The Final Encounter - The Myotismon Freak Tai looked dazedly upwards at his rescuer: a six- or seven-foot tall Digimon, deep blue eyes, a pale appearance, fangs glittering against dark purple lips . . . The once evil Digimon stood towering over Tai, who was sitting up now. The Digidestined boy slowly shook his head, as though he was trying to get all the pain out of it. "Well, I guess I really have to say this . . . Thanks, Myotismon . . ." With that, he lay back down again, and went to sleep. He was walking silently, slowly, through the darkness. He warily looked >from side to side, half expecting something to jump out at him. The surrounding blackness nearly enveloped him . . . The brown-haired boy abruptly stopped, heaving-or thinking-that he heard a noise. He looked behind him, and cautiously called out, "Agumon?" Looking up, he saw an even darker figure standing before him: shadow within shadow, a pool of deep black amongst dark in themselves shadows. "Who . . . are you?" the boy stuttered. The dark form made no answer. The boy stepped closer, and again asked, "Who are you?" He sensed that the figure looked up. It was then that they spoke. "I am one you do not fully trust. I have been called evil-when I was merely disillusioned, as once was a cat-like servant. And I am a creature of the Night-a child of the Shadow." The answer was icy, almost, yet strangely mournful . . . A faint light appeared overhead, and the boy-Tai-looked up. Then, seeing no source for it, he turned to face the other figure again. He could now see one of their features-pale, glittering fangs . . . Tai slipped silently from sleep into waking, and sat up. He surveyed his surroundings, noticing the fact that everyone else was asleep. There seemed to be someone missing; who, he couldn't quite place . . . It was then that he remembered his dream, and it was also then that he figured out who was not present. The one who had before called himself a "child of the Shadow," a "creature of the Night." The one who had once been their enemy-and then had remembered his past and found his Digidestined partner. And he was the one who had been called evil to his face, and who had once had a cat-like servant named Gatomon: Myotismon. Myotismon. It was Myotismon who was gone. But why? He had said that he would never leave Ymparshthu's side. Just then, as if in signal to him, Tai heard a noise off to one side. Knowing what-or who, actually-it was, he went back to sleep. Myotismon was restless. Even though he did travel during the day, it was against instinct to sleep at night. Night was his time, his time . . . He had strayed off a ways from the camp, then returned. He would never leave Ymparshthu. While wandering, he had come across a smaller Digimon. They had recognized him, and turned to tell their superiors-but had been stopped cold by Myotismon. They had tried to run-but were no match for the ultimate-form vampire. It had been frightened. It had made threats-"You . . . you'll be sorry once I tell Devimon and Etemon!" it had cried out. Myotismon shook his head sadly. "I am sorry," he said silkily, "but I am afraid that you will soon be in a condition that makes living in itself hard, much less fighting. And I do believe that you must soon tell your superiors that." He now left the Digimon behind . . . They would most likely be found somewhere near dawn. And, if they were discovered-then those who found them would also find out that their comrade was half-dead with loss of blood. Myotismon momentarily stopped, and reflected on his life-of his times before and after Evil. He felt that his time would soon come to an end, that he would leave this earth. But that would mean leaving Ymparshthu behind . . . If at all possible, he would never leave her alone . . . He couldn't . . . When his time did come, when he had to leave this reality, he would be by Ymparshthu. He would make sure of that. He would go down fighting . . . Fighting for good . . . He heard a noise, jarring him from his deep thoughts. They were as deep as what was hidden behind his eyes . . . The sound had been slight, yet to Myotismon, a creature that stalked by darkness, they were as loud as if the other . . . thing . . . had been shouting. Myotismon whipped silently around, scanning the scene surrounding him for any other sign of life. He heard the sound again, this time as if it were closer. The vampire Digimon smiled evilly. He knew where the other life-form was, and what it was trying to do. It thought it could surprise him. But he was a hunter, a predator-he had sharp senses, sharper than that of the prey. Lunging suddenly in the direction of the noise, Myotismon heard a short yelp of surprise. The other creature had not expected what they were trying to stalk to actually catch them. It was a Bakemon. He had been spying on his former master-he remembered having to clean out the room with the gate-but had forgotten that the once-evil Digimon had incredibly sharp sense. He should have