Whatever had happened to Shirou could best be called 'an experience'. After being completely blinded by the flash of light, Shirou vaguely remembered a sense that could only be described as falling in all directions at once, as well as the unsettling thought that he was suddenly tasting the color purple with his toes. The journey ended with the young man being slammed softly into the dirt.
Shirou had somehow remained conscious throughout his unusual trip, and despite his throbbing head, he started to push himself up off the ground. Shaking his head in an attempt to clear out the drumming in his ears, Shirou looked about him at the most otherworldly landscape he had ever seen, worthy of one of those modern art paintings at were meant to fuck with one's perception.
Shirou found himself on his hands and knees in the tall, thick grass of a savanna, only rather than pale yellow one would normally equate with such thickets, each and every five-foot-tall stock of grass was a different color, creating a practical rainbow of color. As Shirou stared at them, the colors seemed to shift slightly, though he wasn't entirely sure if it was just his eyes playing tricks on him.
"Alright… what do I do know?" Shirou wondered aloud.
Alright, so maybe he was a little too hasty to jump into action. He was now literally in the middle of no where without any sort of direction at all. What exactly was he supposed to be doing anyways?
Fugi-nee was right, you really should look for the fine print before just saying 'I accept' to those popups. But honestly, who reads those disclaimers?
Shirou looked about him, ready to just pick a direction and start walking when a series of loud noises reached his ears. Shirou turned in the direction. The noises didn't sound friendly, something between aggressive snickers and taunting laughs. It reminded the young magus of the sounds of cartoon hyenas and they were coming straight towards him. Shirou then became very aware of just how defenseless he was at the moment.
Shirou looked around quickly, trying to find some kind of weapon with which to defend himself, only for his eyes to fall on a very familiar looking bamboo sword with a tiger-stripe like designs on it.
It was Fugi-nee's shinai, Torashinai, it must have been dragged into this strange place with him when he had used the digivice on the computer. She was going to be furious when she noticed it missing. The thought of the retired Kendo master's anger was enough to make Shirou flinch slightly, but he picked up the weapon all the same. It would serve him better than any of the broken stocks of grass that surrounded him. Still, it would need a bit of a boost if he was going to be taking it into a real fight.
Shirou didn't even wince as he once again felt the hum of prana moving up his spin and down his arm. First, he used Structural Grasp in order to get a near perfect blueprint of the shinai before his moved on to the second of his spells: Reinforcement.
The ideal form, or soul, of an object is perfect. However, reality is not so perfect. Because of the limitation and flaws in the physical materials that create object cannot achieve the full potential of ideal form. The idea of Reinforcement is to fill in the holes and flaws caused by the nonideal world with prana in order to help achieve the ideal form's full potential.
While the theory sounded easy, it required a detailed level of understanding of the object you were working with in order to make it work, thus requiring mastery of Structural Grasp. Also, you could not reinforce an object unlimitedly. If any part of the object if reinforced beyond the ideal state, then the physical form would burst like an over inflated balloon.
Giving his lack of mastery with the skill, and how difficult it was to use on an organic object rather than something consistent like an iron pipe, Shirou was conservative when reinforcing the shinai, though even a light reinforcement could increase its strength to the point where it was harder than industrial grade steel. As he pumped the object full of his prana the bamboo turned from yellow to a dark grey with the darker stripes appearing black along the surface. The results were better than Shirou had dared to hope.
Weapon prepared, Shirou cemented his footing and faced the direction the noise was coming from and prepared for whatever was approaching him.
He was surprised when the first thing that came barreling into the small clearing that his arrival had made was not the source of the sound he had been hearing, but rather a pair of odd creatures that didn't even reached his knees, one pink and the other green. Each looked like a round doll's head balanced on a sort of slug-like body. Both of them had floppy ears and horns on their heads, with the pink one having three horns and the green one having just one.
