon, after last night there was no way she could ever deny that, but there was also no denying that Naruto had slipped past all the defenses that she used to keep people away and became her friend before Renamon did, it was really…
"Look, maybe the two of us got off at the wrong foot. I'm Takato and you're Rika, right?" Takato said anxiously not wanting to anger the red head. He had been trying to convince her that there was no reason for them to fight, but she had just continued to look indifferent to everything he had said so far.
'It was really annoying!' What the hell is he going on about? Got off on the wrong foot? She hadn't said a word since she got here. She had been on a relaxing walk, on her way home, when Renamon had told her about Takato and Guilmon being close to her home before going off to investigate. Since she got here the brown haired teen had done nothing but stutter a few words about not wanting to fight, and wanting to just talk to her about something. "Fine," she finally said with a heavy sigh, as she turned away signaling for him to follow. They weren't given much of a choice when Renamon started to push them along.
The two tamers were at Rika's home in her backyard, as Rika sat on the walkway looking at Takato disinterestedly waiting for him to get started.
Seeing Rika's indifferent look made Takato fidget nervously, doesn't the girl express any type of emotion, that wasn't anger or annoyance, "I admit I saw you in a dream awhile back, and that's what's been really bugging me because I don't know what it means. But, don't get the wrong idea, I'm not following you around cause of that, I just had some questions about digimon, okay?" He finished in a rush.
"All right kid, don't get your underwear all bunched up." Rika said evenly, if not a little coldly. She might be more open toward Naruto and Renamon, but that didn't mean that she had to put up with the young teen's babbling.
"What do you mean kid, we're the same age." Takato commented offended getting over a bit of his nervousness.
Rika gave the boy a glare that immediately made him nervous again by taking away the little courage that he had gotten over her last comment, "I'm calling you kid because you don't know anything about anything. You show up talking about seeing me in a dream, do you know how weird that is?" The red head asked in an annoyed voice.
"I'm...I'm sorry, I just thought that...well that maybe we could work together." The goggle wearing boy admitted quietly looking down at the ground for a moment before focusing back on her.
"Well we can't." The amethyst eyed girl stated.
"But why not?" he asked her curiously, "Aren't we like um friends, or something?"
"What gave you that idea?" she replied incredibly an eyebrow arched in question.
"Well your friends with Naruto aren't you" Takato asked her, though he didn't wait for her to answer before he continued talking, "So I guess it's like that saying goes, um how does it go again, uh 'the friend of a friend is my friend too?'" he finished unsurely at the end.
Rika let out a sigh at the boy's naivety, or stupidity she wasn't sure which, "The expression you're talking about is 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend' goggle-head."
"Oh yeah, knew it went something like that." Takato replied sheepishly.
Before anything else could be said an elderly voice called out to Rika getting hers' and Takato's attention from inside the house, "Rika!" Seiko Hata's voice called, as the sound of her footsteps drew closer to where the two teens were talking to one another. At the sound of her grandmother's voice Rika couldn't help the slight groan that escaped her lips at having her grandmother come home at that moment, as Renamon quickly grabbed Guilmon and dragged him behind the house so Seiko wouldn't see him. "You home?" Rika's grandmother asked before opening one of the sliding doors to their house to see the two teens, "Oh, hi. Uh, I'm sorry, it's not every day that Rika brings a friend home, and you're only the second friend she's actually brought here. What's your name?"
"Oh, I'm Takato." He answered the elder woman politely, "And second?" The virus tamer questioned curiously.
Rika cut in before her grandmother was given the chance to answer the goggle-head's question, "He's not going to be here long. You're not." She finished saying the last part to Takato, making sure that there was enough force in her voice so that he understood that there was no alternative.
"Why don't I make a couple snacks? It'll only take a second to pop some cookies in the oven. How would you like them, Takato?" Seiko offered giving the brown haired boy a gentle smile.
"Thanks that sounds great." He said.
"That's okay, Grandma he's not staying. You're not." Rika repeated herself.
"I guess it will be tea and snacks for three then. Well, bye. Hope you come see us again sometime."
"Sure!" the virus tamer replied.
"You're not." The amethyst eyed girl muttered before realizing what it was that her grandmother had just said. "Wait, three?" she asked just a hint of dread leaking into her voice on who the third person would be. There were only two possibilities, but neither were ones she was practically happy with at the moment.
"Seiko-Obaachan, I've put all the groceries away." A familiar voice to all occupants called out from inside the house. From the doorway that Seiko had just come through the familiar spikey blond hair of Naruto appeared. The blond haired boy stared in momentary confusion, as he realized that Takato was also there, "Takato? What are you doing here?" He asked him.