remembered how much of a predator Myotismon was. But, alas, he didn't, and was caught in the act of observing. As a matter of fact, he was going to attack-he had also forgotten how powerful Myotismon was. "I believe that you could have been quieter, Bakemon. I know the extent of your capabilities," Myotismon said to the trembling ghost-like creature before him. "Well . . . uh . . ." the Bakemon started to stutter. Then, he began making empty threats, just like the small Digimon Myotismon had come across only moments before. "Uh . . . You're going to be sorry once I tell my superiors! They'll come and destroy you, and all those Digidestined, too!" Myotismon knew the threat had no meaning, but he now had a reason to be very, very angry-the ghost had just threatened to kill Ymparshthu. "What did you say?" demanded Myotismon. He had heard perfectly, but loved to see the fear rising in the Bakemon's eyes. "Uh . . ." "I believe I just heard you threaten to kill Ymparshthu. Is that so?" "Well . . ." "Admit it, and suffer the consequences!" The Bakemon was clearly afraid. He was shaking and shivering, two things not expected to be seen of a Bakemon. "I guess I said that . . ." Suddenly, a Veggiemon burst in on the scene. "What the . . ." he began, seeing his companion being held by an angry ultimate-form vampire. Then: "Oh, heck." Myotismon whipped silently around, and let go of the Bakemon, who floated quickly off. "So. Another. You will never reach the Digidestined. You will have to get through me first!" Then . . . "Crimson Lightning!" "Crimson Lightning!" The cry echoed through the Digidestined's camp. Everyone shot into an upright position instantly. "Looks like Myotismon found an enemy," Tai said. Ymparshthu nodded her head, and everyone-including the Digimon, of course-ran towards the source of the battle. The Veggiemon didn't stand a chance. He was helpless against Myotismon, a stronger-than-average ultimate-form. So, he just tried to dodge attacks. His attempts weren't altogether successful. "What have I gotten myself into?" the old vegetable said as he tried to dodge blows. "I remember this guy. He was strong then, and still is now. Why did I have to bust in when I heard the Bakemon yelp?" Just then, one of Myotismon's snake-like bolts of scarlet lightning found its target, and wrapped itself around the Veggiemon. Its partner came, too, and the Veggiemon soon found himself flying through the air-Myotismon had thrown him back to where he had come from. When the Digidestined arrived on the scene, they saw nothing except for Myotismon; the Veggiemon had run after he hit ground. "Okay, what all just happened here?" Tai demanded as Agumon ran up to his side. "I was being followed," Myotismon calmly explained, "and surprised my stalker. His companion soon burst in, after the Bakemon threatened to have his superiors destroy you." Matt stepped forward. "But why didn't you get us?" he asked. "It was my battle." His battle . . . his battle . . . the words echoed inside Matt's head. His battle? Why had it been his battle, and not theirs? Matt probably never would find out. He merely had to accept the fact that Myotismon had chosen to fight alone. Sora looked down at Biyomon, remembering when they had first fought Myotismon-when he was evil, of course. Biyomon had Digivolved to Birdramon, then to Garudamon in order to battle him. Now, though, Myotismon was on their side as the ninth Digimon. It all seemed too much, sometimes . . . Mimi looked up from where she had been staring at the ground, and found herself staring into Myotismon's eyes. She had been the closest one to him, save Ymparshthu, who was standing by his side. Myotismon's dark blue eyes were deep. They seemed to have something hidden behind them . . . Like a sad memory, something that he wanted to forget, almost . . . And they were so sad, as though his life had been horrible . . . It probably had. When she really thought about it, Mimi figured that Myotismon's life was harsh. She herself could hardly watch someone get hurt, but permanently injuring some other creature-sometimes human-in order to stay alive? It had to be terrible. Considering what the vampire Digimon had been through, Mimi found herself thinking about him in a different way. Rather than picturing him as a non-trustworthy, once-and maybe still-evil Digimon, she saw him as a mournful being, thriving beneath the darkness, residing within the shadow . . . Ymparshthu, too, found herself looking into Myotismon's dark blue eyes. Could it be true that he would one day give himself for her? Did he care for her that much? "We need to get moving," Tai said, gazing at the rapidly lightening eastern horizon. "Maybe we can actually get somewhere today." It seemed like they had been walking forever, and ever, and ever. Even the most athletic were tired as the Digidestined trudged wearily along. The blazing sun was high overhead when they reached a familiar place. "Hey, isn't this the place where we first fought