Chapter 1

Out Towards the Frontier

"Ugghhh…" Kari groaned painfully as she awoke. She slowly sat up feeling her hands sink into the soft surface beneath her, which she had been laying upon for an unknown span of time. But she really couldn't think about anything other than how much of a welcome change it was to the hard surface she remembered falling unconscious on. Tiredly her eyes wandered down to the soft surface. It was a soft thick crimson fabric with some kind of cushioning under it. Her eyes slowly moved out from her hand to four square corners on each side and a mixed pile of soft crimson, black, and gold pillows behind her.

"A bed…?" Kari stated with a hazy confusion. It was a very large and fluffy bed completely draped in crimson silk sheets and amenities. Turning her legs to the side she slowly began to scoot her way across the bed until her legs were hanging over the edge. Once she had reached the edge she slowly slid off the side until her feet hit the warm stones of the floor. Instantly her attention shot down to her bare feet. Where there had once been a well wore pair of pink sneakers there was nothing but a few pairs of beautiful golden bracelets attached around her ankles.

"Where did my shoes… My clothes…?" However her shoes weren't the only thing that had changed, her entire outfit was different. Gone were the normal clothes she wore during every visit to the Digital World, and in their stead was a long flowing dress. The dress itself fell over her in three different layers; white on the inside, then orange in the middle, and last red on the outside. Each of the soft layers felt like it was made of the finest quality silk. The dress came down over one shoulder, leaving the other bare, and ran over her chest. It was tightened at her waist by a series of golden belts with very intricate winding designs. From there it dropped down to a few inches short of her ankles exchanging and intertwining the three colors the whole way down. A slit up the right side ran back up the dress to a few inches short of her hip; leaving room for her to easily move her legs. The dress was a work somewhere between the tradition garb found in India and Chinese formal wear.

"Beautiful…" She said in awe as she inspected dress. The dress looked amazing on her blossoming teenage body. Every inch of it conformed to her every curve with perfect form. Looking at her now it was hard to see the cute little eleven-year-old she had once been under the voluptuous sixteen-year-old she had become. She took hold of the lower half and pulled it outwards to get a better view, as she did she felt the jingle of more golden bracelets as they slid down her arm to her wrist. Never in her life had she imaged she would be wearing something so beautiful and expensive. But the real question was how she got into it; and why was she wearing it.

Turning her attention back to the situation at hand she began to scan her surroundings. She was in a rather large room. It was more than twice the size of her family's whole apartment and completely crafted out of gray stone and mortar. Besides from the large bed which sat in the middle of the room on top of a large crimson and gold carpet there was other furniture. There was also a large wooden wardrobe, a desk, several couches and chairs, rows of bookshelves, and a few tables. Before her was a large wooden vanity table with a silver mirror framed with an intricate golden design. The chair that sat before it was also made of the same dark brown wood and cushioned with a crimson fabric; like the material the bed sheets were made of.

Walking over to the mirror Kari began checking her appearance in its reflective surface. The first things she noticed was that her shoulder length brown hair was combed and her bangs were being held back by a golden tiara encrusted with ruby insets. Next her eyes moved down to her face. She was now wearing make-up and whoever had done it had done a really good job. There was crimson eye shadow and dark black eyeliner; and her lips were painted with bright rouge. The look made are crimson eyes seem as if they were burning.

She continued to inspect each object until her eyes fell upon the large fire place across from the foot of the bed. In its hearth a roaring fire filled the room with it bright moving light. But it wasn't the fire that attracted the girl's attention. It was the large flag that hung over it. The banner was a deep crimson color with a black symbol stitched into it. The symbol started out as a single line at the top with two smaller line segments on each side. Halfway down the middle line split into two and arched downwards.

"The Flame Emperor…" Kari stated as the events of the past few days came rushing back to her.

"What do you mean by a part of the Digital World we've never seen before?" Davis gawked as if this claim was beyond belief.

"It's just as I've said Davis. It's a part of the Digital World none of you have ever set foot on." Gennai explained. He hadn't expected the Digidestine to be as surprised by this news as they were.

