(Author's Notes: Here's the revised Chapter 1. Expect a lot more description and clearer worldbuilding. These early chapters required some much-needed edits. Enjoy!)
Chapter 1: The Invitation
A light gust of wind swept across a wide, grassy field of the Digital World below. The breeze sent a soft wave through the blades of grass, causing them to ripple tranquilly.
The sky was cast in a beautiful, azure blue that was as pure as a lake on a calm day. Small, puffy clouds drifted lazily across the sky. Beyond the distant stratosphere was a blazing, solar orb that scattered warm rays across the Digital World. The sun radiated golden rays as it circumrotated around the world. The sunlight hit the small clouds as they floated through the sky, causing them to cast motile shadows across the grassy landscape.
Also drifting in the sky were translucent, rectangular packets of random data. These sorts of otherworldly abnormalities were commonplace in this world.
This was the Digital World.
This was a world that defied basic laws of science, but it also had its own internal logic to it. On the other hand, there were occurrences that simply could not be explained. It combined the mundane, the rationally, the irrational, and the extraordinary. The Digital World was filled with all sorts of different lands and terrains. There were thick forests, frigid tundra, arid deserts, and beautiful mountains. There were two main continents in the Digital World: the western continent of Eniac, which was the current location, and the eastern continent of Colossus, which lay across the vast Net Ocean.
Only Digimon, which were sentient, digital creatures of all shapes and sizes, lived in this world. Digimon, as well as everything within the world, were made up of data. Data was the building blocks of everything, both living and inanimate. The species of Digimon varied widely, ranging from small fish to medium-sized mammals to large dragons and everything in-between. They were creatures with amazing abilities, and they were capable of evolving to higher levels. Some lived in societies while others roamed the land. The circumstances differed across the Digital World. Generally speaking, the world usually tended to be peaceful; most Digimon weren't out looking for a fight.
However... some were.
In the cyan sky, a bipedal dragon man hovered high above the clouds. He was covered from head to toe with crimson scales that contrasted starkly to the soft blue behind him. Although he was largely a dragon, he had some humanoid proportions. He had a toned body with firm, well-developed muscles. His humanoid, crimson arms had trim musculature, and they ended with a set of three-fingered claws on each hand. These arms led up to a pair of shoulders that connected the limbs to his body. Several, bony spikes protruded from his shoulders, giving the dragon a fearsome appearance. Also adding to his intimidating look was his draconic face. He had a reptilian snout and rows of jagged teeth within his mouth. A large nose horn protruded from the end of his snout, and a pair of long, straight horns extended from the back of his head, just above a set of three smaller spikes on each side of the back of his skull.
His broad shoulders connected to his muscular, ruby chest, which boasted a sleek, robust build and a white underbelly. Chrome Digizoid armour – the toughest alloy in the Digital World – covered the middle of his body, somehow staying attached to him despite the lack of straps or fasteners. The armour covered his thick, scaled neck, the middle of his chest, and the entirely of his abdomen. The chrome digizoid also covered the backs of his massive, kite-like wings, causing the bright sunlight to reflect off the smooth, durable, and flexible metal. The dragon had a gigantic wingspan and huge, muscular wings that he gently beat against the air to keep himself aloft. These chrome digizoid wings were known as Caledfwlch, and they were sentient and semi-autonomous. Without the dragon Digimon even needing to think, the Caledfwlch could either fly for him or use themselves as a shield to protect their owner. In addition to these massive wings, a pair of leathery, fixed wings also protruded from his forearms. They spanned from his wrists up to his biceps, and they didn't have any mobility, but their presence allowed the dragon maximum control during flight.
The dragon Digimon had a pair of thick, muscular legs that hung freely as he flew in the air. While his arms were humanoid, his legs were not; they were large and bent at the knees. He also had a pair of large, draconic feet with three sharp, toe claws on each foot. Finally, he had an incredibly long tail that stretched for several dozen meters in length. The underside of his tail had the same white scales that his chest had. The tail was thick as his tree trunk-like legs at its base, but gradually narrowed off to the width of a slim rope at its tip.