Myotismon?" asked Matt, coming to a sudden halt. "I remember when Birdramon Digivolved to Garudamon to fight him. Of course, he wasn't on our side then." Myotismon wished not to recall that. "Yeah, it is," said Tai. "And I remember where we camped after that encounter, off over there," Joe said, pointing off in one direction. Almost everyone nodded their heads, except for Ymparshthu and Kari, who had not been there when it had happened. Just then, Myotismon whipped around. He had heard something, and he wasn't at all imagining it . . . Turning back around, he very calmly informed the Digidestined, "There is a Mammothmon about to attack us." "What the . . ." started Tai, but was cut off by the loud blast of a trumpet, like an elephant's call. Suddenly, a Mammothmon came rampaging behind them. "Agumon Digivolved to . . . GREYMON!" "Gaubumon Digivolved to . . . GARURUMON!" "Biyomon Digivolved to . . . BIRDRAMON!" "Tentomon Digivolved to . . . KABUTERRIMON!" "Palmon Digivolved to . . . TOGEMON!" "Gomamon Digivolved to . . . IKKAKUMON!" "Salamon Digivolved to . . . GATOMON!" The only one not to Digivolve was little Patamon. All the Champion Digimon-and Myotismon-rushed at Mammothmon, and attacked all at once. "Nova Blast!" "Howling Blaster!" "Meteor Wing!" "Electro Shocker!" "Needle Spray!" "Harpoon Torpedo!" "Lightning Paw!" "Nightmare Claw!" Mammothmon was knocked over backwards by the force of the blast, but was not ready to give up yet. "Tusk Crusher!" The missile rammed straight into Greymon, Birdramon, Garurumon, Kabuterrimon, and Ikkakumon. It only missed Gatomon, Myotismon, and Togemon. "They all need me," Patamon whispered, looking out at the ensuing battle. Just then, Mammothmon launched another Tusk Crusher, and it came straight towards T.K. "T.K.!" shouted Patamon. T.K.'s Digivice started to beep. "Patamon Digivolved to . . . Angelmon!" There he was, a heavenly being floating in the air. T.K. looked up in awe. Patamon hardly ever Digivolved to Angelmon . . . Myotismon looked up, saw Angelmon, and joined him. He would battle by the celestial being's side. The Mammothmon trumpeted again after pulling himself up, and charged Angelmon and Myotismon, not knowing who it battled. "Hand of Fate!" "Crimson Lightning!" Angelmon attacked, and Myotismon followed, beating the Mammothmon to the ground. Then . . . Sora was watching Birdramon, who was laying on the ground. When Myotismon briefly stopped attacking Mammothmon, he came charging straight for the giant fire-bird. Birdramon, helpless, tried to move, but fell back over. She was too weak . . . "Tusk Crusher!" The attack came suddenly and swiftly, and neither Birdramon not any of the other Digimon could do anything about it. "BIRDRAMON!" called out Sora. Her Crest of Love started to glow bright red. "Birdramon . . ." Birdramon began to glow, and a wall of fire shot up around her, stopping Mammothmon's Tusk Crusher cold. "Birdramon Digivolved to . . ." The fire bird was immersed in glowing flame, and then, she stepped majestically through. Her golden-orange hair blew in the gentle wind, and she spread her huge wings wide. The feather in her hair fluttered as she stood tall. "Garudamon!" Garudamon soared high, past Angelmon and Myotismon, until she was flying above the field of battle below her. "Wing Blade!" The fiery attack dove down, down, until it made contact with Mammothmon. The evil Digimon vanished in a burst of blue-white flame. The Digidestined started cheering, and Garudamon de-digivolved to Yokomon. Myotismon and Angelmon came back to the ground, and Angelmon then de-digivolved back to Patamon. "Good job, Yokomon!" Sora congratulated her Digimon. "You really showed that Mammothmon, didn't you?" Tai stepped forwards. "Okay, now that that's over, why don't we take a break?" Everyone agreed, nodding their heads and repeatedly saying, "Yes! Yes! We would love that!" in is many ways as was possible. Sitting down on a stone, Joe said, "I'm glad we stopped for a while. My feet are killing me." Gomamon hopped up on a neighboring rock, a large grin of pure glee covering his face. His green eyes were closed in his ecstasy. "I'm just glad we beat Mammothmon," he said cheerfully, "although a good rest every now and then doesn't hurt." Tentomon continued to hover for a few minutes, then landed beside Izzy, who was working away at his computer. He seemed to have made a startling discovery, as he said, "Prodigious! I need to tell the others about this." Looking over his shoulder, he called out, "Hey, everybody! Come here for a second! I just discovered something helpful!" Everyone gathered around him, pressing forward to look at the computer monitor. The information for Devimon in the Digimon analyzer was up on the screen. "According to this," Izzy said, "There is another prophecy involving Devimon. This one, though, also has Etemon. I think it describes our current situation." He looked back over his shoulder, making sure everyone was present. Then, he began to read. " 