"Are we talking about an island or something small we could have easily overlooked?" Tai asked finding it hard to image that they could have missed something during all of their travels.

"No. It's actually quite large." Gennai noted looking over the twelve Digidestine gathered before him before he continued. "It's called Network Continent. And it makes up over sixty percent of the Digital Worlds total landmass." He added. With this news the Digidestine just stared at him in disbelief. How could they have only seen less then forty percent of the Digital World considering all the time they had spent there, let alone not know that such a massive continent existed?

"How is that possible? I've looked over maps of the Digital World many times and I've never seen a Network Continent on any of them." Izzy questioned as he brought up his maps, checking them over to see if he could have possibly missed something.

"Due to an extremely powerful barrier around the continent it became completely inaccessible from the outside. The barrier remained for so long that Network Continent faded into legend and was completely forgotten." Gennai explained. All around him the humans and digimon alike tried to image how a world could forget about such a large piece of land. "The barrier was actually so strong that it prevented it from getting involved in any of the incidents the Digital World faced. It seems that even Myotismon and the Dark Masters were unaware of its existence."

"You mean while all that chaos befell the Digital World this Network Continent was completely unaffected." TK asked. Gennai just gave him a nod in response.

"Luck them." Tai sighed while he imaged a part of the Digital World where they wouldn't have had to fear constant attack and danger. "But why are you telling us about it now?" He asked hoping to get to the point of Gennai's story.

"I believe that the strange events as of late are in some way related to the reappearance of this lost continent. And as the Digital Worlds representatives I thought you all would be interested in investigating it." Gennai reasoned.

It had been five years since the Digidestine had defeated MaloMyotismon. At the end of that battle they had returned to Earth to find that many people had been granted their own partner digimon. This had been the start of an era of human and digimon cohabitation on Earth. So with their years of experience the Digidestine had become the Digital Worlds representatives; mediating and speaking on behalf of the Digital World. But all wasn't well. The largest part of the population who had received partners was children, with very few adults getting one. This gap between generations had been the cause of many problems; including rumors of an anti-digimon shadow organization. Being the Digital Worlds representative had also had some effects on the lives of the Digidestine. No longer were they just some anonymous kids. While their identities as the Digital Worlds representatives were only made available to certain key members of the worlds governments they were still faced with an elevated status and a new range of responsibilities.

"Are you talking about those strange sighting and disturbances in the real world, and the sudden attacks in the Digital World?" Ken inquired, recalling the events that had been all over the news for the last month.

"I believe so. The events correspond perfectly with the reappearance of the Network Continent. And considering no one from outside the Network Continent has even set foot on it in eons, anything could be over there now." Gennai surmised.

"So you want us to investigate before something serious happens and creates a problem between the Human World and the Digital World." Tai reasoned. Things had been tense the last few years, but with these recent events things had been getting ready to explode.

"Yes." Gennai simply answered before entering into the logistics of the plan. Like how they would get there and what to look for. But considering that Gennai had no idea as to the condition or arrangement of the lost continent he didn't have much to offer.

From beside her brother Kari listened to the group talk, unsure of how she felt about all of this. On one hand it might be interesting to see a whole new part of the Digital World. While at the same time she had no idea what was going to happen there. Somehow from the moment she had heard about the lost continent she felt like it would cause some big change in her life. She continued to lose herself in her thoughts until something Gennai said brought her back.

"The only other thing I know about it is that it was where the original Digidestine appeared and fought." Gennai noted with a look of interest on his face.

"Wait! I thought Tai and the others were the original Digidestine?" Davis stated, wanting some answers to this new claim.

"There was actually a group before us Davis." Matt explained to the confused boy.

"We just don't know much about them, or their reason for ever coming to the Digital World." Izzy added with a slightly embarrassed sigh. Leave it to Izzy to feel bad about not knowing something.

"Their entire story was sealed behind the barrier. We wouldn't even know they existed if it wasn't for a short visit they paid to the Server Continent." Gennai rejoined.