The two of them were breathing heavily as they kept jumping forward, since they didn't have legs to run with. They were clearly exhausted but desperate to keep moving, their eyes closed as they their entire beings were spent pushing them to keep moving.
The both of them jumped straight into Shirou, crashing into him.
Shirou's feet had been planted and the small creatures hadn't been heavy, as such they bounced straight off of him and just fell to the ground. Momentarily dazed they looked up at Shirou. Shirou saw shock on their eyes as they forgot all about running to just stare stupidly at him with open mouths. Though in all fairness, Shirou was also staring back at them just as stupidly. What exactly did one do when they came across supernatural creatures? Kiritsugu had never mentioned anything about magical creatures before. Shirou hadn't even known that they really existed.
Maybe they didn't back in his world. He wasn't sure whether other-worlds were real or just fiction, but it would explain a lot about what was going on today… sort of. It wouldn't explain how Fugi-nee's computer acted as a gateway into another world, but it would answer a lot of other questions.
Before the small creatures could catch their breath, or Shirou could think of something to say himself, the noise makers caught up to them.
Two green skinned creatures holding clubs smashed through the long grass. The monsters had long stretched out faces like comically drawn chimpanzees with red mohawks and were dressed in dirty brown loincloths and dusters.
The two green skins stopped just a few feet in front of Shirou, surprised looks on their faces… or maybe it just seemed that way since their eyes seemed to point bugged outwards in an unsettling manner.
"Hey Goblimon, isn't that a human, ~gob?" One of the creatures said in a dopey voice.
"Sure looks like it Goblimon. Though he seems taller than the stories, ~gob." The second one replied.
Shirou stepped forward, placing himself between the green skinned monsters and the smaller creatures that had come before them. "Stay behind me." He said simply as he tightened his grip on Torashinai. He regretted not spending more time learning Kendo from Fugi-nee. While he wasn't bad at it, he wasn't exactly confident enough to say that could be sure of handling multiple opponents at once.
The first of the Goblimon? laughed and slammed his club against the ground, the bolts that were screwed into it making small holes in the ground as the thing swung the club with surprising strength. "Wows, how lucky can we be!? Chasing around a couple of worthless in-training Digimon only to find a stray human, alone, without any partner Digimon, ~gob!"
"Talk about an easy payday! The Boss will reward us big time for this catch, ~gob!" The second Goblimon cheered along.
Shirou ignored their words, falling back into the communing meditative mindset he had learned when practicing archery. His breathing was steady, and his body relaxed. He was nearly twice as tall as the creatures were, and his weapon was far longer and probably faster. He should have an advantage.
The two Goblimon attacked, swinging their clubs around with all the grace of the mad baboons they resembled. Shirou reacted as quickly as he could, using the much greater reach of his shinai to his advantage. He struck the first of the attackers on the top of the head with all his strength, sending it tumbling backwards. Then, with a shift of his footing, his swung the wooden sword up and two the left, catching the second Goblimon in the shoulder and getting in the way of his attack. However, this second attach didn't have the same level of force as the first and the green skinned creature pushed forward, lefting up his club to attack again.
"GOBLIN STRIKE!" The Goblin cried, swinging the short club in Shirou direction in order to point the wooden club at him.
The strike would have come up short, but Shirou swung his Shinai forward in order to block the swing, as it might have been a set up for a thrust. But as Shirou blocked the club's path, a ball of fire came flying out of the end of the club. The fiery ball flew straight past Shirou's ear, close enough for him to feel the heat off of the blast.
Shirou was surprised, his mind racing. He wondered if that blast would have killed him in an instant if it had hit him, or if he would have been simply set alight, leaving him alive, if severely burned. Actually, while the stuff that was shot out of the club seemed like fire, Shirou didn't hear the tell tale sounds of something burning. Considering the amount of dry grass around them, something should have been set on fire by that stray blast. Regardless, he shouldn't let himself be hit.