'Darkness will be Evil, Light its nemesis, " 'And the conflict will be great. " 'By power of the once Evil, by power of the Dark, " 'By power of the Light, " 'The misunderstood once was one shall battle the Evil Masters." "That didn't make much sense," Matt said, peering over Izzy's shoulder. "Yeah, I know. It's about as clear as mud." "I think I know what this refers to," Izzy said. "Gennai once told me of the Last Great Battle, between the ninth Digidestined, Devimon, and Etemon. It is supposed to be huge-but, the only problem is, we don't know if it's real or not." Tai shook his head. "Then we can't believe it's going to happen. We can't believe that it won't happen. All we can do is wait and find out." The night was cold. Pale stars glittered icily against the inky black curtain of the night sky. A cool breeze ran its swift path over the sleeping landscape as it danced wildly through the darkness. Trees gave small way, bending slightly in the gust of air. The silver half-moon shone brilliantly as it could over the world below. But not all was asleep. One stood awake, alone, contemplating his destiny on the summit of a lonely hill which jutted roughly from the surrounding land. He looked up, turning his dark blue eyes, very deep, heavenwards, gazing at the icy stars. So beautiful, yet so cold to him . . . Almost everything was cold to him. His life, his past-even small delights offered in this mortal world had no effect on his nature. It only made him withdraw further, further from the past, further from the future . . . . Lowering his head, so he was staring at the grass beneath his feet, he reflected upon life. Life was a journey, a perilous quest filled with hopes, with doubts, with dreams-but all were so far from him, a lonely and weary traveler trying to find his path's end. He turned silently and slowly around, still gazing at the earth. Why had he alone been singled out to exist in the way he did? Day was not his time. Night was. The shadows, the darkness was his home. It soothed him, comforted him as much as anything in this world could, but it was still not enough to soothe his tired soul. And there, beneath the moonlight in a far away place in the Digiworld, the just-Digivolved Myotismon felt a single silver tear run down his pale cheek. So tired, so weary . . . The adopted human girl sighed as her blond hair fluttered in the wind beneath the night sky. She was looking at the stars, contemplating her fate. She was an outcast, one that never quite seemed to fit in. She had been all her life, and it was now no surprise to her when someone shouted an insult in her direction. Her green eyes held silent strength behind them, allowing her to survive in her churning world. Her mother had died when she was only three, from a forgotten-to-the-girl disease. Her father had just recently died in a car wreck, very horrible, involving three cars, a truck, and a city bus. It had been terrible . . . Her new family was nice, very nice, to her, but she-as usual-did not quite seem to fit in. Gazing upwards at the stars as she sat upon the grass, Emily "Ymparshthu" Ono-then seven-started to silently weep. The brown-haired boy looked fearfully upward as he and his little sister-dressed in her bunny pajamas-huddled together. There were two strange monsters battling above them, and they were trying to break free from fear and run to the shelter. Above them, a strange dragon creature and what appeared to be a giant green canary-thing were fighting it out. The dragon creature appeared to be winning, when . . . It breathed a huge ball of flame at its opponent, scalding the giant green canary and making it disappear. Then it, the victor, vanished also, leaving Taichi "Tai" Kamiya and his little sister Kari huddled on the ground. The little blond-headed young boy sat joyfully as he played with his blocks. He was building miniature towers, and enjoying himself greatly as he did so. Suddenly, he lost his balance and fell over, scattering his tiny creations all over the floor. He started to cry. And then, there was a comforting presence beside him. They picked him up, dried his tears. "Atta boy," they said, a smile playing across their love-filled face. "Atta boy." The also blond-haired older brother was comforting his younger sibling, Takeru "T.K." Takaishi. Sora awoke with a start from her nap. She thought she heard something in the surrounding grass, but there was nothing except her friends, who were all still asleep. All their Digimon were, too. Even Myotismon was resting-he had wandered off into a nearby cave, where he had hidden himself in a dark crevice. It was natural for him, sleeping during the day. For Sora it was not. Pulling her knees up to her chest, she rested her chin on them. They were taking a midday break from their journey. After about ten minutes, everyone had fallen asleep, even Sora. It was just that she had woken up earlier. She looked down at Biyomon, her faithful companion who protected her from harm. Biyomon