"Does the fact that it's the original Digidestines old stomping ground having anything to do with our mission." TK inquired, wondering how the recent events could be tied to something from so long ago.

"I don't see how it could be connected, but you never know." Gennai commented with a laugh. He had no really intent beyond this; he really had just felt like sharing that bit of information with the group.

"So when do we leave?" Tai inquired on behalf of the group.

"I've already locked the coordinates into the portal program. So whenever you're ready to go you can all head out." Gennai explained bring his end of the conversation to an end.

After informing their parents and a few government agencies of their plan, followed by a few hours of preparation, all twelve of the Digidestine and their respective partners were gathered before the glowing computer screen in Izzy's room.

"So I guess we're all ready to go than." Davis cheered waiting for Tai's signal to get the mission underway. After a few seconds Tai gave him an approving nod and Davis raised his D-3 to the computer screen and triggered the transmission. The group was quickly enveloped in the bright white light and whisked away to a whole new land.

After a trip that seemed longer than usual the Digidestine touched down on the continent of Network. Well, it was more liked crashed down.

"Man, I guess something's will never change…" Tai groaned as he waited for however many of his fellow Digidestine that had been piled on top of him to get off.

"Kari, are you alright?" Davis asked as soon as he was back on his feet. Even in this situation he made sure to not forget about earning some points with Kari. But in return he got no answer. Kari was far too preoccupied with the scenery that stretched out before her.

Laid out before them was a large city of tall steel buildings and streets filled with digimon. The buildings rose high into the sky and were designed in strange, but familiar ways. They would curve or bend at odd intervals and there seemed to be massive cables inserted at different levels that either ran to other building or into the ground below. It was the kind of construction you could only find in the Digital World.

The streets were filled with all kinds of digimon walking about and talking to each other. The digimon themselves ranged in level and size, but seemed to get along just fine. At the bottom of the buildings were different shop fronts with all kinds of things up for sale. The Digidestine themselves had landed just outside of one of these stores. An electronics store to be exact; one with many different television sets filling its storefront window.

"Wow… I've never seen anything like this on File or Server." Sora noted as the rest of the group stared on in awe. "I mean how often do you see a city like this in the Digital World?"

"Or this many different digimon grouped together like this." Joe added as he tried to recall some of the names of the digimon he saw.

"It's very strange… It's not uncommon to find small digimon settlements in the Digital World or an abandoned metropolis like we found on Spiral Mountain. But to find something of this scale with a complex working community is incredible. I wonder how it came about…?" Izzy began to speculate as the group uneasily made their way through the crowded streets. While they walked they would notice a strange look or whisper from a digimon here and there, but most just ignored them or didn't really care.

"I have no idea where to start…" Tai sighed after they had been walking around the city for a few hours. They now stood in what was probably a park by the looks of all the trees and grass.

"You all seem kind of lost." A voice called to the group from off to the side. The Digidestine instantly turned their attention to the source and spotted a humanoid digimon standing behind a bar cleaning a glass.

The digimon was about the size of a full grown adult human. It was female in appearance and had two sets of wings protruding from its back, the bottom set being half the size of the top set. On its arms, legs, and chest it wore gold armor. The midriff was left bare except for a pair of crisscrossing black leather belts that ran down to her waist and ended at the colorful cloth covering her lower half. Attached to her waist was a pair of steel swords with red hilts. Wrapped around her head was a red turban with a green jewel placed in a winged holder in the middle of it. The cloth covered her blond hair and the top half of her face was hidden by a golden mask with eye holes.

"You can come over here, I don't bite." The angel digimon smiled as she set down the glass she had been cleaning and motioned for the children to come and sit down at one of the stools before the bar. The Digidestine exchanged uncertain looks before giving in and taking a seat. "Welcome, I'm Darcmon, and this is my bar." The angel digimon introduced itself.