The drake's body was adorned with ornate decorations. Ornamental golden spikes hung from the tips of both his dorsal wings and his arm wings. A similar spike, surrounded by a gold ring at its base, garnished the tip of his long, skinny tail. In addition to these, the tips of the three horns on his head were coated with golden metal and adorned with crimson gems. The spiked, Chrome Digizoid alulae of his Caledfwlch wings were also covered in the same gold and rub decorations. These golden decorations shimmered in the bright sunlight and gave the dragon a truly regal appearance.
His name was Examon and he was the defender of the United Dramonic Coalition.
From his vantage point in the sky, he looked down the length of the lance in his claws. The pole weapon, known as the Ambrosius, was a massive jousting lance that doubled as a long ranged rifle. It was massive in size – longer than Examon's own body (apart from his tail). It had a long, black, conical shape with a hilt leading out from a hollow part at the crimson base of the weapon. The very tip of the weapon has two, long, points designed for stabbing, and between the tips was a muzzle from which lasers and munitions could be fired. The Ambrosius lance had a large, rectangular, top-loading magazine that fed munitions' shells into the chamber of the weapon.
Examon floated high in the sky, his body concealed by the drifting clouds below. His stoic, emerald eyes gazed down the length of the Ambrosius lance, barely moving as he took calm, shallow breaths.
In that moment, Examon wasn't just admiring the view. There were five Digimon in the process of invading the United Dramonic Coalition's territory, and he had already determined that they weren't just there for a friendly visit. It wasn't the first time this place had been attacked by bandits or invaders, after all...
Examon watched as a twenty foot, orange, dinosaur known as MetalGreymon stomped across the plain of grass. His weighty body caused his heavy footsteps to send small tremors through the ground as he walked. The species of MetalGreymon were that of cyborg theropods; this was clear by the large, metal claw that made up his left arm, and the large missile port on his chest. The hulking dinosaur stomped forwards at a steady pace. The orange hair sticking out of his steel helmet blew in the gently breeze, and his blue eyes gazed keenly at the village in the distance.
"Come on, guys!" the MetalGreymon shouted, looking over his metal shoulder, to the four Digimon behind him. They were all cyberbiotic Digimon like MetalGreymon.
"On my way!" said a rust-orange dragon known as a Megadramon. He had a long, slender body and two cannons for hands. He flapped his battle-torn violet wings as he flew several dozen meters off the ground. Rather than legs, he had a long tail that acted as a rudder to help his flight.
Beside him was a slightly more refined variation of Megadramon, known as Gigadramon. He had the same serpentine body as Megadramon, the same helmet over his draconic head, and the same cannons. The main difference was his greyish-violet colour scheme and his high-tech, metal wings. "Understood," Gigadramon replied, flying forwards.
Walking under the two dragons was another ferocious robotic dinosaur Digimon known as MetalTyrannomon. This was a white tyrannosaurus Digimon similar to MetalGreymon. He was a patchwork of metal and wires. His entire lower jaw was covered in metal, and his claws were outfitted with cannons in their palms. The MetalTyrannomon nodded and followed after MetalGreymon.
Lastly, there was a crimson dragon who looked very much like a dinosaur. His upper body was covered with chrome digizoid metal, complete with chest cannons. His long arms boasted long, bladed gauntlets that reached to his biceps. A pair of vernier thrusters extended from the dragon's back. His pair of muscular legs stomped as he followed the group of bandits, his thick tail swaying behind him. The MegaloGrowmon nodded. "Got it, Boss!" he said to MetalGreymon.
Ahead of them was a small village comprised of about thirty huts and houses varying between one and two stories. The buildings were mostly made of wood, although there were several that were made of stone and mortar. That village was their destination – their prey.
"Let's take everything they got! Leave no stone unturned! There's gotta be a treasury in there somewhere! You know what dragons are like about hoarding!" the MetalGreymon rumbled, his fearsome teeth showing as he grinned savagely. The metal cover concealing the missile ports on his chest suddenly swung open, revealing two, large cannon holes underneath. "Giga Destroyer!"