was napping peacefully, a look of contentment on her face. Sora sighed, and suddenly realized she was not the only one awake. Turning around, she saw Myotismon. He had obviously decided to face the outside world. Of course, Sora wondered why he had come back out again. If she would have been able to have asked Ymparshthu, the answer would have been something that plagued humans also: insomnia, not being able to get to sleep. Sora turned to face him completely, as she had been looking over her shoulder before. Myotismon stood silently by Ymparshthu's sleeping form, occasionally shooting a glance in Sora's direction. After a while, Myotismon stealthily headed back to the nearby cave. As she turned back around, Sora reflected upon everything that had happened to her after she discovered she was a Digidestined: They had battled first Devimon, then Etemon, and finally Myotismon. But Myotismon had turned out to be good, and the ninth Digimon, at that. It was all very complex . . . She remembered when they were searching for the eighth child, frantically seeking another Digidestined. Myotismon had been, too, and proved a worthy opponent. While they were still looking, a huge Digimon battle had destroyed two major apartments. The homeless had been moved to the convention center, when Myotismon-still evil, of course-took over. About that time, he had met Ymparshthu, making him think about his true identity, and also helping him to decide to free those in the convention center. She sighed. It all seemed so long ago . . . But the length of the years would never affect her memories. Especially not one of a certain night when they had just started searching for the ninth Digidestined. When everyone had woken up, Tai announced that they were going to have a "night march." "We can cover more ground that way," he said. "Maybe we can find Devimon and Etemon, and beat them." That was why they were all marching along that night. The stars glittered beautifully overhead, seeming to make up for the fact that they couldn't sleep just then. As they all trudged along, the thought of stopping to star gaze popped into their heads at some point or another. Bringing up the rear was Ymparshthu. She was thinking about her past, and her green eyes-strength hidden behind them-seemed far off, as though she was looking at a distant place. Myotismon traveled in the shadows, silently moving through the utter darkness alongside the Digidestined. Tai abruptly stopped, almost causing everyone behind him to topple over. "I think I hear something," said he, raising a white gloved hand to silence the others' protests. As he strained his ears, he thought he heard it again: a rustling noise, like the folding and then spreading of great ragged wings . . . "I think we've found who we're looking for." "Then you thought correctly!" The evil voice rang out over the still night landscape. It sounded familiar . . . Just then, Devimon stepped out of the shadows before them. "It is so nice, seeing you again," he said evilly, "even more so with the knowledge that I will destroy you!" At the sound of his voice, his partner stepped out beside him. "Oh, I remember you, uh-huh-huh, uh-huh-huh," Etemon said upon seeing Tai. "All except that new girl. Who is she?" "That," Tai courageously said, "that is my sister, Kari, the eighth Digidestined. And I do believe that you know the other." The singing monkey narrowed his eyes behind his shades. Yes, he did recognize Ymparshthu. She had been his opponent long after he had returned >from inter-dimensional limbo, where he had gone after MetalGreymon blew him away with Giga Blaster. "Enough reminiscing." Devimon gave a cruel smile. "I believe there is something that we started years ago that we must now finish." So saying, Devimon and Etemon attacked. The first thing to happen was Etemon shot a relatively small ball of energy at the Digidestined, making them fall over each other. That pushed Tai-and the others-over the edge. "Agumon Digivolved to . . . GREYMON!" "Gaubumon Digivolved to . . . GARURUMON!" "Biyomon Digivolved to . . . BIRDRAMON!" "Tentomon Digivolved to . . . KABUTERRIMON!" "Palmon Digivolved to . . . TOGEMON!" "Gomamon Digivolved to . . . IKKAKUMON!" "Patamon Digivolved to . . . Angelmon!" The Digimon charged at their old opponents, once again their adversaries. They would not go down without a fight. But Devimon and Etemon were stronger than before. The Champion-forms were no match for just one of them, let alone both fighting together. "We're not going to let them win!" shouted Tai, looking up at Greymon. He ran alongside his Digimon partner, and his crest started to glow orange. "Greymon Digivolved to . . ." Greymon began glowing. Then, fiery red hair sprouted from the back of his head, purple wings grew from his back, and metal covered his head, left hand, and some of his tail. "MetalGreymon!" MetalGreymon roared, then charged at Devimon and Etemon, but was knocked over by a large energy blast. "Tai needs my