(Author's notes: Just posted Chapter 30. Here's the epilogue.)
Epilogue: One in a Quintillion
A few weeks had passed…
The Battle of the World Tree – as it became known by the Royal Knights' chroniclers – still resonated across the continent. The holy site had been damaged and desecrated during the two attacks, and Digimon wanted to know why and what had happened. The fact that it attracted the Four Holy Beast to the World Tree caused the event to gain even more attention.
This required the Royal Knights to come clean about DarkKnightmon's Coups – again, so-named by the Royal Knights' chroniclers and historians in light of the battle's aftermath. While they had been able to sweep the first coup under the rug in the past, the Royal Knights had no wish to (or the ability to, after the sheer scale of the battle) do so again. They offered complete transparency about what had happened with DarkKnightmon.
Fortunately for the Royal Knights, they had been generally spared public backlash to this secret. Their prestige hadn't been irreparably damaged like DarkKnightmon had always intended. This was because, in spite of DarkKnightmon's connection with them and the impressive opposition that he challenged them with, the Royal Knights and their forces had valiantly protected the World Tree. It was at no small price either. On the Royal Knights' side, there had been fifty one deleted and hundreds wounded. As a mark of respect, the Royal Knights held a service and lowered the flag bearing the castle's coat of arms for fifty one days.
However, life went on. Everybody had to try their best to move on from the tribulations that they had been faced with for the past few months.
Dorbickmon had eventually been left off the hook, after having promised sincerely that he had reformed, and that he would help out the Royal Knights in the future. Despite this, he received a severe tongue-lashing from many of the Royal Knights and he still wasn't entirely trusted. Things probably would have gone differently if Examon, Dukemon, Alphamon, and Omegamon (who retained his memories from when he was Omegamon Zwart) hadn't spoken on his behalf. Dorbickmon went back to his freelance mercenary job and, while now picking his commissions very carefully, maintained his contact network so that he could absorb information.
The Order also went back to work, as did the Royal Knights. They trained and intervened as they always did. However, they were even more involved in continental affairs than they were before. Using Imperialdramon's knowledge as well as their own, they took a more hands-on approach, although not nearly to the degree that DarkKnightmon wouldn't have wanted. They still believed in the basic tenants on which their Order was founded upon.
Alphamon, Omegamon, Dukemon, Magnamon, Dynasmon, RhodoKnightmon, UlforceVeedramon, Craniamon, Duftmon, Sleipmon, and Examon… all eleven Royal Knights worked together to make the Order, and the Digital World, the best that they could be. It wasn't easy, but that wouldn't stop them on their righteous mission.
And they soon found that there would be a twelfth Royal Knight among their ranks…
Alphamon sat behind his desk in his office. The finely crafted, wooden desk had on it papers stacked in an orderly, systematic way. To the right of his hand were charcoal pencils, a quill, a fountain pen, and a seal for officially marking envelopes and scrolls. To his left was a small ball of pure light that hovered above his desk, providing a light source for the room. Alphamon held a pen between his fingers and he looked down at an official document in front of him, which he was in the process of filling out. Behind his formal clothing were bandages which still sealed the recovering wounds of his chest, shoulders, and arms, but they were healed enough for him to move around.
"Name: Gankoomon…" Alphamon said aloud. He looked up.
Across from him, on the other side of the desk, sat Gankoomon. His arms were folded and he was shaking his leg agitatedly. "Come on, Alphamon," he said, looking across at Alphamon with an impatient, annoyed expression. "Is this really necessary? You already guaranteed me the position."
"If we're going to do this, it has to be official," Alphamon responded methodically. "So, Gankoomon, continuing with our interview… Why do you want you join the Royal Knights?"
"Because you asked me," Gankoomon sarcastically answered. He ceased shaking his leg and brought it onto the knee of his other leg. "You already know why you want me to become a Royal Knight, so can't we just skip this? It's a pain in the ass."