Two black missiles with snarling, toothy mouths launched from MetalGreymon's breast in an eruption of exhaust. The giant, organic missiles soared through the air towards the village with a high-pitched screaming sound.
The local dragon Digimon ('Dramon', as they are colloquially called) of the village saw these five bandits attacking. The Dramon either began to flee for their lives or put themselves between the raiders and the village to defend it. Screams and cries of the Digimon sounded out as they saw both the missiles and the raiders charging towards their village. Many scrambled to get away as they couldn't hope to face up to five strong Perfect level Digimon. Others, however, determined to protect their village at all costs, ran out to defend.
"Not more raiders!" a Fladramon villager shouted frantically, running out of his large hut to defend the town. The slender, blue dragon man, clad in flame-coloured armour, dashed down the main road of the village towards the town's outskirts.
The green, draconic form of a Coredramon ran up beside him, with emerald flames coming from his mouth. "They're Perfects this time! I sure hope that we can hold them off until- AH! Look out!" he yelled, pointing with fear towards the two gigantic missiles headed their way.
As the two missiles closed in, whistling as they approached, the two Digimon could only raise their arms over their faces to protect themselves from the explosions that were soon to come. Being mere Adult levels, they knew that they might not survive the blasts.
"Pendragon's Glory!" a calm voice rung out from the sky, echoing down to the ground.
A high-powered laser plummeted down from the inside of a cloud and blasted clear through the two giant missiles. Fladramon and Coredramon watched as the explosives detonated in mid air before they could get close to the village. The explosions tore up the grass beneath them, sending smoke and flames swelling outwards. The shockwave blew the two Digimon backwards and rattled a few of the village's structures, but they were all spared injury and damage.
MetalGreymon's eye twitched with disbelief at this unexpected misfortune. "What the heck?!" he demanded, looking upwards at the cloud.
The Megadramon raider looked up as well, his cannons raised. "I think i-!" His voice was cut off when a thin, emerald laser pierced through the top of his helmet and emerged out of his chin. The Megadramon was killed him instantly, causing his body's structural integrity to fracture and his form to burst into hundreds of thousands of data particles.
"No!" the Gigadramon beside him shouted, horrified at his comrade's sudden deletion.
"Megadramon!" MetalGreymon yelled, furious that one of his bandits had been killed.
"Pendragon's Glory!" the voice repeated.
Another high-powered laser blasted down and ripped through the Gigadramon's chest, annihilating his digicore – vital processing organ that all Digimon possessed. The Gigadramon slumped forwards in the air with a winded gasp. His arms and tail went slack and he mindlessly fired two missiles from the cannons that made up his hands, shooting the bombs aimlessly downwards as his body broke apart into data.
The MetalGreymon leader gritted his teeth as the Gigadramon's deletion was accentuated by the two explosions that erupted in the grass below the data cloud. "Damn it!" he roared, drowning out the voice of their assailant as it spoke again. He looked to the remaining two bandits, pointing his giant metal claw towards the cloud where the laser beams fired from. "MetalTyrannomon! MegaloGrowmon! Fire at that cloud! Kill whoever's in it!"
"R-Right," the MetalTyrannomon agreed, though noticeably shaken at two of his comrades being taken down so easily. "Nuclear Laser!"
While preparing two more missiles to fire, MetalGreymon watched as MetalTyrannomon raised his left arm. MetalTyrannomon fired strong blasts of dark blue energy from the cannon in his palm. He shot the blasts into the thick of the cloud, despite not knowing who he was aiming at. However, MetalGreymon noticed that his other bandit, MegaloGrowmon, wasn't attacking.
"MegaloGrowmon! Is your hair in your ears again?! I said to fire!" MetalGreymon yelled, turning to him. He noticed that the MegaloGrowmon was looking down at a sparking hole that was made in his upper body armour, just around the cannons.
"M-MetalGreymon," he stammered, looking down at the puncture with obvious worry. "Boss, there's something wrong. I got hit; this weird shell thing… went into my armour… and I can feel it doing som- AH!"
