Chapter 41

Speck of Hope

TK found himself doing his homework, seeing as he was behind, but he had the added distractions of Myotismon's egg twitching occasionally, alongside Patamon eyeing the egg like a hawk. Patamon's serious expression and posture couldn't help but crack up TK a little bit every time he spotted him out of the corner of his eye.

'Patamon, when it hatches, it hatches. It's not like we need to have it delivered at a hospital or anything.'

Patamon shook his head firmly. 'You never know, TK. Myotismon's fresh form could be a real handful.'

TK frowned in slight confusion. 'Do you mean, handful as in dangerous? Or handful as in annoying?'

Patamon shrugged. 'Could be both.'

TK quickly shook his head, trying to free himself of nearby distractions. A sudden boom of Hiroaki's laughter from the living area threw him off balance again. He couldn't help but grin to himself at hearing his father's voice, mixed in with his mother's at conversation. Nancy actually sounded happy to have him over for once.

Hiroaki and Toushiro had come over for a visit, which seemed ages since he last did so. While TK would be glad to go talk to him, he needed to finish his assigned tasks for the day first.

At least they're friends again... he thought hopefully.

His head flinched as another boom sounded, and he decided he wanted to talk to Hiroaki enough for him to quiet down for just a little longer. He got up and opened his door a little to eye the three adults sitting around the kitchen table.

'Dad,' He said firmly, grinning. 'I'd really love to join you guys, but can you let me finish my work first? Like, be a bit more quiet, at least until I finish?'

Hiroaki looked embarrassed and grinned apologetically. 'Aw, sorry TK. It's just been so long... but for your sake, I'll try my best.'

Toushiro nodded in agreement. 'I guess I haven't been much help, either.'

They quickly quieted down their conversation, and TK took the chance to rush back to his room to finish the last five math questions.

'I'm nearly done...'

He frowned with concentration as he scribbled down his answers. He was on the verge of finishing when Patamon suddenly began tapping him on the shoulder as he hovered up and down.

'TK! TK, come quick!'

'Not now, Patamon!'

Patamon looked over his shoulder with excitement and apprehension. 'The egg! It's hatching, TK!'

TK's eyes widened and he immediately put down his pen, spinning around to eye the egg, which was cracking and making loud squeaky noises. Alarm flashed through TK's stomach as he heard the adults get up.

Mom and Dad know, but... that Toushiro guy? Great...

He quickly moved to steady the egg on its chair, making sure it wouldn't fall over. His head spun around to be met withthe surprised expressions of his parents, along with Toushiro, who's eyes seem to light up at the sight.

'TK!' Hiroaki called out jarringly. 'What's going on?'

TK grimaced uncomfortably as the egg continue to rock his arms. 'It's a long story, Dad... I didn't get a chance to tell you before...'

Toushiro's eyes also fell on Patamon, but the flying hamster was too distracted by the egg to look back. They all covered their eyes as the egg shone blindingly, and they heard a final crack before the light died down.

TK slowly uncovered his eyes to see a yellow blob on the chair, sitting perfectly still. He shivered slightly before opening his large red eyes, studying everyone in the room. He opened his mouth, but seemed to have trouble speaking.

'Where... am... I...'

TK smiled warmly before picking Zurumon up. 'You're in my house, in the real world.'

Zurumon's eyes blinked obliviously. 'What... happened?'

Patamon studied him worriedly. 'How much do you remember?'

Zurumon stared at Patamon, before glancing at TK again. 'I remember you two... from somewhere.'

TK suddenly remembered everyone in the room, and immediately glanced at Toushiro wearily, but Toushiro seemed quite happy to see the digimon hatch. Hiroaki smiled encouragingly in response.

'Don't worry, TK. I've been meaning to introduce to Toushiro a bit better... believe it or not, he actually knows about the digimon too. Don't worry, you can trust him.'

TK studied Toushiro briefly before smiling politely. 'Sorry if I came off as rude.'