help," whispered Matt. Then: "Garurumon!" His crest started to glow blue beneath his shirt. "Garurumon Digivolved to . . ." Garurumon rose onto his hind legs. Torn blue jeans made their way over his hind legs, and a belt slapped across his chest and stayed there. "WereGarurumon!" The werewolf Digimon howled, and ran up to MetalGreymon in aid. Bit even their combined forces weren't enough to stop the demon lord and his partner. "I know they need me." Joe's determined words would ring throughout his thoughts long after the actual battle was over. His Crest of Reliability was glowing silently against his chest. "Ikkakumon Digivolved to . . ." A great wall of water wrapped around Ikkakumon, shielding him from view. Then, he emerged; a bolt of lightning cracked down from the sky, forming a large hammer held tightly in his enormous clawed hand. "Zudomon!" Zudomon came to the aid of WereGarurumon and MetalGreymon, swinging his mighty "Vulcan's Hammer" in an attempt to destroy-or at least wound-either Devimon or Etemon. But it was not enough. "I really want to save them, I really do . . ." A single tear softly rolled down Mimi's cheek. Her crest was glowing as she showed her sincerity. "Togemon Digivolved to . . ." A bright light shot from Togemon's eyes and mouth. The dead weed on her head opened to reveal a blossom, and the blossom opened to reveal a dainty flower fairy, petite but strong. She flew joyously round in three circles, before coming to a graceful halt. "Lillymon!" The high and comforting voice echoed over the battle raging below her. Lillymon flew to join the fight, adding her own "Flower Cannon!" to the fray. And, as was before, the Digidestined Digimon were still being defeated. "Birdramon!" Sora cried as she saw Birdramon knocked from the sky. "Birdramon . . ." In her love, Sora's crest was gently glowing. "Birdramon Digivolved to . . ." A wall of fire embraced the phoenix-like creature, blocking it from sight. Then . . She stepped majestically through, the winged guardian of the sky. The feather in her golden-orange hair fluttered in the night breeze, and her hair in itself shone beneath the moonlight. She spread her giant wings wide, and took a defensive stance over Sora. "Garudamon!" Garudamon half flew, half ran to join the ever growing larger battle between the Digidestined, Devimon, and Etemon. Soon, Wing Blade was finding its target in Etemon. Looking up at the huge battle taking place, Izzy was reminded of the wars of old. "They need my help . . . Without us all working as a team, we will never win . . ." "Kabuterrimon Digivolved to . . ." The horn on his head grew more elaborate, more powerful, and his wings hardened to form a red shell over his back. A blue, crystal-colored dome, not very large, formed at the junction of his wings and his body. He balled his clawed insect hands into fists, then released them and swung his arms in a show of power. "MegaKabuterrimon!" The giant beetle buzzed over to the fight that had now been ensuing for some time. Maybe, with his help, they could defeat the enemy. "Horn Blaster!" He blew Devimon away for a moment with the force of his blow, but it still did nothing to hinder the evil Digimon from battling. Remembering what Devimon and Etemon had done, Myotismon silently joined the fray. Silently, that is, until he used Nightmare Claw on Etemon, sending the Elvis impersonating monkey reeling over backwards, his energy momentarily drained. "They need me," Gatomon said, looking up at Kari. Her Digidestined partner nodded her sweet head, "Gatomon Digivolved to . . ." Her cat-like form grew taller, more slender, and the tail disappeared completely. The orange-striped gloves on her paws came off, her paws transformed into slender human hands, and white gloves went on them. Wings sprouted from her back, and finally, a helmet covered her blue eyes with the rest of the upper half of her face. "Angelwomon!" The heavenly being, alongside Angelmon, floated above the battle field and soon joined fight. It was her Celestial Arrow that first injured Devimon. Now, every single Digidestined Digimon was battling. They were winning, losing, winning again, then driven back . . . It was not decided whether they were being victorious or being defeated, as they kept being pushed over each side. Every single Crest was glowing, giving more power to the Digimon. But, even though no one knew it, it was human-not Digimon-that was to win the fight. After dodging a blow, Etemon saw Ymparshthu standing alone, watching the fray, her crest giving power to Myotismon. She made an ideal target. If he could take her out, he felt that he and Devimon could easily win. She was the one who knew the most about the Digiworld. She was the most powerful one, once her human form was pulled away to reveal her true self. Dodging another blow, he got Devimon's attention, and they together sent a large energy blast in the direction of Ymparshthu. The full moon blazed suddenly overhead, its pale white light growing