The virus-carrying shell that had pierced inside his machinery activated abruptly. MegaloGrowmon let out a cry of pain as electricity suddenly surged through his body. The metal parts of the cyborg's body served to conduct the shock further. He reared his head back with a roar before the electrocution became too much for his body. His muscles seized up and his legs buckled. The large dinosaur crashed down on his chest and hit the ground in a heap. He lay there unconscious, though his leg and tail still twitched from the static shooting through his muscles.
MetalGreymon watched with disbelief as another of his raiders was taken out no more than fifteen seconds after the last one. "That's it!" he roared, the ports on his chest smoking. "Blow him out of the sky, MetalTyrannomon! Giga Destroyer!"
"What does it look like I'm doing?!" MetalTyrannomon replied frantically. He shot his Nuclear Laser attack wildly at the cloud high above them. "How is it hitting us so accurately from so far away?!"
"Just keep suppressing and I'll blow him away! Giga Destroyer!" MetalGreymon replied, arching his body back and sending two missiles shooting out of his chest. The missiles flew at high speeds towards the single cloud over head.
Several seconds later, the low-hanging cloud exploded and the white mist was blown outwards in a fiery, wispy bloom.
"...Think you got him?" MetalTyrannomon asked, squinting his eyes. "Maybe there was more than one. I can't see..."
"Damn well better have," the dinosaur bandit spat.
The grey dinosaur, however, wasn't convinced. He kept watching the sky until his eyes finally widened. "I see something!" he shouted, raising his cannon-infused hands in the thing's direction.
MetalGreymon growled and looked up, his blue eyes scanning the sky. He saw it too. It was dot falling away from the explosion like a comet. It seemed to be in freefall. This caused the bandit to grin. "Hah! I told you I'd get him!" he bellowed triumphantly.
MetalTyrannomon kept watching it as it came closer. "...It's falling this way! I-It's red! It's moving three times faster than either Megadramon or Gigadramon could!" he announced, unable to help but recoil.
MetalGreymon's smirk disappeared when the sobering reality became all too apparent. It was clear that their opponent wasn't falling, but diving towards them on his own free will. He started to back up with fear as Examon plummeted towards them, coming nearer and nearer. He could start to make out the creature's body. It was a crimson dragon man. His massive wings were cloaked around his body, reducing the wind resistance against him as he plummeted. The Chrome Digizoid armour glowed red hot as the friction of the atmosphere burned against his durable body. With his wings tucked in, it was clear he was freefalling on purpose.
"Draconic Impact!" the dragon Digimon shouted, plummeting towards them like a determined meteor.
MetalGreymon's eyes widened and he backed up further as the enemy approached at high velocity. "He's going to ram us! Shoot him!"
"Nuclear Laser!" MetalTyrannomon roared, wide-eyed as the Digimon rapidly approached. The lasers hit the dragon's folded wings but they glanced off due to the Digimon's speed. Upon seeing his attacks do nothing, MetalTyrannomon's fear took over and he turned around and tried to run away.
"Boss!" the dinosaur bandit desperately yelled as he futilely tried to run away from the plummeting dragon. The large dragon Digimon slammed into him, crushing him into the ground with enough force to delete MetalTyrannomon instantly. As the bandit was crushed into data, the mighty crash sent out a powerful shockwave out from the point of impact. The blast caused dirt and grass to explode into the air all throughout the massive blast radius. The detonation created a miniature mushroom cloud and the blast that swept outwards was enough to knock the heavy MetalGreymon onto his tail.
Wincing, the remaining dinosaur raider quickly pulled himself to his feet. He saw before him a large cloud of dust coming from a crater.
"Wh...Who are you?!" MetalGreymon demanded, trying not to let his fear show.
The dragon Digimon walked up and out of the crater, his broad wings outstretched and revealed the long, black lance in his right claws. He stared at the bandit with calm, green eyes and took aim with the Ambrosius. "My name is Examon. They call me the Dragon Emperor… I'm the defender of the United Dramonic Coalition." he explained, his voice a cool, composed growl. "Leave now and you'll live..."