"Uh, nothing really I just sort of ended up here." Takato answered in somewhat of a daze, "What about you? I thought you said you were busy." Takato asked his friend in return.
"I was," the cerulean eyed boy stated, "but I finished, so I decided to come and visit Ri-Chan and met Seiko-Obaachan not to far away and decided to help her with carrying the groceries." He finished, getting a thank you from Seiko for his help before she left to get the tea and snacks ready for later, as he took a seat beside the slightly red faced girl. Her face turning red seemed to happen a lot more often since she met the blond haired boy.
"Ri-Chan?" the red eyed boy asked in bewilderment, as he gaze shifted between the two teens.
"Let go!" Guilmon shouted from behind the house the moment that Seiko had closed the door behind her. Seeing as the elder woman was no longer present Renamon released the hold she had on the small dinosaur digimon causing him to fall to the ground drawing a light chuckle out of Naruto.
"Um, so listen...what I wanted to ask you was whether or not digimon turn back into data? I mean do they ever just disappear and go back to their own world?" Takato asked the red haired tamer a lot less nervous and nowhere near as afraid of Rika now that he wasn't alone with her.
"Of course," Rika stated obviously.
"You're still worried about that?" Naruto asked him.
"Yeah," Takato answered nodding his head, "I know that you said not to Naruto, but there is something going on that is trying to take Guilmon away and I don't know what to do." He said before he turned his attention back to Rika, "Not like when you defeated Vilemon, but for just like no good reason?"
"Digimon are just data anyway, so...probably. Why? What's going on?" She asked them a bit frustrated with the fact that she was obviously being left out on something. Deciding it was best to answer her question Naruto explained what happened to Takato and Guilmon earlier that day. He had also admitted to having gone home to check up on Patamon and Coronamon to see if anything similar had happened to them at some point during the day before he decided to come here to ask her about it.
"Doesn't that...make you sad at all?" Takato questioned her referring to her answer from before.
Rika didn't respond to his question, or rather she wasn't sure how to respond. With everything that had been happening lately she couldn't honestly say she knew what the answer to the brunette's question would be. Cutting a quick look toward Renamon Rika was sure that at least a part of her would be sad if Renamon suddenly disappeared from her life. Naruto caught the side long glance Rika threw Renamon and smiled softly. Slowly but surely Rika was changing for the better. A part of Naruto believed it could be because of the so called power everyone back in the Elemental Nations said he had about being able to change people for the better, but an even bigger part of him was sure that it was because Rika was always meant to be the kind of person who cared very much for her friends, even if she didn't always show it and when she did it came out sounding kind of cold and/or mean.
Naruto's smile widened, as he turned his attention to the brunette in front of him, "Ri-Chan isn't really that good with being honest on how she feels." He said teasingly before shifting his gaze back to the red head, "Right, Ri-Chan?"
"And what exactly is that supposed to mean?" Rika asked him suspiciously eyes narrowed.
"Oh nothing," the cerulean eyed boy replied casually with a shrug of his shoulders, but his sly smile never leaving his face, "Just that Ri-Chan still acts like she doesn't like it when I visit," Rika just 'hmphed', refusing to look toward Naruto or acknowledge his words.
Takato stared awkwardly between the two, feeling like he had been momentarily forgotten by them. "Um maybe I should leave now." He said unsurely only to flinch when Rika turned to glare at him, almost like she was demanding to know what he was still doing there.
Not too long afterwards Takato was leaving the Nonaka household and was saying his goodbye's to one fiery red head. "Well thanks, Ri-Chan; it's not every day you get to meet your dream girl." Takato said before laughing, "Sorry I just couldn't resist." He finished. Rika crossed her arms over her chest making a sound to voice her displeasure, as she sent the goggle-head one final glare before he left.
"Renamon, bye-bye," Guilmon called back to the yellow vulpine digimon with a wave of his claw, causing Renamon to 'hmph' and look away from the red raptor digimon before she disappeared from view.
"Hey!" Rika shouted to the retreating form of the brown haired boy drawing his and his partner digimon's attention.
"Yeah?" Takato replied.