"I hope you don't curse on a regular basis, Gankoomon," Alphamon told him. He seemed to be taking some secret pleasure in doing this. "…And, as I said, you're going to become the twelfth Royal Knight, so I need to make sure you're thoroughly checked over."
"Just as long as it's not by that weird pink guy," Gankoomon muttered, sneering a bit and leaning back in the chair. "I want to be a Royal Knight because…" He paused and thought about what he wanted to say. "I think you guys need someone like me to keep you in check. I bring a new perspective and a lot of talent to the table."
"I asked why you want to join us, not why we want you to join us," Alphamon noted, scribbling something down on the paper that Gankoomon was unable to see.
This agitated Gankoomon even more. "Rgh… I think you're all damn impressive fighters." He frowned and looked to the side. "And you all have good hearts and intentions. I want to work with Digimon like that. I think we can do a lot of good…"
"Okay, good…" Alphamon replied. He wrote something else down. "Now, your companions… The Sistermons and Huckmon. They'll be joining with you?"
"Yeah. I'm not expecting you to give them big positions in the Order or anything. Just lodgings and something small and out of the way so they can focus on Huckmon's training. I'll make sure they stay out of trouble," the white-coated warrior assured him.
"Very well. That shouldn't be a problem," Alphamon assured him. He looked like he was about to stand up, making Gankoomon hopeful that the interview was over. Instead, Alphamon merely readjusted his sitting position. "Next question."
Gankoomon's eye twitched.
"How would you describe yourself?"
"Getting pissed off," Gankoomon deadpanned, really becoming annoyed by all of these formalities.
"Possessing something of a temper," Alphamon murmured, writing another thing down in the document. "Impatient, dismissive of regulations…"
Gankoomon was on the verge of gnashing his teeth together.
"Moving on…" Alphamon spoke up, a faint smile on his face. "Describe to me some of your abilities and assets…"
At this, the expression of anger disappeared from Gankoomon's face. It was replaced by a glint in his visor…
Gankoomon uncrossed his leg and slowly stood to his feet. With a passionate smirk, he leaned forwards and grabbed the edge of Alphamon's desk. "Chabudai…"
Alphamon watched haplessly as his interviewee suddenly gripped the desk hard and pulled up. Gankoomon lifted the desk high into the air, causing all of the papers, utensils and items to spill off the desk and fall to the floor. Then, with a mighty heave, Gankoomon flipped the table over in a display of passion and strength. The desk crashed to the floor noisily, flipping a few times before slowly toppling over, over to the side of the two Digimon.
They took this to mean that the interview was over.
When the noise faded into an awkward, lingering silence, Alphamon slowly looked up at Gankoomon with a flat, dry expression.
"…We'll get back to you."
The cool, relaxing evening breeze blew through the air. Soft wisps of clouds passed by overhead, hovering above the Royal Knights' headquarters. When they passed, two moons could be seen in the night sky, reflecting a dim light down to the ground and over the buildings. The moons were aligned in such a way that the edge of one was partially hidden by the other. They rested in orbit against the dark, starry sky.
Standing on the ramparts of the refurbished wall was Alphamon. He leaned forwards, resting his arms on the parapets, and stared out across the shadowy field surrounding the front of the castle. The Royal Knight closed his eyes and quietly listened to the sounds of nature around him, trying to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the night.
He heard what sounded like metallic footsteps grow near.
"Alphamon…?" a soft voice asked.
Alphamon opened his eyes and looked over his shoulder. Emerging from the darkness was the white-armoured body of Omegamon. Omegamon approached him uncertainly and stood next to him. He looked over at Alphamon hesitantly.
"Omegamon… Hello," Alphamon greeted with a small smile.
"I thought you might be out here…" Omegamon said to him.
"Am I that predictable?" Alphamon asked him.
Omegamon smiled faintly and looked forwards, staring out into the distance. His blue eyes quietly scanned the shadows of the night in the distance. "…You're thinking about DarkKnightmon, aren't you?"
Alphamon winced imperceptibly. "…I'm thinking about a lot of things."