to a blinding silver-colored one. The stars began to flicker brilliantly, like blue-white flame. And Myotismon, standing on the battle field, saw the energy blast headed towards Ymparshthu. He ran swiftly and silently towards her. He had to save her, couldn't let her die, not his Ymparshthu . . . His Ymparshthu . . . His Ymparshthu . . . Ymparshthu saw the burst of energy meant to destroy her, but knew that she could not outrun it. She would take her fate with courage . . . And suddenly, there he was: Myotismon, mournful being of the Night, of the shadow, of the Darkness. And, as the large black-red ball of energy sped towards the ninth Digidestined, he thew himself in the way. And it hit. It hit. Myotismon fell to the ground, seriously injured. He would not survive, even if they won. Ymparshthu fell to her knees beside him. She had been the one meant to die, but he had taken it for her, for her, for her. He did not deserve this fate. She was the one who did. She lowered her head, and stared for the last time into her Digimon's dark blue eyes. She remembered something she had once heard . . . "Eyes the color of his time reflect a great sadness upon the night sky . . ." The ninth Digidestined could feel tears sting her eyes as she knelt in the moonlight. The battle seemed to have stopped . . . Time itself seemed to have stopped . . . "Triinsahmur," she whispered, seeing for the last time the great sorrow hidden in the soul of her Digimon. "Triinsahmur . . ." And he, being of the Night, once evil, saw the strength hidden behind Ymparshthu's appearance. And was still . . . Tears were stinging Ymparshthu's green eyes as she rose to her feet. The strength hidden behind them was tempered with sadness, with hatred of Devimon and Etemon giving them a fiery glow. Her voice was quite as she spoke, yet it could be heard by everyone. "You have gone too far. Now you must be destroyed." Tai was dumbfounded. Myotismon had taken the blow meant for Ymparshthu, knowing that he would die. Then Ymparshthu had told Devimon and Etemon that they were to be destroyed, yet she could do nothing. Nothing. But Tai Kamiya was wrong. Unlike their two opponents, he did not know what Ymparshthu kept hidden. He had always sensed she had a secret, but he did not know it was to be like anything that he saw that night. The moon was blazing, its silver light pouring over the landscape, making it almost seem like day. The stars held their own, glowing and glittering like bonfires of diamonds. Glowing, too, was every single crest, each brighter than ever before. Courage, Friendship, Love, Knowledge, Sincerity, Reliability, Hope, and Light, with Faithfulness leading them in the bonfire glow. One by one, the ultimate-forms de-digivolved. As this was happening, all the Digivices went off, each bright as the stars. And, once again, Ymparshthu's led them all, burning like an icy fire. And then, they each saw something so amazing that they would never forget it as long as they lived. Standing beneath the moon, she began to glow. Brighter and brighter she grew as all the Digivices and Crests gave her enough power to take her true form. Shutting her eyes, she could feel them change colors . . . Into a dark blue, the same hue as the midnight sky. As she opened them once again, she grew even taller. Two feathery wings sprouted from her back, like those of an eagle, except for the fact that they were each as tall as her. A glowing sword of Light appeared at her side, in its beauty glimmering as bright as she. And the other eight Digidestined watched on as Ymparshthu took her true form. She was tall and proud as she floated above the battle field, surrounded by a comforting transparent-but-bright globe of light. She raised a slender and pale finger as if in accusation of Devimon and Etemon. "Devimon," the white-robed figure said in a silver voice, "Etemon, you have gone too far. I stood by, fighting when I could, but now you have done too much. You destroyed innocents, all those who would not fight for your dark purpose. You broke the unity of the Light and the Darkness, causing great pain and suffering to many. And you killed the soul who gave himself in order to save me." Her deep blue eyes glittered with tears as she looked down at Myotismon's still form. Pulling her head up again, she reached for the sword attached to her gold-and-silver belt. As she unsheathed it, she said, "It matters not if I am destroyed. The sole purpose of my existence is to defeat you and stop the devastation that you have brought." All heads turned in amazement. Ymparshthu . . . They never knew that she was truly this heavenly being fighting for good. Not for the Light alone, not for the Darkness alone, but for both. For both. And so, as they stood beneath the moonlight, bathed in the glow of Ymparshthu's angel-like true form, each of the other eight Digidestined silently vowed to remember this. The blade of her sword of Light gleamed beautifully-never menacingly-in the light of moon