"You mention that dream again and I'll send you to dream land for good." Rika threatened him before demonstrating her threat by throwing a kick in his direction that if he were closer would have connected with his chest. Suddenly Rika dashed forward throwing a punch aimed for Takato's head. Takato's eyes widened at first in surprise before closing them shut waiting for the pain that was sure to follow, but after a few seconds he hadn't felt anything but a small breeze of wind against his face. Tentatively opening an eye he gulped once he noticed that the fist was only a few inches away from his face. "And if you ever, ever, call me by that nickname again I'll make sure all those dreams are nightmares from now on. Got that?" She growled causing Takato to nod his head vigorously too afraid to say anything with the fist still so close to his face. Seeing that he understood Rika turned and entered her home slamming the gate close behind her.
"Man, she can't take a joke." Takato said, as he rubbed the back of his head nervously in a fashion similar to his blond friend before leaving with Guilmon just looking confusedly at his tamer, as he followed behind him unsure of what just what happened.
"So your Takato's dream girl?" Naruto questioned the amethyst eyed girl with a raised eyebrow and in obvious amusement having been able to hear everything from the other side of the gate. Rika let out an almost disgusted groan before glaring at Naruto.
"Don't think I won't send you to dream land too if you keep mentioning that." Rika muttered frustration in her voice. Naruto chuckled softly his arms up in order to placate the irritated red head in case she tried to carry out her threat.
"Okay, I've got it I won't bring it up again." Naruto conceded before his fox grin spread across his face. "Though I wonder why Ri-Chan got so angry with Takato for calling her by her nickname?" he asked no one in particular in mock wonder, as he gave her a look of obvious amusement.
"W-what are you getting at, Fishcake?!" Rika asked in a slightly flustered tone though she tried to come off angry.
"Nothing," Naruto said nonchalantly, as he shrugged his shoulders casually. "Well I should be leaving too." He continued.
"Oh, are you leaving already?" Seiko asked having come out and joined them while the two teens had been talking. "Why not join us for dinner?" She offered the blond haired teen.
"Sorry Seiko-Obaachan, but no," Naruto declined, as politely as he could while shaking his head, "I feel like I've been imposing on you lately and I don't want to be a burden on you." Naruto said clarifying his response.
"None sense," Seiko replied chiding the boy slightly for saying such a thing, "You are absolutely not a burden Naruto-Kun. You are more than welcome to come here for dinner whenever you want. We enjoy having you here don't we, Rika?" Seiko asked her granddaughter teasingly. Rika just mumbled something unintelligible out not willing to admit how much she actually enjoyed it when he came over. Not that she didn't mind when it was just her and her grandmother, but when Naruto was there things were just more… lively around her home. Naruto laughed quietly to himself, but still refused Seiko's offer saying that he still shouldn't be too dependent on Seiko's hospitality and make his own dinner for once, plus Coronamon and Patamon were still relying on him to make dinner for them. The one time he tried to teach Patamon and Coronamon how to cook they had nearly burned everything down, and Coronamon refused to eat ramen all the time like his tamer tended to do. "Alright," The grandmother relented, "But make sure to visit us soon Naruto-Kun."
"Sure thing," Naruto replied cheerfully, as he made his way out the front gate giving the two a wave farewell, which was returned by the elder lady. "Oh and Rika, you're not only Takato's dream girl you know?" The cerulean eyed boy said quickly before closing the gate behind him, as Rika's face turned a deep shade of red at what he was implying.
With the blond shinobi gone Seiko turned her attention to her granddaughter, watching as the blush her granddaughter sported slowly faded away, a small teasing smile on her face, "So Rika why did you get so angry with Takato when he called you 'Ri-Chan'?" She asked her coyly.
"I-I just didn't want him calling me that too." Rika stuttered refusing to make eye-contact with her grandmother. "Whiskers already calls me that all the time I didn't need the goggle-head doing that too."
"Is that so?" The elderly woman wondered, "I would have thought it was because you didn't like anyone but Naruto-Kun calling you by that nickname."
"O-Of c-course not!" Rika tried to say as steadily as she possibly could.
"If you say so dear." Seiko replied aloofly, as she went back inside Rika following behind her grumbling to herself, "Ah young love." The grandmother said quietly to herself, but still loud enough for Rika to hear, causing the red head to look away in embarrassment and deny her grandmother's accusation as best as she could.
"Got another weird reading," Riley mentioned getting her boss's attention.
"For once it's not another wild one." Yamaki commented looking down at the readings that were displayed on one of the computer screens that were located all around the inside of the circular room.
"This was what I was talking about; I've never seen data like this." Riley said in slight awe of what she was seeing.
Clicking his lighter close, "Send a tracer," Yamaki commanded not at all impressed with the data he was seeing, to him it was just another anomaly that should have never had occurred.
