It was just another regular spring afternoon— this is what Guilmon had concluded.
A gentle spring breeze was blowing through West Shinjuku Park as the sun warmed his body. The greenery of the surrounding forest was vibrant as ever, and the sounds of the city could be heard as the afternoon set in.
Takato was right; it was as if nothing had ever changed.
Yet of course, things had changed. The knowledge of exactly what changed would come to him with due time. He was not aware of everything, and there was much that he had missed. It had been years after all— years to them, but a lifetime of sorts to him.
But it was real. His dream of returning had been realized.
He was with Takato again.
Now, if only the boy in question was here with him— but would it be right to call him a child now?
Takato was growing up.
Guilmon wondered. He wondered whether Takato would believe him if he told him of his deeds as a Royal Knight. Would Takato then forgive his prolonged absence? Or was he already forgiven?
Such questions ate at the Crimson Knight.
It was strange. He had the nerve to face deletion and hold off an unending army of DexDoruGreymon in the midst of the Digital World's End, but he couldn't work up the courage to ask his tamer such a simple thing—
"Do you forgive me?"
Back then, he wouldn't have hesitated to ask.
Years went by, and "Guilmon" had generally stayed the same. His form, yes. His personality? That… was another story. Takato, likewise, had changed in appearance and slightly in personality. At the core, he would still be his brave and kind Tamer— he knew this.
But they both had changed. More or less, his uncertainty frightened him. There was never a doubt in his mind before… why was he afraid now?
His emotions confused him.
In contrast to what the Hazard had become accustomed to since his stay in the Digital World, surely, peaceful days like this felt too good to be real. The days before, when he was first born into the world, felt like a far off dream. Would he dare say that he felt like a stranger? As a Royal Knight, he only knew of conflict— seemingly endless conflict.
Why had he become a Royal Knight in the first place? Because Yggdrasil promised something that he couldn't refuse: A chance to return to the Real World. Yet, it was exactly because he became a Royal Knight, he could not leave the Digital World.
In a way, Yggdrasil had granted him it through its own means, despite how long it took.
When the Digital World reset with Yggdrasil's demise, conflict had given way to peace, and the future was protected. When that peace was achieved, he no longer had a reason to stay. He could surely trust in his dear friend Omegamon with the future of the world and those young ones. There was no doubt there.
But could he trust himself? Could he trust Takato with the truth?
A question of trust. Perhaps it was just that.
Was he protecting him by not telling him the truth? What was he protecting him from?
Takato's ideal of him, perhaps.
Just who was "he", now?
Was he Guilmon— a Digimon that became partnered and the best friend of that child, and had helped saved both worlds from the D-Reaper?
Or was he Gallantmon— One of the Digital world's Royal Knights, a guardian deity of the network, and a traitor to Yggdrasil?
Who was he?
He had dreamt of their reunion for so long… and when they had met again, he had felt no greater joy in his being.
But there unease. There was a void of sorts that he couldn't seem to fill, and that, is what terrified the Crimson Knight. He was afraid of being rejected— That he wouldn't be accepted by Takato as he was now.
Even if he refused to show it, the Digital Hazard was deeply troubled.
A part of him that he couldn't identify told him it was wrong to continue to keep the truth from Takato, and he knew it. Honesty to one's Lord was expected of a Knight— and here he was, deliberately keeping the truth from him.
Takato Matsuda— His creator, lord, partner, and best friend.
Just what kind of knight was he?
His lips tugged into a worried frown.
In all the Crimson Knight's contemplation, and despite the wisdom he had gained in their separation, he could find no alternative.
One day, he would have to tell Takato the truth. Anything else would simply not do.
Although, he's surprised. In all the conversations that they've had since his return, Takato has never asked him to tell. Now that he thinks about it, his Tamer has never once asked about his whereabouts.
Was he just as scared too? Or did his trust never wane?
With a silent sigh, Guilmon stares into the sky.
Peaceful days that he strove to make permanent in the Digital World only seemed natural in the Real World, but it's unsettling. Perhaps he has grown too accustomed to fighting— Yet, Guilmon could only wonder, just how long would these languid days last?
How long would it take for the gap between them to be filled again?
Only time would tell. Until then, he would have to make up for lost time before the calm ended.
Just as conflict would end, placid days would too.
Eventually, he would have to lift up his lance as Gallantmon again one day. Hopefully, Takato would be willing to fight with him together again when that time came.
Until then, he would wait.
He would always wait.