and star. And, looking down upon Devimon and Etemon of the Evil, she raised it above her head, and brought it down with a cry of, "So that you may never again bring harm upon the Universe!" Devimon and Etemon stood transfixed by the being of Light before them. They had never guessed for her to truly be this way . . . They came to their senses only as the Angel brought down her blazing sword, wings spread to their fullest. Tai could sense the vary pain of Etemon and Devimon, the Evil Masters, as the blazing sword of the Angel burned through their dark souls. He-as well as the other seven Digidestined-watched on in amazement as their very existences were destroyed before their eyes. They could see them disintegrating, dissolving, being banished to death for all Eternity. And then, they were gone, as though they had never been. The Angel floated gently over to where Myotismon lay, and softly landed beside him. He could never be brought back . . . She softly fell to her knees, and began to cry. Silver tears ran down her pale cheek as she knelt beside the still form of what was once her Digimon. They never spilt onto the ground, but rather soaked into it long before they ever hit. The Angel looked up, and saw the Digidestined watching her. They seemed awestruck by her appearance alone, even more so by her inner self. "Yes, this is my true form," she said, her voice falling over the landscape like gentle rain. "The one you know as Ymparshthu is I. But my true name is Sliirkashriim." Rising off the ground once again, she said, "Since I am now in my true form, my human form remains in myself. But I can never return to it. The human known as Emily Ono is never to return to the human world, but rather to stay in me, since I am now as I truly am." She put her hand gently on the golden hilt of her sword, and began to float off. In the moonlight, with her wings spread wide, she was majestic. But she did not leave Myotismon behind . . . Before she left, before they had come up to her, one looking hard could have seen a glittering light rising past her into the night sky. A srunahae-a soul. And, one still looking hard would have noticed that Myotismon was no longer there-the ground on which he had been was featureless, as if he had never been there at all. The Final Encounter Epilogue When the eight Digidestined arrived back in the human world, many question were asked, even though they had only been gone for a total of two human days. Everyone wanted to know what had happened, why had they left, why was Ymparshthu not with them, or Myotismon, for that matter . . . But they just walked silently on, following Tai. He was flanked by Matt and Joe, who in turn were flanked by Mimi and Sora, who were in their turn flanked by Izzy and Kari. All of them were different, wiser; but their appearance had changed, too. Tai had a stronger look about his face, and his hair, now the same hue of orange as his crest, fluttered a little in the cool wind. Matt's face was more than indifferent; it was strong. All their faces were. But his eyes were now the same cool blue as his crest, and he walked with a humble air. Sora was tall and proud as she walked along, her hair the same dark red as her Crest of Love. There was a caring air about her, and all she passed felt like she cared for them. Izzy seemed very wise, and he was. His face had more than a hint of great wisdom in it as he stared through eyes-no longer black-of the same tinge of his crest. Mimi was solemn and sincere as she walked quietly along. Her favorite color was still pink, of course, but it didn't matter as much. Her eyes-now the same color as her crest-held compassion. Joe was not the least affected. He stepped along with smoothness and grace, no longer an awkward human. His hair was of the same hue as his Crest of Reliability, which he had proved fitting for him so many time before. T.K. was filled with hope, the human trait his crest was made for. It was hope that perhaps he would see Sliirkashriim again, and that he would never forget her or what he learned. He learned that inner selves were more powerful than appearances, and that good would always prevail. So, as he walked along, he looked out at the people on either side from behind eyes the same color as his crest. Kari was silent as she walked along, Gatomon at her side. The power of which her crest was named after-Light-had prevailed, destroying Evil and making the Light and the Darkness once again. Her eyes-the same pink as her crest-would never again feel the same after seeing such a heavenly being as the Angel, Sliirkashriim. As for the Digimon? They felt the same as their Digidestined partners, wise and more powerful on the inside than before. The people on either side could only watch on in amazement as the eight Digidestined walked by. They couldn't help wondering where the ninth one, along with her Digimon, was. And the Digidestined-for once instant, they all thought they saw one star glitter brighter than the others.