"Already on it," Riley answered typing in the command to activate the tracer already knowing how Yamaki would react. On the screen the tracer appeared closing in on a cloud of data only to be absorbed by the cloud once it got close.
"What?!" Riley gasped in shock when the tracer suddenly disappeared.
"The tracer was absorbed. What is going on here?" Yamaki questioned aggravated, "Be ready to launch the Yuggoth program once I have it up and running." He ordered standing up.
"Yuggoth? But sir that's-" Riley began to protest only to be cut off at the end.
"Do not question my orders Riley!" Yamaki snapped at his subordinate.
"U-understood sir," Riley replied in a reserved tone, as she began to get everything ready.
After arriving home to the greetings of Patamon and Coronamon Naruto just finished making dinner for him and his two partner digimon when the phone in the hallway went off forcing the blond to answer it. "Hello?" The blond tamer asked into the receiver.
"Naruto!" the voice from the other side of the line shouted.
"Takato?" Naruto questioned unsurely, "What's going on?"
"Guilmon's disappeared!" Takato answered frantically.
"What happened?" Naruto said his voice suddenly deadly serious, as he waited for Takato to tell him what happened. Takato then went on to tell him how Guilmon had started to disappear like he had earlier that day only that this time it didn't stop until he was gone completely. He then told him how he got a signal from his D-arc pointing him toward the flood tunnel that Ms. Asaji had been talking about at the end of class. "Alright I'll be there as soon as I can. Have you called anyone else?" He questioned brown haired teen.
"I've called Henry and he's meeting me close to Guilmon's shed. I don't have Rika's number so I figured we'd all go and try to convince her to help us." Takato replied far more calmly than before.
"Don't worry about Rika I'll get her and then meet you and Henry in front of the flood tunnel." Naruto told him.
"Okay see you soon Naruto." Takato said before hanging up. Hanging up the phone Naruto turned to his two digimon who had come to see what was going on after their tamer hadn't returned immediately after answering the phone. Giving them a quick summary of what was happening the three set off towards Rika's before meeting up with Henry and Takato.
When Naruto finally made it to Rika's house it took him a few minutes to convince her to come with him without arguing, well without much arguing. Arriving at the entrance of the flood tunnel Naruto noticed that Takato and Henry were anxiously waiting for them, with every few minutes Takato glancing toward the entrance worriedly. Noticing the last arrivals had made it Takato started to approach the entrance of the flood tunnel.
"Alright this is it guys. This is where Guilmon disappeared." Takato stated firmly.
"Rika," Renamon suddenly spoke up drawing everyone attention to her. Looking down at her hands everyone saw that her paws looked like they were fading out of existence.
"It's happening to Renamon, too!" Takato said alarmed.
"Don't move." Rika ordered her digimon.
"Hey check it out." Terriermon said holding up his ears showing that they were fading away too. Naruto looked at his own digimon who had moved toward the entrance when they arrived and saw that Patamon's ears along with Coronamon's tail had started to fade away.
"I'm not sure what's going on, but obviously whatever it is, is only affecting the digimon." Naruto commented, as he watched Coronamon and Terriermon stick out different body parts in the entrances direction, watching as the body part started to fade out before they pulled it back, laughing all the while. "We will have to find Guilmon on our own. The other digimon should leave so whatever is doing this doesn't take them too." Naruto said with a sigh. Coronamon and Patamon immediately nodded their heads and started to make their way to the park that was nearby. Renamon almost followed after them perceiving Naruto's advice as an order, but just managed to restrain herself from leaving until Rika said it was alright.
"It's okay, you can go." Rika said evenly though she hadn't missed the fact that Renamon had almost left when Naruto had said so, getting a nod from Renamon before she left disappearing in a burst of speed. With how close she had recently become with the blond Rika had almost forgotten about all the enigmatic things that seemed to surround him. But she remembered now and she was more determined than ever to figure out what he was hiding, especially now that she's seen for herself what kind of affect he had over Renamon.
"I suppose you want me to go too, huh?" Terriermon questioned his tamer and getting a nod from him, "Fine." He said simply before walking off, following in the same direction that Coronamon and Patamon took.
"Good now that the other digimon are safe we can begin looking for Guilmon" Henry said pulling out his D-arc the screen showing an arrow pointing toward the flood tunnel. "I'm getting a signal, come on, let's go." Takato and Henry began to walk away, but when Naruto made to follow after them he suddenly grabbed his left hand and barely managed to suppress the scream from the sudden pain he felt. Though he managed to keep himself from screaming from the sudden pain the muffled gasp wasn't missed by the others.
