Welcome everyone! As I stated in Second Light and Ages, this is my REDUX version of War of the Crests, beginning with part 1: Light. There are a few things I should say before I go on. First of all, this story does take place post-final battle with MaloMyotismon in Digimon Adventure 02, and I have changed the canon a small bit. The only difference I present is that, unlike the original canon, digimon were NOT revealed to the world following the Million Points of Light episode and, for the most part, the entire event (darkness coating the world, millions of people pointing their digivices at the sky) has been written off as a natural phenomenon and a strange publicity stunt. A cover-up, essentially what would actually happen if our world experienced the same problem.

Just keep that in mind when you read, so you don't ask questions like "Why doesn't _ know that _ is a digidestined?" or "Why is _ hiding their digimon?" I decided to negate the "everyone knows about digimon" bit in order to keep the mystery and tension that surrounds the digidestined which I so enjoyed in the shows.

Thanks for sticking around and reading my boring author's note. I hope you enjoy the story.

War of the Crests

Part 1: Light

-Prologue: Honor-

The digital world is a strange place, made stranger by its history. No one knows rightly how the digital world was created any longer. There are theories, of course, just as there are theories for everything. Some believe it was created in a manner not dissimilar to other universes: namely a Big Bang of expanding particles and energy that slowly coalesced and condensed into the world we know today. Others believe that it was Yggdrasil, god of the digital world who created it. Were he still present, I suppose we could ask him. Lacking that presence, however, we can only surmise and guess. The world's creation, however, is of little consequence, for in the history of the thing in its current form is of much more interest than any mystery surrounding its birth.

Not long after the digital world's creation, Digimon rose to power as the dominant species of the world. Like any species, they began simply enough, dividing themselves by appearance into Men and Beasts. The man digimon thought themselves superior, and the beast digimon had a reciprocal feeling. And so, like with any intelligence which divides itself, they went to war. Each group considered themselves the greater, and their battle cost many lives until Lucemon, the great angel digimon, helped the two sides come to compromise and, eventually, peace. In peace, he was considered Sovereign and ruler of the digital world. Peace cannot last, however, and soon enough a group of digimon, to be known later as the Ten Legendary Warriors, learned that Lucemon the Compromiser—Lucemon the Peace Keeper—was in fact Lucemon the Instigator. He was the one who began the Great War, and used it to place himself on high. News of this spread throughout the digital world, and a new war began. The Ten Legendary Warriors who discovered his threat fought the dark angel, but his time as Sovereign left him too powerful and they were unable to destroy him. In an act of desperation, they instead lured him to another universe: the dark area, and sacrificed their own lives to place a seal on the digital world and the dark area that he could never again threaten their people.

To honor their sacrifice, Yggdrasil appointed three angel digimon: Seraphimon, Ophanimon and Cherubimon to maintain the seal, and spread the power of the Ten Legendary Warriors throughout the digital world as spirits. During their tenure, Seraphimon fell ill to an unknown disease. Ophanimon's constant care for him drove Cherubimon to jealousy, and into the arms of the entrapped Lucemon, who corrupted the angel and set him upon his allies. He slew them both, but not before Ophanimon could call out to another world for aid. Her call was answered when five human children entered the digital world to fight Cherubimon, while a sixth fell under his rule.

These were the first digidestined. They wielded the spirits of the Ten Legendary Warriors as weapons, transforming into digimon to fell the fallen angel. Following Cherubimon's death, however, the seal on the digital world was shattered, and Lucemon made his return. Together, the digidestined were able to reveal his true form and defeat him once and for all.

The seal on the digital world remained broken, and many came and went. Humans, in particular, found the digital world intriguing, and several made their way on expeditions to learn about its unknown frontiers. Yggdrasil watched closely with a cautious eye as these humans traversed his domain.

Daemon, a dark digimon of unknown origin, rose to power during this time, recruiting for himself humans that could control digimon and use them to fight. One human fought against him, though, alongside a digimon friend. Through perseverance and ambition, they together overcame these dark digidestined and their demonic master with the power of the digital world's greatest treasure, the Digimental.