Toushiro shook his head modestly. 'Not at all.'

He continued to examine Zurumon, before coming in closer, followed by Nancy. 'Who's this?'

TK got out his digivice and used it to scan Zurumon, and he immediately came up with some data. 'His name's Zurumon. Baby stage. A slime digimon.'

Zurumon shrunk away nervously as Toushiro approached, to which TK immediately stroked him gently.

'It's OK. We're all your friends.'

Zurumon stared up at TK for a while before relaxing. 'Thanks... TK. I'm... trying to remember more, but it's all fuzzy. I don't even remember how we met.'

TK glanced briefly around at Nancy, Hiroaki and Toushiro, studying Zurumon with fascinated expressions. TK exhaled lightly. 'I guess it couldn't hurt.'

Patamon raised an eyebrow in surprise. 'You want to tell him everything? Are you sure, TK? I mean, I would have liked to forget some of that stuff if I had the choice.'

Zurumon shook his head vehemently. 'No, no. I need to know... I feel lost, useless, without knowing how I came to be here. Please tell me, TK, Patamon.'

TK gradually stood up, facing the door. 'I guess we should go to the table, guys.'

Zurumon listened with fixated attention as TK and Patamon relayed everything that happened between them, from when they met, to when they defeated Barbamon. Zurumon seemed to tear up when they mentioned the ghosts of his friends.

Patamon immediately patted his head comfortingly. 'I'm sorry about what happened to them.'

Zurumon shook his head slightly. 'No... I'm glad. I'm glad they were free from Barbamon, along with everyone else that suffered at his hands. And I'm glad you saved me... even if I still feel lonely.'

TK immediately grinned. 'You won't feel like that for too long - not if we have anything to say about it.'

Toushiro suddenly exhaled tiredly. 'Whew. That was a hell of a thing you kids, did. I kind of envy you.'

Hiroaki raised an eyebrow, perplexed. 'Going already, Tou?'

Toushiro snorted with amusement. 'You do realise what time it is, right Hiro?'

Hiroaki immediately checked his watch, and jerked forward in shock. 'I've gotta get back to Matt. I don't think he has a key! Damn...'

Nancy looked a little sad when both of them stood up and headed to the door. 'Hiroaki, Toushiro, I'm glad you visited. Maybe we could do this more often?'

Toushiro nodded his head enthusiastically. 'Of course. And I could learn more about these fascinating digimon creatures in the process.'

As they approached the door, TK noticed that Toushiro stopped suddenly, eyeing Patamon. Toushiro simply smiled, patting his right pocket as he left, with Hiroaki following behind.

When the door closed behind them, Nancy immediately turned her attention to Zurumon. 'So, Zurumon... what would you like for dinner?'

Zurumon looked surprised at the suggestion. 'Dinner?'

'Of course. How do you expect to digivolve without any food?'

When Zurumon frowned thoughtfully, TK suddenly piped up enthusiastically. 'Hey Mom! How about we order some pizza? And actual chips? No sushi again, please...'

Nancy frowned with disapproval. 'I don't often let you eat rubbish like that, TK.'

TK looked a little disappointed, as Zurumon examined him sympathetically. 'Uh... can we have whatever TK wants?'

Nancy widened her eyes with surprise, and TK turned around and grinned to himself, Patamon following his motion. Yes!

Calumon, who had been sleeping on the roof, twitched slightly as he heard the door open and close. He blinked himself awake when he felt the energy of another digimon.

Did Myotismon's egg hatch? I better go see!

Yuji found himself eyeing the four digimon uncomfortably. Veemon, Gabumon, Biyomon and Guilmon had arrived together and ordered some food. He was quite glad to see the digimon returning safely from their trip, but they didn't seem so lively and chatty like they usually were. He quickly noticed that Agumon wasn't with them.

'What's up with you guys?' He asked worriedly as he washed some platters. 'It's not like you to be so quiet.'

Veemon eyed his milkshake meekly. 'All of our partners are at school, and Agumon's also at school.'