"Whiskers are you alright?" Rika asked him, some concern actually managing to find its way into her voice.
"Naruto what happened?"
"Are you okay?"
Takato and Henry asked respectively both concerned for their friend.
'Damn,' Naruto thought to himself still clutching his left hand, 'Whatever is down there is also affecting the Digital Hazard. It doesn't seem to be strong enough to cause me to disappear like the digimon, but it sure as hell hurts.' "Yeah I'm fine. I just burned my hand while I was making dinner earlier and it suddenly flared up nothing to worry about." Naruto lied smoothly letting go of his hand and took a couple of steps forward, managing to ignore the pain he was feeling in his hand now that he knew what to expect. "Come on Guilmon is waiting for us to rescue him."
Seeing that their friend seemed fine now Henry and Takato turned back around and continued moving forward, with Naruto following behind them, but Rika wasn't convinced by Naruto's excuse like the others were. Takato and Henry hadn't seen it because they had been focused on getting over the locked gate, but Rika had been staring at Naruto trying to figure out any clue on him that might help explain what he was trying to hide, when he took a step forward and suddenly grabbed his hand. But the reason that she wasn't convinced was because she noticed that he grabbed his hand when he was exactly the same distance from the entrance of the flood tunnel as the digimon when they had started to disappear, and she seriously doubted that it was mere coincidence.
'Just what are you trying to hide, Fishcake?' Rika wondered to herself her suspicions over the blond once more rising, as the others entered the tunnel without her.
"Why don't they make tunnels that aren't dark and scary?" Takato wondered out loud, as he took in his surroundings sounding just a tad bit afraid.
"Because then these places wouldn't be nearly as cool." Naruto said a wide smile spreading across his face not at all disturbed by how the tunnel looked.
"Aren't you afraid, like at all?" Takato questioned him disbelievingly.
"Nope," Naruto answered plainly, "You'd be surprised just how many times I visited a place similar to this before." His two friends looked at him strangely wondering why he would hang out in such a place, but decided it was better that they didn't ask. The male tamers were about to begin their search for Guilmon when they heard the door open behind them turning around they found Rika standing in the doorway.
"Hey, Rika! You decided to come! That's awesome!" Takato said excitedly drawing Rika's indifferent gaze to him, "Uh, you know whatever." He finished uncertainly.
"A real tamer doesn't walk away from danger." Rika stated, as she walk down the stairs joining them. "Plus I had to make sure that idiot there didn't hurt himself more than he already has." She added gesturing toward Naruto.
"I knew you cared about me Ri-Chan," Naruto said with a smirk.
"Whatever," Rika muttered crossing her hands over her chest.
"Alright enough talking, let's go find Guilmon." Henry said cutting in before Naruto could say anything.
"Yeah! Um, it is kind of scary down here though, right guys?" Takato couldn't help but to comment on causing Rika to groan and Naruto to snicker silently to himself.
After walking down the tunnel for a while in a placid silence Takato had finally decided to break it by asking Naruto something he had been wondering about since he saw him earlier that day. "Um, Naruto?" he began getting an 'hmm' from Naruto and took that as a sign to continue, "Since when have you known where Rika lives?"
"Why do you care?" Rika asked him instead in an indignant tone.
"Oh no reason, you know just curious." Takato answered her quickly causing Rika to grunt before turning her attention back in front of her.
"Well you guys remember how someone invited me over for dinner a few weeks ago?" Naruto began getting nods from both Henry and Takato, "Turns out that it was Rika's grandmother who invited me, and I've been visiting them every once in a while since then."
Rika snorted a bit at the 'every once in a while', "More like all the time." She muttered under her breath.
Naruto ignored the red head's mutterings and instead focused his attention on Takato, "Why? Are you jealous that I've been spending so much time with your dream girl?" He asked Takato with a teasing smile causing the goggle wearing teen to sputter in embarrassment, though the blond was forced to dodge a punch from Rika for mentioning that dream again. Her face gaining a red tint as she remembered what Naruto had said before he left.
"It's nothing like that!" The virus tamer cried out frantically.
"It's okay you know," Naruto said patting his back, "Ri-Chan is a very beautiful girl. Besides have you looked at her a-"
"SHUT UP!" Rika shouted cutting him off having a good idea of what he was about to say, as she once more tried to hit him only to have him move away.