"Hello." Several members of the group responded. Kari on the other hand smiled and turned her attention to the different digimon seated a few chairs down from them. One was a rather large dino digimon drinking from a large mug while a smaller pink digimon, most likely some kind of rookie or in-training, sat on its shoulder gulping down a plate of food. It was kind of strange to see two different levels of digimon getting along so well.

"I'm done little bro! Let's get moving!" The little pink digimon suddenly cheered after licking its plate clean. "Sounds good big sister." The larger dino digimon smiled as it finished the remaining liquid in the mug and set it down on the counter. "I'm leaving the money here." It called down to Darcmon before setting down some strange cards on the counter and walked away. As Kari watched them walk away she couldn't stop thinking about how they had referred to each other in terms of family, something she hadn't ever heard in the Digital World before.

"So can I get any of you something to drink or eat?" Darcmon asked scanning the group for any takers. The Digidestine didn't seem too sure, but the digimon had already begun drooling at the idea of some food. Darcmon just stared at the group thinking about something for a few seconds before talking again. "So you all look pretty confused… Are you new to the Flame Empire?"

"The what?" Tai asked for his confused group. They had come here under the assumption that they were on the continent of Network, not whatever this Flame Empire was.

"Isn't this Network…?" Davis questioned.

"Okay, I'm starting to see you're more lost than I thought." Darcmon laughed before she reached under the counter and began putting glass mugs down on the counter. "This is the continent of Network. But right now you're in the Flame Empire. It's one of the ten lands that make up Network." She explained as she filled each glass with a blue liquid and set one down before each of the Digidestine and their partners.

"I'm sorry, but we don't have any money on us…" Kari apologized as she looked at the cup of delicious looking liquid before her. She had no idea what it was, but it looked clean and refreshing.

"Don't worry about it dear. It's on the house. I couldn't even dream of charging some new visitors to the Flame Empire for something as simple as drinks." Darcmon smiled, motioning for the group to drink up. With smiles of their own the Digidestine each took a healthy gulp of the liquid. Kari had been right, it was very refreshing and tasty.

"Could you possibly tell us more about Network?" Izzy inquired as he swallowed a mouthful of the drink. They were very glad that they had finally found a source of information like Darcmon.

"Sure." Darcmon smiled again before she leaned back against the shelves behind her. "Network is divided into ten areas. The Valley of Wind, the City of Metal, the Thunder Ranges, the Ice Tundra, the Water Isles, the Kingdom of Light, the Dark Area, the Earth Realm, the Wood Expanse, and the Flame Empire, where you are now." She explained. "And you couldn't have picked a better place to start your visit to Network."

"Why's that?" TK asked wondering how this place could be any better than somewhere else. Darcmon face just lit up at that point.

"Because the Flame Empire is the best out of all of them. It covers thirty percent of Network, so it's the biggest and it has plenty of cities and other locations connected by the Trailmon system. And you won't find a friendlier area in all of Network, especially here in Ember Coast." Darcmon cheered. Apparently she really loved to talk about her area. It probably stemmed from a strong sense of national pride.

"So this city's called Ember Coast." Matt commented after taking another sip of his drink.

"Yes. We also have a pretty decent Trailmon system hub here too." Darcmon offered as an explanation, but only created more questions with her answer.

"What's a Trailmon system?" Mimi asked. Something about it made her really want to know.

"It's a system of tracks that stretches all over Network which Trailmon travel along. You can actually see it over there." Darcmon noted as she leaned over the counter and pointed further down the road they had been walking along. For a moment there was nothing, but a low rumble suddenly began to fill the air. In the next instant a large train engine sped past an opening followed by a long row of passenger cars. Inside the cars the Digidestine could make out different digimon sitting or standing by the windows.

"You're kidding…" Mimi painfully sighed on the verge of tears. The memories of the old days that were filled with never ending walks through burning deserts and frozen waste lands came rushing back. "Why couldn't they have had those Trailmon back on File of Server?" Mimi whined. The rest of the Digidestine were having similar thoughts as well.

"Look at it this way Mimi. It means we won't have to walk everywhere this time around." Sora noted hoping Mimi could recover from this. Mimi just gave her a sad nod before returning to her drink.

