It had been such a long while since Dukemon's first arrival in the Royal Knights.

After introductions, the Crimson Knight had garnered the hostilities of nearly every member for simply being a Virus Type. Omegamon, as the Leader, did not discriminate against him. Yggdrasil's judgment was always fair, and never did he once question his Lord's judgment.

Although, Dukemon proved to be difficult at times. The differences went far beyond typing, in those respects.

He was knowledgeable in subjects Omegamon couldn't fathom and unreasonably emotional in comparison to he and his fellow knights. He was headstrong and easily hot-blooded. Never did he falter once in motion, and never did he resent the other Knights for their wrongs against him. He forgave easily, but he never forgot. He endured torment with a steadfast gaze, and resolution never left his eyes once he had decided on a goal.

At the same time, while he could easily be one of the more serious knights, he had a playful childishness that resurfaced on occasion. One of the more subtler things he had noticed, was a yearning. For what? Only Dukemon knew that answer.

Dukemon was unquestionably strange. Omegamon couldn't decide whether those traits were flaws, or what gave the Viral Knight strength. He found Dukemon's idiosyncrasies endearing of sorts- he was very interesting to talk to. Still, what was Dukemon's past?

He was certain that he'd never know. In all the time that he had known the Knight, as open as he was about his thoughts and feelings, Dukemon was still an enigma. An unknown.

There were many rumors of him too. Rumors of him being the fabled Crimson Knight that had faced down the True Enemy. Of course, whenever he had the chance to confirm such rumors, he did not. The Vaccine chose to respect his dear friend's privacy, despite how strong his curiosity was. Omegamon had an image he needed to keep, after all.

He could not ask such trivial questions… no matter how much he longed to. He would restrain himself. Unfortunately, while Dukemon did exercise restraint, it was not of the same breed as his. More than often, he would drop questions so casually, it could easily catch Omegamon off-guard at times.

Such as now.

"Do you dream?"

Dreaming? "Yes." Of course he had dreams.

"What do you dream of?"

"I dream of the Digital World's peace and stability," He answered as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.

"As do the rest of the Royal Knights, myself included, Omegamon," Dukemon replied coolly. "Say when that peace is achieved, what will you do then?"

This too, caught him off guard, but he answered nonetheless.

"I will protect that peace with my life, Dukemon. To protect the Digimon of this World."

"I see," His friend mused thoughtfully. "Yet, if I may impose another question, is this peace something you desire, or is it what our Lord Yggdrasil desires?"

He was full of questions today.

"Are you implying that I would deviate from our Lord's wishes?" Omegamon asked sharply.

"Not at all." The Dukemon replied with a calm tone. "I merely wanted to know your vision." The knight rectified.

Ah. So that was it.

"… Have you heard of Lord Yggdrasil's latest orders, Omegamon?"

"Yes. [Project Ark]," He stated simply, taking note of the Knight's sudden seriousness. "The X-Virus is decimating the Digital World's current population; there have never been more problems with the network until this point. We Royal Knights must act quickly, lest all Digimon become extinct."

"However… only two percent will be allowed to migrate from this Digital World to the new one." The Crimson Knight commented idly, eyes narrowing. "A terrible loss of life."

"It is as Lord Yggdrasil wishes; you know we cannot go against that." Omegamon admonished. "The survival of Digimon will be guaranteed, Dukemon. No matter the cost."

"Do you swear to it?" The Crimson Knight asked.

"Pardon?"

"Do you swear that you will do anything in your power to ensure the protection of Digimon in the New World?" Dukemon asked again, clarifying the question as he went on. "You did say that peace was your ultimate goal, Omegamon." He pointed out.

The Knight nodded.

"Surely, that must mean that you will protect them."

"It has always been a Royal Knight's duty to protect Digimon." He answered.

"Then what of those Digimon with the X-Antibody?" The Crimson Knight asked, undaunted. "Surely, you must know of their existence by now… their modified appearances, and immunity to the X-Program that Yggdrasil has released into the Digital World…"

"Yggdrasil's wishes are absolute to we Royal Knights. Whatever they may be, we must always execute them, Dukemon." Omegamon replied harshly. "Those outsiders harm the peace of the network with their taint!"

The Crimson Knight was silent.

"We must always fulfill our duties without failure, Dukemon. Regardless of what those orders may be." His voice was strong with resolve. "You know this for a fact. Our comrades may have fallen, but so as long as we Royal Knights remain, we shall always carry out Yggdrasil's will!"

"Is that fine?"

"Pardon?" Omegamon's eyes narrowed.

"...Forget it." Dukemon unfolded his arms and began to walk past him, towards the network exit. "I asked something irrelevant."

"Dukemon!"

"I have something I need to take care of, before the entirety of this old world collapses." The Crimson Knight continued to walk towards the exit, stopping just before to take a glance at Omegamon. "In the New World, I expect you to stay true to your word, my dear friend." Just as he faded out of the network, his final words hung over the area like a shroud.

"Regardless of what must be done."

Now alone, Omegamon stood still.

Perhaps, he would never understand him...