As time passed, more humans entered the digital world, whether through accident or purpose. One such human sought to unleash the power of Belphemon, cousin of Lucemon, upon both his and the digital world. A second set of digidestined was called to once again defend the digital planes, fighting alongside their digimon, and though they succeeded, Yggdrasil himself rose up against them in opposition. He had seen the destruction of human curiosity too many times, and would not let it destroy further. These digidestined fought him and overcame his power, killing the god and guardian of the digital world.

With the death of Yggdrasil, power ran rampant throughout the digital world. His untamed might wreaked havoc and chaos, bringing forth horrific creations such as the Dark Ocean and Millenniumon. It also gave rise to a race of humanoid beings known as the Immortals. Together, four of the Immortals swore to rein in the loose power of Yggdrasil, and so they took it into themselves, becoming the Scions of Yggdrasil. The first was the Watcher, whose title I now hold, who literally watched over the state of the world, sensing chaos and inconsistency. The second was the Guardian, whose power allowed him the detection of any darkness or evil that permeated the fragile fabric of the digital world. The third was the Scribe, who took on Yggdrasil's god-like sight into the future. The final was known as the Smith. His job was the creation and transformation of objects of power within the digital world. Together, they appointed four digimon, whom gained the title of Sovereign, previously bestowed only to Lucemon, to uphold the digital world's seal, that no evil could enter from outside. They also took the power of the Ten Legendary Warriors, and with the Smith's capabilities, forged ten crests of power: Courage, Friendship, Love, Knowledge, Sincerity, Reliability, Hope, Kindness, Honor, and Virtue.

Yet chaos still reigned the digital world, remnants of Yggdrasil's true power over space and time. Warriors whose timelines should not have crossed fought alongside each other, and the world itself threatened war. So the Scions reigned in this power as well, forging three divine crests, crests which held the very power of Yggdrasil himself: those of Light, Miracles and Ages.

It would not be long before another darkness took hold of the digital world, one borne of the chaos wreaked by Yggdrasil's unleashed power. Four dark digimon created in the protean cataclysm, known as the Dark Masters, rose, deposing the Sovereigns and taking their places. They watched and sent forth their minion, Devimon, to wreak havoc and turn the world against itself. At this point, I had assumed the duties of Watcher, and I stole seven eggs and called seven humans to the digital world to once again fight to defend it. These new digidestined fought valiantly, defeating Devimon. The influence of the Dark Masters, however, kept them from returning home, and they were forced to wander the digital world, confronting another chaos-born digimon, Etemon. To defeat this foe, the Scions scattered seven of the ten Legendary crests and allowed the digidestined to find them. With their power, the digidestined were able to overcome Etemon and Myotismon, a digimon whose evil was not borne of Yggdrasil's chaos, but rather chose to bide his time since his birth, seeking a way out of the digital world and into the world of humans. For a brief time, the digidestined even returned home during their journey, bypassing the power of the Dark Masters. Soon enough, however, they were forced to return to a twisted, horrific digital world, now run by the Dark Masters themselves. Through cooperation, teamwork, and their newfound power in the crests of the Ten Legendary Warriors, they overcame their foes and faced Apocalymon, the ultimate creation born of Yggdrasil's death.

The digital world was once more at peace, but the Scions would take no chances. I, myself, asked the digidestined to sacrifice the power of their crests in order to restore the seal on the digital world until the Sovereigns returned to power. They agreed, and with that, the last of the chaos wrought by the god Yggdrasil's death was purged from the digital world.

But some yet remained in the world of humans. A young boy whom previously fought against the forces of Millenniumon years before the most recent set of digidestined, had been implanted with the last remnant of chaos: a dark spore. Through its influence, he journeyed to the digital world and came to rule over it as the Digimon Emperor. Three new digidestined, as well as two from the previous generation whom had grown over the years, joined in the battle against the emperor, and with the divine power of Miracles, overcame the Emperor, who in turn joined them, wielding the crest of Kindness.

Ever the patient tactician, Myotismon took this moment to return, possessing a human by the name of Oikawa and using him to resurface and dominate both the digital world and the human world. The digidestined, with the new addition of the former Digimon Emperor, fought and defeated him only through the aid of humanity. A million points of light shone from the human and digital world, and the darkness was finally overcome.

It has been a year since that day, and the Sovereigns have once again returned to power, restoring themselves to their previous positions as keepers of the seal on the digital world. The power of the Ten Legendary Warriors is no longer needed to maintain it, and I see no reason we cannot re-forge and re-bestow the crests to those whom deserve them the most: the digidestined.