"And best of all, the Flame Empire is ruled over by the strongest of all the rulers. The Flame Emperor." Darcmon added as she clenched her fists and raised them up in triumph.

"The Flame Emperor…?" Ken inquired, bad memories of his time as the Digimon Emperor quickly returning to him.

"Yes, he's been our ruler since the Flame Empire came into existence. He and the other nine rulers brought the Second Great War to an end with their strength. And when it was all over, they divided Network into the ten areas, each becoming the ruler of one of them." Darcmon explained. "You can actually tell what area you're in by the flags you find. See, this is the flag of the Flame Emperor and the Flame Empire." Darcmon stated with a smile as she pointed to a crimson flag hanging on the wall behind the bar.

"The Flame Emperor…" Kari whispered to herself.

"Ka… Kari…" A pained, but familiar voice from behind Kari broke her focus on the crimson flag over the fireplace and brought her back from her memories. Turning around Kari's eyes landed on a furry white ball resting on a small couch at the end of the bed.

"Gatomon!" Kari cried as she ran to her partner's side and pulled her into a hug. Both of them were happy to see each other again; especially after what had happened.

"Where are we?" Gatomon asked as Kari released her "…And why are you dressed like that?" She added noticing the change in Kari's wardrobe.

"I don't really know the answer to either of those questions… but judging by the Flag of Flame on the wall… I'd say were back in the Flame Empire." Kari answered turning back to look at the flag over the fireplace.

"You would be correct malady." A voice suddenly spoke from out of nowhere. Instantly the two began to scan the room for another presence, but quickly found that they were alone. But with a sudden burst of flame near the fireplace they were no longer alone in the room.

The digimon that had suddenly appeared in the room was actually very familiar looking. If it wasn't for the coloring and parts of the outfit he could have easily been mistaken for a Wizardmon. The digimon before the fire was wearing a pair of red shorts with flame lining, which reached down to a pair of big red leather boots. Around its waist three black leather belts crisscrossed to which two large matches with different colored heads, one red and one blue, were attached. Covering the torso was a red and orange vest with tattered sleeves. Golden rings were attached to each of its forearms and a large pair of red gloves covered each hand. From under its tattered pointed red hat a pair of yellow eyes, a stitched mouth, and black hair jotted out. And interestingly enough resting on top of the hair were a pair of round framed goggles.

"Who are you?" Gatomon growled jumping to the floor and putting herself between Kari and the new arrival. However, the digimon didn't seem the slightest bit intimidated by Gatomons brave act. He just treated it with a look of disinterest.

"I am FlameWizardmon." The red clothed digimon answered with a bow. He made no hostile moves and came no closer as he let Kari process his arrival.

"Hello, FlameWizardmon…" Kari returned the greeting with an uneasy breath. Seeming to take her response as a cue FlameWizardmon began stepping forward which instantly put Gatomon on edge. After he had taken a few steps forward he once again bowed and spoke.

"I welcome you to the Pyre Citadel." FlameWizardmon spoke in the same compliant tone as he had before.

"Thank you… Wait! Do you mean the home of the Flame Emperor! That Pyre Citadel!" Kari asked as the reality of her situation quickly set in. The luxurious room and expensive clothes she was wearing where making a lot of sense now.

"Yes, malady." FlameWizardmon spoke again before he began walking forward again. "Now if you and your digimon would please follow me." He asked before walking towards the steel and wood door. With a solid pull the door swung open and FlameWizardmon motioned for the two to pass through it. The hallway was very much like the room. The same warm gray stone and crimson tapestries lined the walls, while touches burned brightly on the walls.

"Where are we going?" Kari inquired after a short distance. Up until now she hadn't really thought about where this digimon was taking her, but it wasn't like she had anywhere else to go right now.

"I'm taking you to the Imperial Courtroom." FlameWizardmon answered as he led them down another hallway.