The dinosaur brigand, however, refused to back down. He dug his clawed feet into the grass and glared. Examon returned the leer, not moving either. The two found themselves in a standoff.
"You're just a puny salamander!" MetalGreymon growled, looking down at the dragon who wasn't quite as large as his giant, saurian body. "Not even you can withstand this! Giga Destroyer!"
Smoke exploded from the cannon ports and two gigantic missiles screeched as they ejected from the ports and flew through the air towards Examon. Examon calmly watched as they approached. Before they could hit him, he managed to quickly cloak the armoured wings called 'Caledfwlch' around himself like a full body shield.
MetalGreymon watched as the two missiles exploded on contact with Examon; they detonated into a massive fireball which incinerated the surrounding grass and tore up the surrounding earth. A small grin formed on his face; he was absolutely positive that he hit his target.
"Did I kill him?" he asked gleefully while the heat and wind from the explosion blew his red hair back.
The cyborg dinosaur stared into the black smoke and raging flames, looking for signs of life. When he didn't see anything in the miniature mushroom cloud, he sighed with relief. "Good... The flying newt's toast..."
He was about to turn around, but saw the sun reflect off of something within the thick haze of smoke. His eyes widened with fear and he looked towards the where the center of the explosion was.
"No..." he gasped.
The wind blew the smoke back, first, to reveal the tip of a metal lance pointed at him. He followed the length of the lance with his eyes. It led back to inside its owner, who was hidden inside the protective tent created by his sentient, chrome digizoid wings.
Although Examon's wings smoked, there was very little that could penetrate chrome digizoid apart from chrome digizoid and the strongest of attacks. MetalGreymon watched as Examon slowly opened his wings, revealing himself to be completely unharmed.
"Not possible," MetalGreymon gasped, his eyes wide.
"I am a second stage Ultimate level Digimon. As a Perfect level, you're outclassed," Examon spoke matter-of-factly. He narrowed his green eyes slightly while raising his Ambrosius lance a few degrees, aiming it precislely. "Avalon's Gate!"
A shell exploded from the muzzle of the Ambrosius and shot towards MetalGreymon. Before he could react, it detonated on contact with MetalGreymon's neck and the remaining shards dug into his orange scales. The raider winced slightly with pain and took a step back, but remained standing. Expecting to be killed by the attack, MetalGreymon was initially surprised, but it soon turned to joy. "Hah! You may have good range and defense, but your offense s-ugh!" The MetalGreymon's body suddenly tensed up and his muscles contracted suddenly.
"Wh... What…?!" he demanded, his knees buckling and causing his legs to give way. "Wha's gu'in' on…?!" he demanded, his voice slurring and his face began to grow numb. He lurched forwards - his head, arms, and tail drooped and his tongue hung limply out of his mouth.
"I often use special ammunition. That particular shell's is infected with a virus meant to incapacitate you by affecting your muscles," Examon explained coolly. The crimson dragon man raised his lance and rested it on his spiked shoulder. "Your body will be temporarily paralysed and you will be unconscious in a few moments."
The MetalGreymon gave an incoherent sentence of protest that only served to cause saliva to dribble out of his mouth. The sedative kicked in and his eyes slowly closed. He fell forwards and hit the grassy plain with a heavy crash. His large, cyborg body lay there, unmoving.
After a few moments, Examon raised his lance and rested it against his spiked shoulder. This prompted cheers to resound from the nearby village. Examon raised an eyebrow and turned. He saw the various guards from the village cheering his defeat of the bandits. The dragon Digimon watched as multiple Digimon ran over to him.
"Examon!" Fladramon shouted graciously, jogging up to him.
"You made it just in time!" Coredramon said, his beaming face mimicked by the several other Dramon behind him. "Thank you so much!"
Examon nodded and looked over to the MegaloGrowmon and MetalGreymon. "I left two of them alive... but I don't feel right about deleting them while they're unconscious."
"We could probably take them to the jail in the UDC's capital, Dragon's Peak," Coredramon explained. He looked up at the dragon warrior with starry eyes, obviously impressed by his combat skills.. "You made it seem so easy."