"Okay I won't say anything relax Ri-Chan." Naruto relented, as he gave her one of his infamous grins before looking back toward Takato. "Now that I think about it Jeri is kind of cute too, right?" he said almost offhandedly making Takato's face develop a light blush, as he was reminded of his not so secret crush. When Naruto mentioned that he thought that this Jeri was cute Rika balled up her fists, as her heart clenched painfully for some reason. She wasn't sure why or what it meant, but Rika did know that she didn't like Naruto's comment.
"How long is this stupid tunnel anyway?" Rika asked angrily in an attempt to change the topic.
"My teacher said it goes all the way to the next town." Takato answered managing to get his blush under control.
"That's so stupid." Rika said in frustration.
"Well if it makes you feel any better Rika, the tunnel might flood and we could all swim there." Henry replied sarcastically.
"Hey guys, look!" Takato exclaimed to them having been looking down at his D-arc when he got a signal.
"Takato I think you might want to look at this instead." Naruto said flatly, as he looked up toward what roughly looked like a normal digital field, except for the data that swirled around it, the others staring at it in awe as well.
"What is it?" Takato wondered before shaking his head, "Well whatever it is Guilmon must be inside of that thing, I know he is! Guilmon!" he shouted toward the digital field in the hope that Guilmon might hear him and respond.
"Don't be stupid, how could you possibly know that?" Rika asked him incredulously.
"I don't know how, I just feel that he's in there." Takato replied. Suddenly Takato's D-arc started to glow a beam of light coming out of it before Naruto's, Rika's, and Henry's D-arc did the same thing. "What's going on?" The brown haired boy asked.
Henry looks at his D-arc inquisitively for a moment before answering, "The digivices connect us to our digimon, and maybe we can use them to get to Guilmon." Henry said after thinking about it for a second before pointing the D-arc at the cloud of data, with the other three tamers soon copying him.
"Look, something's happening!" Takato said excitedly. The point where all four lights met started to shift around before an opening in the data cloud appears.
"It opened." Henry stated in awe.
"Guilmon! Hold on, I'm coming!" The brunette shouted, as he pulls down his goggles and runs into the digital field.
"Well no point on staying here." Naruto said running after his friend, as he puts on his glasses.
"Hey! Wait!" Henry shouts after his two friends following after them after putting on his green tinted glasses.
Rika sighs to herself muttering a quick, "Stupid," As she follows after her fellow tamers putting on her blue tinted glasses.
After running into the digital field all the tamers appear floating on nothing. Unlike normal digital fields this one didn't show the rest of the tunnel, only an endless white mist with no way to distinguish what way was up or down. The tamers momentarily took in their surroundings, as they tried to get their bearings.
"Maybe the Digital World from the TV show is real and we're in it." Henry supplied after a while.
"The Digital World definitely has to exist." Naruto said, "But I doubt that this is it Henry." The sapphire eyed boy finished, as he spotted something red being tied up in what looked like light blue cords.
"Guilmon, I think I see him." Takato said having also spotted his partner digimon in the distance. The Digital Hazard tamer began making his way toward his raptor digimon by moving through the air as if he were swimming. "Cool, this is how I fly in my dreams."
"Hey wait up!" Henry called out to his friend copying his actions to move through the air.
"Ugh, you and your dreams," Rika muttered following after the other two tamers by the same way they moved.
They had all moved only a couple of feet forward before they heard a snickering coming from above them. Looking up the three tamers saw Naruto grinning down at them, as he smoothly glided through the air without having act like he was swimming, amusement clearly evident in his eyes.
"Do you guys have any idea how silly you look like right now?" Naruto asked them.
"How are you doing that?" Rika asked him instead.
"The same way you guys are 'flying'," Naruto said shrugging his shoulders, "When a person swims they're pushing against water in order to move forward, but there is no water here just this mist, so how are you moving forward? It's because you guys think you will move forward that makes it happen. So I'm doing that without having to swim." The blond haired shinobi explained.
"Since when have you been so smart?" the amethyst eyed tamer questioned him with a raised eyebrow.
"That's mean Ri-Chan. I'll have you know that I've always been smart." Naruto replied with a pout, ignoring the fact that he was originally an idiot.
"That's enough you guys. We have to save Guilmon." Takato cut in, as he began moving toward his digimon again like Naruto had been doing, with the others following soon behind him. "There he is! Guilmon, wake up!" Takato shouted once he was close enough to Guilmon to be heard.
"Right now? Five minutes." Guilmon begged sleepily opening his eyes. Takato couldn't help but to smile and laugh at his digimon's behavior.