He thrust Torashinai forward into the Goblimon's face, right into his nose. He felt something give as the monster fell to the ground clutching at his face, making him wonder if he had broken the creature's nose. Oddly enough, even those the monster was clutching at his face and screaming in pain, not a single drop of blood was present. Did these things not bleed?
Shirou was brought out of his wonderings when the second Goblimon struggled to its feet and started rushing towards him swinging its club widely above its head. "GOBURI RUSH!" The thing shouted bringing down its club it a wide arc.
The path was predictable and Shirou moved Torashinai into the club's path, careful to make sure to stop the chunk of wood without it pointing at him. However, the force behind the swing was a lot greater than Shirou had expected and he was knocked backwards by the hit. Even after pushing Shirou back, the club continued down to smash into the ground where Shirou had been standing, becoming stuck in the loose earth.
If Shirou hadn't reinforced Torashinai it would probably been snapped like a twig by the force of the blew.
While the Goblimon struggled to pull the club out of the ground, Shirou kicked out, his heel smashing into the monster's face, punting him a few feet back.
The second Goblimon had recovered from his earlier hit to the nose and was coming around for revenge, trying to hit Shirou while he was still on the ground.
Shirou barely had enough time to roll out of the way before its strike landed and quickly swing Torashinai back around to once again hit the monster square in the face, causing yet another scream of pain as he fell backwards into his companion.
"Why the fuck does it always have to be the face with this guy! ~GOB!" The Goblimon screamed as it held its face yet again.
Shirou winced in sympathy. How many times had he been hit in the head by Fugi-nee during one of her more sporadic moments? And that was with a non-reinforced Torashinai.
He hadn't exactly been specifically aiming for the face, it was just the largest target… also he had the strange feeling that Torashinai itself was somehow guiding his hand, making sure that every blow was a blow to the face. NO! Torashinai was just a normal shinai that had tiger strips on it! It wasn't anything supernatural and definitely didn't have a mind of its own!
"Why is he this strong? I thought humans were supposed to be weak and defenseless without their Digimon partners, ~gob." The first attacking Goblimon whimpered as he struggled back to his feet, also rubbing his cheek which was showing a prominent bruise. Still no blood present on either of them.
Shirou thought he heard Torashinai growling in his hands, displeased by the lack of blood… He really needed to have a serious talk with Fugi-nee about this thing. Maybe find a priest to exorcise it.
"I don't know, but there is only one thing that we can do now, ~gob." The other Goblimon said roughly as he tried to straighten himself and keep his eyes open through the pain of his face. "We have to use it."
"It? You… You can't mean the final skill! The secret technique passed down through the Goblimon line for generations, ~gob!" The First Goblimon said in some kind of shock.
"We have no choice!" The second replied with a sharp nod.
The other Goblimon seemed to be in a stunned silence for a few moments before swallowing hard and nodding. "Your right. I'm ready when you are, Goblimon!"
"Alright! On my signal, we'll use the skill together! Give it everything you got, ~gob!"
The two Goblimon started to shake violently as they screamed at the top of their longs.
Shirou had no idea what they were about to do. Some of their earlier attacks had made his concerned. He considered trying to do some self-targeting reinforcement to prepare for whatever it was they were about to throw at him.
Body Reinforcement was complex and dangers. Organic tissue was hard to deal with since it wasn't very consistent, but when dealing with dead wood like in the case of Torashinai, it wasn't all too dangerous if you screw up just a little. But if you try to use reinforcement on living cells, you run into the problem of maintaining the equilibriums required to keep the cells alive. It was very difficult to increase the strength of a body part without destroying at least some of the tissue. So difficult that Shirou's father had told him never to even think about attempting it.
But if things kept up the way they were, Shirou would be dead either way. Better to try and risk death from his muscles collapsing on themselves rather than to just give up without ever putting a real fight. He had no choose, he had to use it.
But before Shirou could make the suicidal attempt, the Goblimon stopped their screaming. Then as one they shouted something on the tops of their lungs. "RETREAT!" They turned around and dashed back into the long grass, their hands waving about above their heads and they screamed like little girls.