"A courtroom! Did we do something wrong?" Kari asked with an uneasy tone of surprise. Things had felt off since she had woken up, and the feeling only got worse when she was told she was being taken to a courtroom. But the feeling could only be her imagination playing tricks with her mind, which was understandable considering the situations she found herself in.

"Not that I know of." FlameWizardmon simple replied before turning back to look at the girl. When he noticed the uneasy look on the girls face he chose to speak again. "But if you had done something wrong, I doubt they would be treating you as good as they are. And anyways I doubt a girl like you could do something terrible enough to bring the wrath of the Imperial Court down on them." He tried to reassure her, hoping to calm her fears. Kari simple rejoined with a gentle smile and a small nod.

"Can I ask you another question?" Kari asked. When FlameWizardmon gave her a nod of approval she proceeded to ask her question. "Do you know where my friends are?"

FlameWizardmon thought for a moment before responding. "No. All I know is that you and your digimon were found unconscious outside one of the Flame Empires fringe towns, then brought here." He answered. Kari just whispered something and hung her head in return. Taking notice of this FlameWizardmon attempted to raise the girl's hopes. "But the Magistrates might know something. So you should ask them once we get to the courtroom."

"Thank you." Kari smiled her mood brightening slightly.

At the end of the hallway a long crimson curtain hung from the ceiling concealing whatever was behind it. As they neared it FlameWizardmon reached out and swept the curtain to the side. Instantly daylight poured in through the doorframe. While the hallways had been well lit the bright afternoon sun still stung and made Kari's eyes water, but this didn't slow her down as she continued to follow FlameWizardmon towards their destination.

Eventually Kari's vision returned and she finally got her first view of the Pyre Citadel. The outside was modeled after the old Edo style palaces from the history books. Gray stone and mortar ran together with light brown wood and crimson paint; creating a very strong and beautiful structure. The polished wooden panels that they were now walking on ran up to a short stone wall. Over the wall and down below there was a lush grassy courtyard which stretched for quite a distance until it hit some wooden floor panels and a stone wall. Fluttering from the tops of buildings and other structures in the small breezes were countless Flags of Flame. Kari had to admit it was very impressive structure with incredible beauty.

As they moved along the walkway Kari scanned the courtyard below marveling at the well kept grounds and gentle beauty of it. She continued to do so until her eyes landed on something standing in the middle of courtyard. Whatever it was it brought her to a dead stop as she locked all of her attention onto it. It wasn't that much bigger than her, maybe only half a foot taller than her. It was covered from the neck down in a tattered brown cloak which slowly rippled in the wind revealing hints of crimson and gold armor underneath. Covering what she assumed was the head was a crimson metal helm in the shape of dragon's head, complete with a golden horn sticking out of the middle on the top. In front of it a large shining silver sword with gold lining and a green hilt was embedded in the ground. Something about it kept her from looking away or even acknowledging her surrounds.

"Kari..?" Gatomon called to her partner from her shoulder. Kari had just been standing there for over a minute without saying anything and it was starting to worry Gatomon.

"Is that a digimon…?" Kari absentmindedly whispered to herself. But with Gatomons sensitive ears she heard it and turned her attention to the courtyard below where her eyes locked onto the figure as well. It continued to stand there without moving until it suddenly twitched and looked up at them. The moment it did Kari and Gatomon felt a strange force press down on them and they jerk back away from the wall until the figure vanished behind the stone.

"It can be pretty intense at first…" FlameWizardmon suddenly spoke, but Kari and Gatomon weren't really listening. They were still trying to get over the sensation that had made their hearts race, their knees buckle, and knocked the wind out of them.

"What was that!" Gatomon moaned in a pained voice. She and Kari were still shaking from the experience even after having a few minutes to recover.

"He probably felt you staring at him and directed his killing aura at you out of instinct." FlameWizardmon explained.

"Who did?" Kari moaned between breathes.

"The Flame Emperor." FlameWizardmon simple responded.

"That's the Flame Emperor…" Kari and Gatomon both exhaled. After seeing him one thing was for certain. The Flame Emperors incredible reputation was well deserved.