"They probably haven't seen an Examon before," Examon humbly replied in a calm voice. "They underestimated me because they didn't know I'm a second stage Ultimate level. If they had been five Ultimate levels, it wouldn't have been so easy."
Fladramon smiled and nodded. "Still, you sure saved our-!" His eyes widened upon seeing something behind Examon. "B-Behind, you, Examon!"
Examon gritted his teeth and started to turn, his grip around the Ambrosius' trigger tightening. He was sure that the two raiders had been knocked out for a good hour. Was there another that he missed?
The dragon turned completely and aimed the lance on reflex upon seeing a figure walking across the grassland towards them.
At first glance, he noticed that the Digimon was much shorter than the previous raiders; he was about a head-and-shoulders shorter than Examon's size, although Examon was quite a tall Digimon, standing at over eleven feet. The unknown Digimon had a humanoid body, showing that he was tall for humanoid standards. The Digimon was clad from head to toe in pristine, white plate armour that glimmered in the sunlight. Examon could tell by looking at it that it was chrome digizoid. The armour was decorated with shimmering, crimson metal that was lined with gold trimming. These ornate pieces of armour made up his shoulder spaulders, his elbow guards, his knee guards, and his boots.
Examon noted that he appeared strong and athletic, judging by his broad shoulders and the brawny pectoral muscles beneath his thick chest armour. He had a triangular chest with a skinny but well-developed waist. His waist was wrapped in two, large, crimson belts that covered the space between his breastplate and his triangular groin armour. The humanoid knight Digimon also had a pair of lean, athletic legs that were covered in the same chrome digizoid armour. Examon's keen, sniper eyes could make out three curious symbols on the Digimon's knee guards and on the center of his chest armour. They to be four triangles: one large triangle in the center with the tip pointing upwards, and three smaller triangles whose vertices were connected to the vertices of the larger triangle. A circle surrounded the main triangle, passing through the three connection points that touched the tips of the smaller auxiliary triangles. It wasn't Digimoji, so the symbol piqued his interest.
However, Examon was more concerned about whether the Digimon was friend or foe. He continued scanning the Digimon with his eyes, gazing at his face to try and see his intentions. The knight wore a full helmet over his head, completely covering it. There was a metal visor with several vertical slits covering his face, concealing it from view. Above his brow was am ornate, crimson, metal crest with golden eyes, a few fangs, and large, dragon-like ears branching off from the sides. In the center of the draconic decoration was another black symbol with three upwards-pointing triangles that were connected to the sides of a larger, downwards-pointing triangle. Examon looked between the helmet crest and the visor to see a pair of golden eyes gazing at him. Examon had no idea why, but he felt disarmed by the Digimon's gaze. There was a warm feeling to the Digimon's gold eyes that made him feel comfortable for some reason.
The wind blew across the field and caused the lengthy strands of a long, ankle length, free-flowing ponytail of white hair to flow in the breeze. The knight's hair flowed out from a triangular point at the top of his helmet near the back of his head. That same breeze caused his long, crimson cape to bluster in the wind. His large, red cape hung from the back of his armour, rippling as he walked. It gave him a bold, gallant, commanding presence.
The dragon Digimon's eyes were drawn to the long, conical lance in the Digimon's right hand. The jousting lance was as long as the knight's body, and it rivaled Examon's own Ambrosius. The base of the lance was surrounded by a convex hood, similar to Examon's, allowing the Digimon to hold the lance from the inside. The shaft of the lance was a silver-white, ending with a sharp, dangerous tip, while the rim of the lance was crimson with gold trimming, matching the other parts of his armour. In the Digimon's left hand was a large, dome-like shield that was wide enough to cover from the Digimon's shoulder to his knee. The knight's arm was placed inside a slot in the interior of the shield so that he could better hold it. Examon noticed that the face of the shield was a shimmering silver colour. In the center of the shield was a symbol of four red, almost-connected triangles: the same as the one that the Digimon had on his helmet. Surrounding the symbol was a golden ring bordered by small triangles, giving it the appearance of the sun. Matching this shimmering golden metal was the thick, gold ring around the rim of the shield. The golden rim was inscribed with Digimoji that read 'Digital Monster'.