…Shirou wasn't exactly sure what to make of what had just happened.
Shirou looked down at where one of the Goblimon had left their club half buried in the ground. Stepping forward, he pulled the short club up, running a Structural Grasp over the item. Through the club he gained some insight into what he had just been fighting.
– Rookie Level Digimon (Digital Monster)
– attribute: Virus
– type: Ogre
– A rather cowardly Digimon, it never acts alone, and only attacks as a group concealed in buildings or the bowers of a forest. However, if they come to a disadvantage, they flee as fast as they can, scattering in all directions.
[Goblin Strike] – Launches a fireball from end of its club.
[Goburi Rush] – An enhanced melee strike at double normal strength.
It was strange, the club both was and wasn't part of the 'Digimon's' actual being. Shirou was surprised that the creature willingly left it behind… until the wooden thing began to dissolve into a haze of light between his fingers, as if it had just been a projection all along.
"Digital… monster…" Shirou mumbled, committing the words to memory. They were his first real clue about what the hell was going on. It implied that he really had been dragged into the computer and that the entire world around him was somehow founded upon it.
How did that even work?
"Hey mister." Shirou turned his head to see that the two other small creatures were still there and hadn't ran off. The both of them looked up at him with large eyes. It was the green one that had spoken up, the one with only a single horn. It hopped a little closer towards him, though the pink one kept a good distance. "Are you really a human?"
"Um… yes." Shirou replied, giving a short nod.
A smile spilt across the small green creature's face as it started to tremble with excitement. "Yes! It's you! It's really you!" The little guy cried out in delight, jumping up and down. "I told you sis! I told you if we just waited that he would find us!"
The pink creature, who had up to that point just been staring in awe, started to pout. "Notta, you wanted us to go wondering all around the Digital World searching. I was the one who said we would wait." She said, her voice slightly more feminine than the green one's, though they both sounded very childish.
The green one stopped jumping and tilted his head slight. "Oh, that's right. Well, I'm glad I listened to you." He said cheerfully.
"Excuse me, but what are you talking about?" Shirou asked them as he crouched down low, like one would when talking to small children. "Why would you be waiting for me?"
"Of course we'd be waiting for you!" The green thing replied with a big smile. "I'm Gummymon, and that's my sister Kokomon! We're your partners!"
"Partners?" Shirou said in surprise.
"That's right! And now that the three of us are together, we can go and save the Digital World from the forces of evil!" Gummymon shouted proudly. Shirou could only blink in disbelief as he stared down at the undeniably helpless, but still very cheerful, creature.
"Brother, I think we should start moving now." Kokomon said softly, dragging Gummymon back down to Earth… or the Digital World. "Those Goblimon might comeback and with reinforcements. We can talk about things once we get somewhere more safe."
Gummymon looked over at his sister before nodding his agreement and turning back to Shirou. "She's right, Goblimon might be cowards, but there sure are a lot of them. Oh, but don't worry. Sis and I know Radio Valley like the back of our hands! We'll show you the best places to hide in so that we can all talk!" He said, then before Shirou could point out that neither of them had any hands to begin with, he turned and started jumping back into the long grass. "Come on, this way!"
Kokomon glanced at Shirou before following her brother into the long grass, and not having anything better to do, Shirou followed him.
Partnered up with two plushy like monsters in a quest to save the internet… today was weird.
Yes I know, Terriermon and Lopmon are kind of the standard pair to go with, but since I am not going to be involving any of the other digidestines for a good long time, I feel like it would be nice to have more of a dynamics going by having more than just one partner.
Lopmon isn't going to be going down her canon evolutionary tree, and will instead go down Lunamon's tree instead, as those rabbits all use bows and arrows, as well as other weapons.
I considered having his partner being Huckmon, but I ended up deciding to go with Terriermon and Lopmon.