"I…" Omegamon begun, but soon stopped. He frowned gently and looked down at his hands, which rested on the top of the stone parapet. "Would you like to talk to me about it? I mean, if…" He trailed off, embarrassed.
Alphamon was quiet. He glanced over at Omegamon, gazing at him carefully. "…No…" he responded, looking forwards again.
Omegamon closed his eyes. He nodded gently, understandingly. While it hurt, he realized that things would be different after he became Omegamon Zwart. He allowed his hands to slide off of the stone brick and he made to turn around to walk away.
However, he was stopped by a black hand on his shoulder, gripping him gently. He glanced over his shoulder to see Alphamon's red eyes gazing into him.
"Just having you by my side is enough, Omegamon…" he assured him.
Omegamon looked forwards as his face grew red, but he raised his hand and placed it on top of Alphamon's. He then turned around and stood next to him again. He glanced at him and looked down. "Alphamon, I… I want to say…"
"If it's about what happened with DarkKnightmon, you don't have to say anything…" Alphamon explained. "If anything, I should apologize for the way I acted."
"You already did," Omegamon responded reassuringly. "You don't need to again…"
"Good… because I'm hoping that we can move forwards," Alphamon said, turning and looking at his friend.
"…Of course, Alphamon," Omegamon answered, returning the look.
"You aren't just saying that, are you?" the black knight asked the white one.
Omegamon smiled a bit. "No… I want us to move forwards. Together."
"Good…" Alphamon responded.
He returned to gazing back out into the night sky. A comfortable silence overtook the pair. For awhile, they just stood together, at ease, like they used to.
"…So. Gankoomon," Omegamon spoke, breaking the silence and looking over at Alphamon. "That was sudden. Are you sure?"
"I think it makes sense…" Alphamon replied. "After this DarkKnightmon business, it will look better for us, adding another Royal Knight to our ranks. Besides, Gankoomon prides himself as being a Digimon of the people. I suppose we could stand to be more in touch with regular Digimon. And there is more to him than just a hot temper."
Omegamon nodded. "I trust your judgment. I'm sure he will be a great addition to the team."
Alphamon smiled a bit and stared up at the night sky, the large, white moons reflecting in the moat, as well as in his red eyes. "Are you?" he asked rhetorically. "Duftmon has made his opinion clear, and there are bound to be personality conflicts with Gankoomon."
"They will adapt," Omegamon said confidently. "They'll grow and accept. They always do…"
"I suppose…" Alphamon replied.
Omegamon smiled and stared up at the stars and moons as well. "If you don't believe me, just look at how the last addition to the Royal Knights turned out…"
"Yes… I suppose he turned out fine…" Alphamon answered, a grin growing on his face.
As the two Royal Knights gazed up at the serene night sky, they watched as Examon's silhouette soared through the air and passed in front of the lustrous moons.
Examon looked down at them and nodded with a calm smile. Without a word, he glided on the breeze before pulling up, ascending, and disappearing into the stars…
(Author's Notes: Well... that's that. A huge thank you to all the readers, followers, and reviewers. Thanks for taking the time to read this massively long Digimon story of mine that I've been writing for the past two and three quarter years. It's been really fun writing this and interacting with the fans. I hope you all enjoyed reading it as much as I loved writing it.
Next is the sequel to "A Dragon in Shining Armour". It's going to be called "Holy War." If you want to read it, be sure to add either it or me to your alert list so you know when I post a new chapter. I hope I'll see all of you there. I have a lot of plots, characters, and ideas planned, so it should be fun. And Digimon Adventure Tri is on the way, so Digimon is making another comeback, which will surely reflect positively on my fic. Check it out! www. fanfiction s/10931005/1/Holy-War (The link has been butchered, but you can probably figure it out.)
By the way, I want to hear, should this story have been rated M? xD I keep feeling like there's some stuff in here that's too mature for T, but I don't know.
Again, thanks for the patronage. It's been a great ride and I've finally officially finished my first, full length story. 741 pages and about 332 000 words. Yup. See you soon!)