Chapter 13

"Kari. Kari! Wake up!"

Kari forced her eyes open, noting how heavy her body felt. When did I fall asleep? She looked over to where Salamon was, in a small cell across the narrow hallway. She decided to take mental notes of her surroundings. A small room with bars blocking the way into the hallway. Looks like there are many more cells on both sides of the hall.

"Salamon, are you okay?" Salamon nodded, "I'm okay… but as soon as I get out of here, I'm turning that multi-faced jerk into kitty litter for hurting you." Salamon huffed.

Kari couldn't help but lightly laugh. "Deal. Where's Takuya and Sunmon? Re they in a different cell?" "Sunmon is in here with me… but he's in some kind of strange cage that's hanging from the ceiling."

Taking a closer look, Kari could faintly see a dark blue, maybe it's black, cage hanging just a few inches below the ceiling. "I wonder what hat cage is for? Hmm, but where is Takuya?" Salamon just shook her head. "I don't know. I can't see in all the cell. If he's in here, he's been silent the whole time. So I can't be sure if he's in one of the cells or if he's in another room. I can see a door down the hall to your right."

I hope he's okay. Kari didn't feel like Takuya was in another cell, but she didn't feel like he was in danger. So she was counting this as a win, if her feelings were accurate. She got up off the floor and moved to the front of the cell, peeking down the hallway to find the door Salamon spoke of.

A creak resounded through the hallway, making Kari back away from the bars and sit back down on the floor. The sound of footsteps told Kari that whoever was walking down the hall wasn't one person and that they were nearing her cell. She held her breath as the footsteps neared the edge of her cell and stopped. Asuramon was staring into her cell. Definitely not who I was hoping was here.

"Okay runt, the Elder wants to see you. Try anything funny and I'll kill you." Asuramon opened the cell and motioned for her to hurry up. "Who is this Elder?" Kari figured she could try and get some information while she was still near Salamon. "HURRY UP RUNT!" Asuramon had ignored Kari and was already half way back up the hallway. Salamon was strangely quiet, and after sparring a glance, Kari knew why. Salamon was slowing seeing how much of her could fit through the bars. Kari gave her a smile and nod, letting Salamon know that she would be okay and she'd see her soon.

Kari hurried after Asuramon, taking a quick glance back at Salamon and Sunmon's cell. I'll find Takuya and we'll be back soon!

Kari followed behind Asuramon, after deciding against trying to converse with him, turned her attention to examining the building she was in. She couldn't decide if the walls were made of a red clay or were just a deep red. As they walked further in, or was it out, it got hotter. After about five minutes of walking through the twisting pathways, Kari was exhausted from moving around in the heat and her pace had slowed to a crawl.

Why is it so hot? With every step I take I feel like the temperature goes up 5 degrees… He's so fast too. Can we just please reach this Elder already?

Asuramon stopped in front of a large door and pushed it open, "Go inside runt." Kari struggled to get inside the room. As soon as she moved past the doorway, the door slammed shut behind her, making her jump. Kari looked around the enormous hall and spotted Takuya sitting in a chair next to a large birdlike Digimon.

The Digimon had four golden wings and what looked to be two Holy Rings around its ankles. "Welcome to Erupt Village. I am Phoenixmon, the Elder." "T-thank you. I'm Kari Kamiya, a DigiDestined. May I ask why those Digimon attacked Youthful Village?" Kari made sure she spoke in a respectful tone, not wanting to anger the Elder – she was smart enough to know that she'd have zero chance of winning in a fight, especially with Salamon still locked in that cell.

Phoenixmon was silent for a moment before answering. "Most of the villagers here believe that Fire Digimon should be born and raised here. Our original Elder, Apollomon, founded this village as a safe haven for all fire attributed Digimon. When the world was attacked by Arkadimon, Apollomon fought to defeat him. Apollomon was one of many Digimon that continuously went back into battle, even though they were severely injured. Apollomon put all of his energy into one last attack. Arkadimon was defeated, but so was Apollomon. He promised that when he was reborn he would come back and protect the village as Elder once more. We all waited for his return, many generations have passed. With each new generation, the villagers become more violent, needing to release their anger. I cannot stop them."

Kari stood in shock as she processed all the information. They had never heard of this from Gennai. He should've known of this. Why did her never mention it? "Why can't you stop the villagers from harming others? You're the Elder right now. They should listen to your rules, right?"

Phoenixmon sighed. "I have forced my energy into prolonging my life. I needed to be able to keep some level of order. But there was a hefty price. The only way to stop them is the stop them with force, which I am unable to do." Phoenixmon paused as the door to the hall opened, and WarGrowlmon walked in. "I've arrived, Elder."

Phoenixmon nodded and continued his story, "When word came that a sunmon was born in Youthful Village, it pushed many villagers over the edge. The attacks on other villages became more frequent. Asuramon, who you've met, helped lead these attacks. I received word that Asuramon was ready to take Coronamon out by force, and I asked WarGrowlmon to accompany them. I do not want to see my old friend deleted once again."

Kari suddenly felt confused. Why do they hate Sunmon? Taking out Coronamon by force … old friend deleted again? Wait!

"Coronamon is Apollomon?!"

Phoenixmon gave a quick laugh. "Yes. You can understand why many of the villagers, who have eagerly awaited his return, hate him because he broke the traditions they love. A fire Digimon born in another village? An outrage. The Elder being born in the place they despise the most? Unacceptable," Kari couldn't complain too much, Digimon had attacked other Digimon for no reason at all – other than them wanting to. But it still didn't make her accept it.

"If that's the case, why bring us here?"

"Apollomon, I mean, Coronamon has a strong connection with Takuya –"

Phoenixmon looked towards Takuya, who just nodded in response. "If we want out original Elder back, they need to stay together, at least until Apollomon is back. I believe he was called to the Digital World for that purpose."

Kari didn't know what to make of this in its entirety. "Okay, so what happens after Apollomon is back? What happens to the other villages and to Takuya?" WarGrowlmon spoke, "Once Apollomon is back, he can stop any attacks by force. All other villages will be left alone. As for him, it will be his choice on where he goes."

Kari took a good look at Takuya. He looked depressed and angry at the same time. He hadn't said a word this whole time. "Show them to a room." WarGrowlmon nodded at Phoenixmon, "Come along."

Takuya stood and started to follow WarGrowlmon out of the hall. "Elder, will you release Salamon and Sunmon?" Phoenixmon looked down at Kari and sighed, "Salamon can be released and move around the village. Sunmon… can only be released as long as he stays within the room. We do not need a civil war starting between those that want him destroyed and the ones that want to rejoice in his return."

Kari smiled, "We can handle that, right Takuya?" Takuya faintly smiled back at her and nodded. "Yeah."