"Don't worry boy, I'll get you out of there, somehow." Takato said to him his voice wavering near the end, as he felt relief spread through him. That relief was short lived when suddenly three spheres connected by electricity appeared on the other side of the field, close to where Guilmon was tied up. "What is that?" Takato asked in surprise.
"Look it's being erased!" Rika said pointing toward the cords that were holding Guilmon, as they slowly began to disintegrate.
"I won't be able to reach him in time." Takato realized frantically, "Help."
"Sure thing," Naruto said grabbing one of Takato's hands and swung him around before throwing him in Guilmon's direction.
Seeing his tamer coming closer Guilmon snapped the bindings that were keeping him restrained freeing himself just as Takato reached him. Takato embraced his partner happy to be reunited with his digimon after being so close to losing him. "I thought I was gonna lose you for sure." The virus tamer told his partner digimon honestly. While still holding on to him the mini dinosaur started to glow a bright red before it shot out creating a way out.
"He's created a road for us!" Henry said, as he landed on the recently created road.
"Yeah, well Renamon could've done the same thing." Rika said, refusing to have Renamon and herself up shown by the rookie tamer, as she landed on the road.
"Now there is no need for that," Naruto said his fox grin in place, as he landed. "Besides with Patamon and Coronamon they could make two roads or one that is double this size." He bragged while internally he was thinking something else entirely. 'Could this be the Digital Hazard in Guilmon surfacing?' He wondered, as he stared intently at the virus digimon.
"You okay?" the brunette asked the red dino after releasing his hold on the digimon.
"Skating on sausages," The Rookie level digimon replied cheerfully.
'What the hell kind of expression is that,' Naruto wondered incredulously with a sweat drop running down the back of his head.
"Have your reunion later, we've gotta get out of here before we're erased!" Henry voice shouted cutting into Naruto's thoughts, Rika and him having already made a run for the outside.
"He's right, get moving you two we have to get out of here!" Naruto yelled out toward them his voice slightly strained, as the headache he had been feeling all day was making his head throb. The digimon and tamer pair nodded to each other before they began making a run for the outside, passing by Naruto who had decided to wait for them to pass before following after them.
As they drew closer to the exit Naruto looked behind him and silently cursed to himself as he noticed that whatever was deleting the field was catching up to them quickly, and by how fast it was moving they wouldn't be able to make it out before it reached them, not to mention that whatever was causing this was also affection the Digital Hazard making his arm hurt more than before. Just as he realized this, the headache had been feeling reached its peak, as information started to enter his mind, making the headache disappear, and for a large grin to split his face. Making sure that the others were focused on getting out, Naruto stopped and turned around holding his left hand forward fingers spread the Digital Hazard symbol on the back glowing.
"Time I show you exactly why the Digital Hazard is the most dangerous virus to ever exist!" Naruto muttered a fierce determination in his eyes, "Digital Hazard: Data… Destruction!" in less than a second Naruto read and understood the entire binary code of the program he now knew was called Yuggoth. It took even less time for him to start deleting its code effectively destroying the dangerous program.
Not too long ago Yamaki had ordered the activation of the Yuggoth program, a program he not only created but designed it specifically to destroy anything that crossed over from the Digital World. So with a satisfied smirk on his face he watched as the strange anomaly that had appeared earlier that day was slowly destroyed by his creation. That same smirk was quickly wiped off his face when his program was being deleted at an incredible rate.
Seeing what was happening Yamaki closed his lighter angrily, "What the hell is going on?!" He shouted demanding an explanation.
"We're not sure sir; something just suddenly attacked Yuggoth out of nowhere." Riley responded furiously typing away at her keyboard trying to get any possible data on what was the cause or save Yuggoth from deletion.
"At this rate there will be nothing we can do and Yuggoth will be destroyed." Talley added in her hands moving just as quickly across her own keyboard.
Yamaki scowled deeply, as he looked up at the screen that made up the roof staring at the spot that the strange anomaly and Yuggoth were being shown. Suddenly the image of Yuggoth and the field were replaced by a black symbol he had never seen before. The symbol was made up of four triangles with one being inside of a circle and the rest connected to it by its corners. Slowly more started to appear covering the entire screen.
"I don't suppose you have an explanation for that, do you?" Yamaki asked some his composure regained, but his voice was colder than before.
"Sorry sir, but whatever it is it's negating all our attempts to connect with Yuggoth and shutting down controls. We will have to reboot the system." Riley said.
'Damn.' Yamaki thought, as the last of screen covered ceiling turned black before the symbol appeared again right in front of him, only this time it was much bigger and in red. A quick look around showed the same symbol behind him and to his left and right.