Yuji raised an eyebrow. 'Agumon goes to school now? He sure could use it.'

That wrought some snickers from the digimon.

'But why don't any of you go with him?'

Gabumon spoke up this time. 'It's special training, just for him.'

'Why don't you go see it, if you're so bored?'

'Because,' Veemon elaborated, 'it's quite critical, and his teacher, Baihumon, doesn't want too many observers. Besides, he says it could be dangerous for us - it's risky enough when Tai goes to watch.'

Yuji frowned thoughtfully to himself. 'I suppose that makes sense. It's not really my business anyway.'

Veemon grinned slyly. 'I reckon the real reason Baihumon doesn't want us to watch is because Agumon would get distracted and show off to Biyomon.'

Biyomon immediately sat up firmly, eyeing Veemon indignantly. 'What are you talking about? I don't think he would do that...'

Veemon snorted. 'I beg to differ. Whenever you're around, he can't help but stare at you quite a lot.'

Biyomon gaped slightly, blushing, before she went back to her fruit smoothie in awkward silence. Gabumon rolled his eyes slightly before he eyed Veemon. 'Hey, Veemon? Why didn't you invite Gatomon over with us?'

Veemon immediately flushed and glanced away. 'Uh... well, I did try, Gabumon. She wasn't there. It's like the Kamiya residence is deserted.'

Biyomon managed to speak up again. '... hypocrite. You stare at Gatomon as much as I stare at Agumon.' She immediately caught herself. 'Not that I stare at him all the time, mind you...'

When Veemon and Biyomon began bickering, Gabumon looked over at Guilmon worriedly. 'Guilmon?' He asked softly. 'You haven't ordered anything, Something wrong?'

Guilmon had been staring down at the counter meekly before he perked up when Gabumon addressed him. He smiled appreciatively. 'Oh... thanks, Gabumon, but I'm not hungry.'

'You sure? No bread?'


'How about ice cream?'

'... no thanks.'

Gabumon sighed tiredly and scratched his head. What's the matter with him? He's been slightly quiet ever since he left when we came back to the real world. Poor guy.

Veemon suddenly fell silent, causing Biyomon to stare at him in confusion. 'You were saying?'

Veemon shook his head dismissively. 'I... recognise that smell.'

'Oh. There you all are. Typical, I guess.'

Veemon spun his head to stare at the approaching Gatomon, to which Biyomon immediately smirked. 'Told ya, didn't I?'

Veemon smiled warmly as she approached. 'What are you doing here, Gatomon?'

Gatomon shrugged lightly. 'Waiting all alone in a tree doesn't work for me. I don't know why Kari goes to those after-school clubs during weekends.' She sighed. 'I wish I had something like that to do.'

Veemon gestured towards the others. 'Want to join us?'

Gatomon's expression brightened. 'Sure. It's strange I've never actually had anything here.'

Veemon looked at the stool to his left, before getting up as Gatomon approached it to sit. He tried to pull it back for her from under the table, and strained repeatedly.

'Uh... Veemon?' Gabumon observed flatly. 'It's stuck to the ground.'

Veemon eyed the stool in embarrassment before leaping back and allowing Gatomon to sit. 'Uh... heh heh... sorry, Yuji.'

Gatomon still smiled appreciatively as she sat down.

'Thanks anyway, Veemon. Ooh, this caramel sundae looks good...'

Veemon studied her as she browsed the menu. Yuji smiled approvingly before the phone began to ring, which he picked up almost immediately.

'Yuji's Bakery, this is Yuji. How may I - '

The digimon listened as they heard TK's voice come out of the phone, but not loudly enough for them to hear. They took note of what Yuji said instead.

'Are there any digimon there?' He immediately glanced around. 'Well, I got that covered. I got Veemon, Gatomon, Gabumon, Guilmon and Biyomon.'

He nodded before handing the wireless phone over to Veemon. 'Well, here you go.'