Examon narrowed eyes and bent his legs to get into a defensive stance. He could tell that this Digimon was strong. If he was with the bandits, it would be trouble for sure. The dragon man fanned his sentient wings fanning out to protect the dragon Digimon behind him. He aimed the Ambrosius at the knight Digimon.
Examon wasn't sure why, but something about him made him think this approaching Digimon was draconic in nature. Even if he was a dragon Digimon, Examon didn't want to take any chances, especially given how strong and confident the Digimon looked.
"Who are you? What do you want?" Examon demanded firmly.
"I come in peace," the knight spoke, looking steadily at Examon.
To Examon's surprise, the Digimon cast down his shield and stuck his own lance deep into the ground. Examon watched the knight raise his arms to signal that he was submitting and meant no ill-will. As the Digimon continued to approach, leaving the range of his weapon and shield, Examon felt confident in his sincerity and slowly lowered the Ambrosius. He gestured at the Digimon behind him to stay there, and proceeded to walk towards the Digimon to meet him.
"So..." the knight said in a slightly deep, but noble voice. He could feel a tinge of warmth in his words. The knight stopped a few meters away from Examon and looked at him with radiant, golden eyes. The armoured Digimon was as tall as Examon's shoulders in height. "Your name is Examon. The one they call 'the Dragon Emperor'," he mused good-naturedly.
"I am..." Examon replied sceptically, though his lance was lowered enough that the tip touched the ground. He was confident that he wouldn't have to use it. "Though it's really just something they like to call me around here. It's not a title; I'm not an actual emperor by any stretch... The authority here rests in the claws of the Four Great Dragons… I just protect the United Dramonic Coalition from hostile and evil Digimon. ...May I ask… Who are you?"
"My name is Dukemon. Dukemon of the Royal Knights," he explained with a polite smile, lowering his gauntlet-covered hands and offering his right one to Examon as a show of good will.
Examon's eyes widened slightly. "The... Royal Knights...?" he asked in disbelief. He had heard of the Royal Knights several times. They were an order of knightly Digimon who worked together to keep order and peace within the Digital World. They were in charge of Net Security, and they were said to serve Yggdrasil, the disputed creator of the Digital World. The Royal Knights were famous, not only on the continent of Eniac, but in the eastern continent of Colossus as well.
"That's right," he replied. Dukemon then glanced down at his hand, wondering if Examon was planning on taking it or not. "Uh…"
Examon blinked and realised that he was being unintentionally rude. The dragon flushed a bit and took Dukemon's hand in his claws, shaking it firmly. "I'm sorry. I'm just surprised to see a Royal Knight here," he explained.
Dukemon chuckled. "I get that a lot…" he explained. "It's nice to meet you, Examon." After retracting his hand, the Royal Knight then turned and looked at the unconscious MegaloGrowmon and MetalGreymon raiders. "You've been busy. Want me to take these two troublemakers off of your hands?"
"...You didn't come all the way here just for that," Examon replied, looking at Dukemon perceptively.
"Alright, you got me. I'll get to the point," Dukemon said, grinning slightly. "I'm here under orders from Alphamon, the head of the Royal Knights. He's summoning you to our headquarters."
Examon raised an eyebrow. "...Me? What could he want with me?" he inquired with confusion.
"M-Mister Dukemon, Sir," Fladramon spoke up nervously. "Examon's not in any trouble, is he?"
"The opposite," Dukemon explained, taking an envelope which was secured inside the two belts around his waist. He offered the piece of paper to Examon, who nodded and took it. On it was Digimoji that translated to "To Examon". The dragon turned the envelope over and saw that it had been closed with Alphamon's personal seal.
He opened it and began reading.
"We noticed your skills in protecting this area. Your record has been impressive. Enough that Alphamon wants to recruit you as one of the Royal Knights," the Royal Knight explained as Examon read.