Back in the Flood Tunnel
It only took at the most a couple of seconds before he destroyed the Yuggoth program and turned back around and continue running toward the exit. But by the time Yuggoth was destroyed it had already caused enough damage to destabilize the field causing it to disintegrate on its own, thankfully though it was at a much slower rate than before giving him and the others enough time to get out.
Rushing past Takato and Guilmon, Naruto picked up Rika in a bridal carry, just for the hell of it, much to her displeasure and embarrassment, before shooting his way past Henry and making his way out side throwing a "Hurry it up," over his shoulder at the other three as he went along.
A lone figure sat in a room covered in darkness making it impossible to distinguish his features. The door to the room slowly opened a sliver of light entering the room; though it did nothing to help reveal who the mysterious person was, as a small digimon that was round like a ball, with wings and feet its top being a covered in what could almost resemble a dark blue mask with a skull on the forehead, black fur covered legs, and red talons on its feet. The digimon entered nervously afraid of suffering his master's wrath for the bad news he was bringing him.
"S-Sire t-t-the virus you sent t-to the h-human world has been… destroyed." The digimon finished hesitantly, as it closed it eyes ready to be deleted by his master.
"I already knew of the virus' deletion." The figure said his voice cold and indifferent, "Tell me Demidevimon, what happened to the Kunemon that I had sent to accompany the virus into the real world." The shadowed figure ordered more than asked.
"M-master they didn't survive the crossing into the human world through Master's portal." The digimon, Demidevimon, answered still as nervous as before.
"I see… It's what I expected to happen that's why I chose such weak and pathetic digimon for the mission to begin with." The figure revealed talking more to himself than to the still frightened Demidevimon, "Leave now Demidevimon." He ordered.
"Yes sire," Demidevimon replied at once before hastily making his way out the room, before his master changed his mind and deleted him, closing the door behind him once more engulfing the room in darkness.
"Just a little more time and then I'll be able to send my minions through the portal into the real world." The figure muttered.
It was the weekend after the incident involving Guilmon and Naruto had been invited over to the Nonaka residence by Seiko for lunch. He had spent most of his time talking with Seiko about how the week had gone, and even managed to get Rika involved in a discussion on new card strategies and convinced her to have a match later. She had also been asking him a lot of questions about his past and home, though she tried to be subtle about it he still noticed.
They had all been sitting at the low table when Naruto's phone went off; when he checked the caller id it revealed that the caller was Henry. "Hello?" Naruto said answering his phone.
"Hey Naruto, I'm not calling at a bad time am I?" Henry asked him.
"No, not really," Naruto replied ignoring the light glare Rika was sending him, his phone having gone off while she had been talking. "What's up?"
"You remember how you asked to have a spar with me a few weeks back?" the half-Chinese tamer asked him getting a "Yeah," from the blond. "My Sensei had agreed to the spar, but we had to wait till after we got through a tournament that was coming up."
"So it's done?" Naruto questioned him.
"Yeah and Sensei said that if you still wanted that match we can have it today." Henry told him.
"Sure thing," Naruto replied happily, "Just need the directions and I'll be right there." Naruto finished getting the directions from Henry before hanging up.
"Is something the matter Naruto-Kun?" Seiko asked the blond tamer.
"It's nothing Seiko-Obaachan. Just a friend telling me we can finally have a spar." Naruto replied excitedly.
"I'm guess from the way you're acting that you've been looking forward to this?" Seiko questioned him with a smile on her face.
"Yeah," Naruto admitted with a nod, "I've wanted a chance to spar against Henry since I learned he practiced martial arts as well."
"Oooh, marital arts sounds exciting." A new voice said catching all their attentions. Turning toward the source they saw a blond woman fashionably dressed standing in the doorway. "Mind if we come to watch?" She asked the teen.
"Um," Naruto muttered unsurely not knowing who this woman was.
"Oh my where are my manners I haven't introduced myself have I?" The woman asked, "I'm Rumiko Nonaka. It's nice to finally meet you Naruto-Kun; my mother's told me so much about you.
AN: And that is another chapter done, I hope you have all enjoyed it and please remember to review.
A few things I'm thinking of taking a break from writing this fic and focus on one of the others because of how long it actually took me to write this chapter. I'll still be working on this fic, but my main focus will another still not sure which though.
When I do finish writing the next chapter I promise that it will be far more interesting than this one, not only will it have the normal stuff but I'll be including Naruto's first meeting with Rumiko, his spar with Henry, and most likely having him fight some digimon.
Till next time remember REVIEW.