'Is that you, TK?' Veemon answered. 'What's up?'

'Sorry, Veemon, but I couldn't catch Davis. But... you'll never believe this! Myotismon's egg hatched!'

Veemon gaped in amazement. 'Really? That's great! Is he alright? Does he remember anything?'

TK sounded a little worried when he answered. 'He remembers some of it, but Patamon and I had to fill him in.'

Veemon frowned thoughtfully. 'Does this mean we're gonna meet with the Royal Knights yet?'

'I haven't talked to Gennai yet, but I'll be calling Izzy right after this to see what he can do. Oh, if you see Agumon, Baihumon could help Gennai in setting it up, too.'

Veemon nodded enthusiastically. 'OK. I'll see what I can do.'

He gave the phone back to Yuji, and eyed everyone's questioning gazes, everyone except Guilmon.

'Myotismon's egg hatched! It won't be long before we meet with those Royal Knight creeps...'

Guilmon's ears drooped as he overheard them, distancing himself from the conversation. 'Why do they have to remind me of what I did...' He mumbled to himself.

He blinked and examined the others talking, and he frowned slightly, still bored. 'Hey guys? Can't we do something other than sit here? Something fun?'

Gabumon also blinked and raised an eye ridge. 'What do you mean, Guilmon?'

Guilmon's expression brightened a little as he thought. 'I know! How about tag?'

The other digimon stared at him awkwardly, before Biyomon piped up. 'No offense, Guilmon, but aren't we all a bit old for that?'

Guilmon frowned miserably and poked his claws together. 'But I'm bored... and I want someone to play with...'

Gabumon's eyes were following something behind Guilmon's back, before he spoke up enviously. 'I think they want to play with you.'

Guilmon's ears perked up as he heard several soft footsteps approaching. Yuji also smiled happily. 'Ah! It's that large group of female customers again! Can I get you anything?'

Guilmon smiled as he looked around at the girls, who were eyeing him. 'Gabumon said you wanted to play. Is that true?'

The lead digimon, an Aruraumon, smiled sweetly at him. She looked very similar to Palmon, except with a purple flower on her head and vines, with brown roots. 'Are you Guilmon?'


The other girls gestured to her to whisper in a circle. Guilmon managed to catch a few of their words.

'He seems even cuter than last time...'

'I agree.'

'I heard he wanted someone to "play" with.'

Guilmon eyed them with oblivious interest as they turned to smile flirtatiously at him. 'Would you like to come play with us, Guilmon?' A Lunamon asked.

Guilmon quickly got up from his seat. 'Sounds like fun! I think a game would be more fun with more people!'

The other digimon stared after him in shock as Guilmon went willingly along. Veemon quickly facepalmed, dragging his hand down his face. 'He's got no idea what game it will be...'

Gabumon nodded with agreement. 'I'll say. Why did he seem to suddenly want to play?'

Gatomon shrugged. 'Well, I guess without Agumon to race and trash at soccer, he's missing a friend.'

'What about Renamon?' Biyomon quickly suggested.

Veemon snorted with amusement. 'Have you tried finding her? It's impossible.'

Gabumon suddenly grew worried. 'Guys, shouldn't we... you know, save him?'

Gatomon rubbed her chin thoughtfully. 'I dunno... he seemed quite happy to go. And I think he might even enjoy what they have in mind...'

Biyomon scratched her head feathers in confusion. 'I wouldn't have taken Guilmon as the horny type.'

Izzy grinned towards the terminal monitor, where Bokomon's image from the Forest Terminal was looking back. 'Well? How do you like my breakthrough?'

Bokomon smiled enthusiastically. 'Given the speed at which a Sovereign has utilised that knowledge to Agumon's advantage in a precarious situation, I'd say I like it quite well. You have done the Digital World quite a service.'

Izzy scratched his neck modestly. 'Not really, but at least it'll help Tai and Agumon. I'm just lucky it gave them something to go on with.'