"...What?" Examon asked, his eyes widening as Dukemon's words were confirmed in writing.
"Examon? A Royal Knight?" Coredramon asked, liking the idea.
"...So, will you join me?" Dukemon asked with a friendly smile. "By the look on your face, I can tell that I was right."
Examon looked down and frowned in thought. "I'm... honoured by the invitation. Really, I am… but..." he looked over to the villagers. "I can't leave. I have a duty to protect the dragon Digimon of the United Draconic Coalition."
"I admire your sense of duty, Examon. It's commendable. But… think about it..." Dukemon said, trying to get Examon to keep an open mind. "By joining the Royal Knights, you'll not only be able to protect this area, but you'll also be able to protect the entire Digital World. I watched your fight just a few minutes ago and you have already proved your worth to me. You have fighting prowess, discipline, and a good heart. You've proved that much already," the crimson Royal Knight commended him.
Dukemon smiled behind his visor. Examon thought he could make out crimson scales behind it. "And, of course, this territory, the United Dramonic Coalition, will continue to receive the full protection of the Royal Knights, but at a greater priority level with you around," he added encouragingly. "You know the UDC well, and it's right next to the Free Area."
Examon studied him carefully before closing his eyes in thought. He knew Dukemon had a point and joining the Royal Knights felt like a good opportunity for him. A part of him felt a bit reluctant, as his sense of duty urged him to continue to protect this land specifically. However, as Dukemon said, he would still be able to do that as part of the Royal Knights.
He continued to ponder it. It wasn't as though he had any close friends or family within the United Dramonic Coalition, only acquaintances. Examon had always been a bit of a loner, even after assuming the unofficial role as region's protector. He always wanted to be a part of an elite team like the Royal Knights and he felt he would be able to get a lot done if he did. Part of him always wanted to do more than what he was doing. If he could protect the Digital World as well as the UDC…
"...Okay. I accept," he answered with a light grin.
Dukemon folded his arms and nodded approvingly, a small smile present behind his helmet. "I'm glad, Examon," he said. He then chuckled slightly. "OuRyuumon is going to love this..." he knowingly joked to himself.
The white and red knight outstretched a hand towards him amiably. "Welcome to the team," Dukemon stated, moving his other hand and placing it on Examon's shoulder.
Examon, surprised, looked down at the hand for a moment. He then smiled and took it in his claws, shaking it firmly.
The dragon Digimon turned towards the nearby guards and civilians. "Will you all be okay?"
Fladramon nodded. "If anything, this'll be better for us. I'll be sure to tell the mayor at the capital. I'm sure the Four Great Dragons will want to hear about it too."
Examon nodded quietly and looked back to Dukemon. "When do we leave?" he asked.
The Royal Knight shook his claws and then released them, taking his arm back. "Now. Unless you need more time..." Dukemon offered. "You might want to get the formalities out of the way before you start packing, but it's completely up to you."
"Now's fine," Examon replied. He frowned and looked over at the two unconscious Digimon. "Except..."
Turning towards them as well, Dukemon folded his arms. "Oh, right. Our esteemed friends here..." he mused with humour on his voice. "...I'll take the MegaloGrowmon and you take the MetalGreymon. There will be a cozy spot in Havelock Prison for them." He glanced at Examon with a smirk.
With a restrained smile, Examon walked over to the MetalGreymon, hoisted his tail over his shoulder and began the painstaking process of dragging him. Examon may have been an Ultimate level Digimon, but the MetalGreymon raider was still incredibly heavy.
He glanced over and saw Dukemon doing the same as him, dragging the MegaloGrowmon by the tail after fastening the lance and shield he dropped to his back. Examon couldn't help but be impressed that the knight was actually overtaking him despite being slightly smaller than him. "I guess that's why he's a Royal Knight," Examon said to himself, under his breath.
"Did you say something?" Dukemon asked, poking his head above the MegaloGrowmon's tail to look over at him.
"Nothing," the dragon answered sheepishly.
Examon looked at the letter in his hand and smiled to himself. "So... I'm going to become a Royal Knight..."