-Gennai, Watcher

Davis wasn't sure why he was here. According to the intel that Gennai sent them about this little meet-and-greet, it was kind of an award ceremony for the old digidestined…well, "old." None of them were old. Davis only just turned thirteen, same as Kari. And Tai couldn't even drive yet. It was weird thinking of them as "old," but that's really what they were, when it came down to it. Not in an age sense, but their adventures…were quite a while ago. Four years, if Davis's math was right, which it probably wasn't. Never his strong suit and all that.

Of course, what's four years in the big picture of things? He thought.

Almost a third of my life, came his response. Long times got longer when you got older. Right now, his were short.

It wasn't much of a ceremony, to be true. Not in the traditional sense, anyway. They all showed up (even Mimi) at Gennai's place, a little cottage in the middle of a big forest, and waited for everything to start.

"I'd invite you inside, but there are so many of you that it might get crowded," were the words he used to keep everyone outside. Ken had told Davis he thought there was some kind of surprise inside for them. Davis thought there just wasn't enough room. So they all waited outside. Everyone danced the dance of social interaction. Matt and Sora stuck together like glue, Tai smiled and laughed at everyone, Joe acted all proper and pushed his glasses up his nose a lot, Izzy smiled, but didn't say much, Mimi bounced around like a Mexican jumping bean, TK and Kari gave each other awkward, sidelong glances, Davis got jealous of them and spent a lot of time trying to be the center of attention, Ken smiled and did the whole "perfect at everything" schtick, Yolei was chill and smiley, and Cody did his best impression of a statue. Gennai spent his time inside. Overall, it was just like any other get-together. It had only been a year since they were in the digital world—less for those who visited more often.

Davis visited more often. He liked spending time in the digital world. It was a nice break from what was slowly becoming "every-day life." He'd forgotten how much every-day life could suck. An alcoholic mom and a too-stubborn-to-do-anything-but-yell dad could really emphasize that. But Davis had Ken, and he had Kari and TK and Yolei and Cody and Tai. And everyone else, but that was really his group. His team, as it were. Whenever he needed someone to talk to, he had Ken or Yolei. Whenever he needed guy time, there was Ken or Tai, and even TK sometimes. If he wanted to feel good about himself, he had Kari. And if he just needed to mellow out, there was Cody. They were his family. One helluva family they were, too.

After maybe an hour of chit-chat and reminiscence, Gennai exited his quaint little cottage. He hadn't changed much in the year they'd been gone. He was growing a beard again, but other than that he was young as ever. Davis even thought he saw Mimi give him a couple infatuated glances. He carried a brief-case with him, and a small, fold-out table.

Gennai was followed by three others. The first was a digimon, small and pink, with black, insect-like eyes and wings. Davis recognized him as a piximon. Maybe the piximon who helped Tai's crew way back when. The second was Oikawa, the man whom the digidestined originally thought was behind the whole dark spore thing when, in fact, he had been controlled by one of Tai's old foes, Myotismon. Davis had watched him die, fading into flower petals and butterflies the day they beat Myotismon, but had since learned during his visits that he'd come back as one of…whatever Gennai was. Some kind of digi-man. During their talks, he'd learned that Oikawa had been given the honor of being the Guardian of the digital world, essentially a watchdog for the whole world. Davis thought it was pretty cool. The guy was still kind of a downer, but overall had grown on Davis. He had good intentions, and now a way to express them. A couple of the digidestined, namely Mimi, Yolei and Joe gasped at the sight of him. He smiled and joined Gennai. The third was a big, gruff black man. A thick salt-and-pepper beard covered his face, and he wore a tanktop and leather vest that exposed tree trunk-sized arms. In his massive right hand, he held a case similar to Gennai's, but much longer, like it housed a musical instrument of some sort. His eyes were dark, like almond-shaped shards of obsidian, and he also took his place beside Gennai.

"Hello, everyone," Gennai began. "First, I think introductions are in order. This," he gestured to the piximon, then Oikawa, "is Piximon, whom some of you know. And this, most of you know, is Oikawa. He's joined me in the last year, helping me keep an eye on the digital world.