Bokomon continued writing in his book, but Izzy quickly objected. 'Bokomon, there's no need for that. I'll send you some digital files instead.'

Bokomon frowned in confusion. 'Digital files? Where am I supposed to store them?'

Izzy blinked. 'Well, I thought you digimon could store digital files within your own bodies... you do contain data, after all. It didn't seem that farfetched.'

Bokomon folded his arms, before nodding. 'All right, Izzy - let's try it.'

Bokomon closed his eyes in concentration as Izzy uploaded his information from the database to the Forest Terminal. Bokomon touched the monitor and Izzy could see him glowing slightly, and grinned with satisfaction.

Digimon really are fascinating creatures. I wish I could absorb knowledge like that...

Bokomon's eyes opened after a while, and seemed a lot brighter and more enthusiastic than before. 'Izzy! Thank you so much! Now that the information is in my head, it's easy for me to write it down!'

Izzy rolled his eyes in amusement as Bokomon began writing again. 'That's not the point, Bokomon...'

Their conversation paused briefly, and a light voice hummed in pleasantly. 'There you are, Izzy.'

Izzy glanced at Mimi and Palmon as they filed in, smiling politely. 'Oh. Mimi? Are you curious about my research too?'

Mimi grimaced awkwardly. 'I'm sorry, Izzy, but it was Palmon who wanted to talk to you and Bokomon.'

Bokomon pointed to himself in surprise. 'Me? What for, Palmon?'

Palmon exhaled heavily, and Izzy mentally braced himself for an explanation. 'I was just thinking about the three archangels, Bokomon, the ones you mentioned. And I was thinking... since we wanted to increase the total strength of the Digidestined... we might be able to use their powers.'

Mimi frowned sympathetically. 'And hopefully heal any of us that get hurt in future battles.'

Bokomon folded his arms and pondered. 'Healing powers are what the angels are famous for, I suppose.'

'What other powers did they have?' Izzy asked curiously.

Bokomon smiled fondly. 'I remember well - even as rookies, they did extraordinary things. They saved us a few times, erecting protective barriers, and were able to transport as to safety using it. They are also capable of dispelling dark portals. Most remarkable, however, is their combined holy power when each of their energies are combined. One last thing... it's only a legend, and I've never witnessed it myself, but... one of these miraculous powers is their "Absolute Healing" technique, said to be able to bring anyone back from the brink of death.'

Mimi and Palmon gaped up at him hopefully. 'Really?' Mimi asked. 'That's exactly what we need!'

Izzy studied them before nodding to himself. 'For Agumon? Or AbyssGreymon? Is that it?'

Palmon nodded slowly. 'Yes... ever since you found about what the Chronodata did to him, I've been trying to think of a way to help. Most of us have, actually.'

'And this led you to us... how?' Izzy asked.

Palmon shrugged curiously. 'I just remember Bokomon mentioning them, and that's where I decided to investigate.'

She looked back up at Bokomon. 'So where are those three rookies now?'

Bokomon frowned worriedly. 'I told you, I don't know. The three of them wanted to explore some more of the Digital World on their own, and seeing how formidable they were even as rookies, I let them go. Who knows where they've gone now?'

Mimi and Izzy gripped their chins, thinking of alternatives.

'Who exactly were these three rookies, Bokomon?' Izzy asked.

'Patamon - he was mine, Salamon, and Lopmon.'

Mimi glanced at Izzy expectantly. 'What do you think? Should we go look for the three rookies, or find another Lopmon?'

Izzy quickly came to a decision in his head. 'Even if we could find those three rookies, there's no guarantee they would be able to warp digivolve so quickly again, even with Calumon's help. And I'm guessing they haven't even digivolved to champion yet... it might be easier to find a Lopmon who is more experienced.' He suddenly smiled brightly. 'One of the digidestined, no less.'

Mimi looked confused at Izzy's expression. 'Who are you talking about?'

Izzy gazed at her incredulously. 'You don't remember? Willis, of course!'