"And this," he gestured to the large, bearded man, "is another good friend of mine, Tyron. Without him, what we are about to do wouldn't be possible." Gennai set up the table and placed the case upon it.

"You have all sacrificed what could have been innocent, normal lives to help this world," he said, looking at each digidestined in turn. "You have saved it time and again from threats that could conquer and destroy us all. What we give you now, we give in thanks. You deserve so much more, but we hope that these gifts are enough. Tai, let's have you come up first," he opened the briefcase, keeping the lid between the digidestined and what was inside. When Tai approached, though, everyone knew what he had brought. With his right hand, he lifted something from the case. First, all they could see was a leather cord, but soon they all knew, as the pendant of the necklace revealed itself. Vaguely diamond-shaped, with a slot in the center that held an orange piece of metal maybe the size of a quarter. On that piece of metal flashed a sun-shaped symbol.

It was the crest of Courage.

Davis really didn't know why he was here. He'd never received a crest. What were they giving him, exactly? He eyed the larger briefcase in the man Tyron's hands.

Tai took the crest, awe in his eyes, and thanked Gennai. Each of the older digidestined, including TK, but not Kari, were called up in turn.

"Also, for Ken, since we know you've had the crest of Kindness for a while now, we brought you this," Gennai pulled out an empty tag. Ken had his hand in his pocket, and was fingering what Davis figured was his crest for a long time now. Davis remembered giving him that crest, after their final battle as enemies, he'd found it in the dirt, and gave it to him almost as a peace offering. Ken stepped forward, took the tag, and removed his crest from his pocket. He rubbed the surface clean and slid its small form into the pendant. It fit like a glove.

Davis glanced over at Kari, who looked worried as the only one who had not received a crest. Gennai removed the briefcase from the table and stepped aside.

"Tyron also has some gifts he would like to present personally."

The big man stepped forward. He was massive beside that table, and it felt awkward watching his huge hands undue the snaps on his own case. He lifted the lid and said, in a deep, James Earl Jones-esque voice, "my job in this world is that of a smith. I have forged weapons, armors, and the crests you now hold in your hands. I never thought, however, that I would one day be able to put my skills to the challenge as I have so recently. Kari Kamiya, you may not know, but your crest of Light is very special. It took all my skill and power to forge this for you." He raised the crest of Light, just as it had been years before, fresh in its tag, from the case. Kari almost stumbled forward to accept her gift. "And for you three," he looked to Davis, Yolei, and Cody, "I have no crests for you, I am sorry. I do have gifts, however, forge in the fires of Zhuqiuaomon himself. Yolei," he reached into the case and removed a small shield, maybe twice the size of a dinner plate. It was silver, etched with runes around its edge and laid with a rainbow of other colored metals, as well as a single thumb-sized ruby in its center. "I gift you with this shield, forged of chrome digizoid, may it guard you and those you hold dear." She approached and took the shield, a look of wonder on her face.

"Cody," he reached in and pulled out a sword. A katana, with a gold-tinted hilt and a matching scabbard. He drew the blade, revealing runic etchings on its flat and magnificent folding marks, "I gift you this blade, forged of Chrome and Gold digizoid. May you wield it with the honor of your ancestors." He slid it back into its scabbard and passed it to the small boy, who took it with a bow.

The large man then cast his eyes on Davis, who almost flinched under his gaze, "Davis," he said. He reached in and removed a pair of goggles. The frames were gold, and the lenses almost glittered in the light. "I gift you these goggles, the lenses of which were forged from the remains of one of the destiny stones. May they allow you to see the truth when the world around you is false." Davis stepped forward, and just about laughed as he took the goggles. Of course they'd give him goggles. What else would they give him? Cody got the sword, Yolei got the shield, and Davis got goggles.

It was hilarious. A total honor—the lenses were made from a destiny stone, after all—but still hilarious.

The whole event wrapped up not long after that. Veemon congratulated Davis on his gift, and they laughed about it a bit together. Everyone said goodbye to Gennai, Piximon, Oikawa and Tyron, and before long they were back in their own world, their gifts in their hands.

"Just can't seem to get away from those things, can you?" Tai asked Davis once they were all situated. Davis looked down at the goggles in his hands. They glittered back at him.

"Nope," he said. "Guess not."

I hope you all enjoyed. Chapter 1 goes up on May 15th.

-The Beast