"We really need to get moving." FlameWizardmon stated as he helped Kari to her feet. The moment she was back on her feet she looked back down at the courtyard. But it was now empty except for a few in-training digimon playing in the swaying grass. The Flame Emperor was gone now. With no more distractions Kari allowed herself to be lead away, back through stone hallways and to a large set of metal and wood doors with a very familiar digimon standing before it.

"Wargreymon, open the doors. I've brought the girl as the Magistrates ordered." FlameWizardmon ordered the Wargreymon standing before the large doors. It just nodded before using one of its hands to push open the massive doors, which swung open with a low creak to reveal a very large room. Once the doors were open FlameWizardmon motioned for Kari to enter and with a few timid steps she complied. As she walked past Wargreymon she couldn't help but think about how strange it was to see such a powerful mega digimon just standing guard, but after seeing the Flame Emperor she could understand why. Here power was completely relative, and being a mega digimon didn't really mean much.

Inside Kari found herself in the center of a large room encircled by a raised wooden wall. Above the wall and moving back to the far wall were many rows of empty seats and desks. Apparently she was in the observation area of some big auditorium style courtroom. The walls were again lined with the same Flags of Flame that could be found everywhere, but in this case a massive one hung on the back wall directly in front of Kari. Above her a chandelier of white stones cast a bright daylight throughout the room. Before her were two judges benches where two heads of white hair looked down at her. In this situation she couldn't help but feel uneasy.

"Welcome, young one." The bushy head of white hair said as the head of gray hair disappeared from view.

"Hello…" Kari said in a quiet uneasy voice.

"Speak up dear!" A female voice suddenly demanded making Kari jump. From the side of the judge's bench a very short old woman dressed in colorful robes and gray hair done-up in a bun walked out and began making her way towards Kari. In her right arm she held a golden broom that was taller than her, and in her left she carried a small stepladder. "The names Babamon, dear." The small digimon introduced itself as it set the stepladder down next to Kari and began looking her up and down.

"Ummm…" Kari mouthed unsure of what was happening at the moment. After a few seconds Babamon began walking around the girl inspecting each angle of her while Kari turned to FlameWizardmon for some kind of guidance as to what to do next. Unfortunately, he gave her no response. He either had no idea what was happening, or he knew not to question the actions of this strange small woman.

"That dress looks beautiful on you, dear." Babamon smiled with her stitched mouth. Kari simply nodded in thanks, unable to form the words to answer. "But I bet anything would look good on that hot body of yours. Ah… to be young again." The old woman finished with a reminiscent sigh.

"Th… Thank you…" Kari answered unsure of how she should take being told she had a hot body by the little old digimon.

"Don't stutter dear it's unattractive." Babamon suddenly snapped making Kari jump again.

"Baba, can't you see you're scaring the poor thing." The male voice from earlier stated calmly from atop the judge's bench. At least it seemed like someone was still watching out for Kari.

"Quiet Jiji! I'm busy!" The old woman snapped again and the man fell quiet. Apparently even he was afraid of the small woman. With the old man quiet again the old woman motioned for FlameWizardmon to come over to her, which he instantly complied with. She then pointed to the small stepladder which FlameWizardmon picked up and unfolded before setting it down before Kari where Babamon pointed. While all of this was happening Kari and Gatomon were becoming more and more confused. "Thank you. With my arthritis those small things are becoming more difficult each day." Babamon thanked FlameWizardmon before pointing at Gatomon on Kari's shoulder.

With a nod and a sigh FlameWizardmon took a step forward and slowly lifted Gatomon off of Kari's shoulder with both hands. The white feline digimon instantly went into defensive mode. "Calm yourself. I swear no harm will come to the girl. Magistrate Babamon just wants to get a better look at her." FlameWizardmon reassured her. Gatomon didn't know what to believe so she turned to Kari to find out what she wanted to do. Kari gave Gatomon an uneasy smile as she motioned that it was alright. She knew that if she wanted to ask questions of her own she was going to have to comply. She also knew that there was probably a reason why a mega digimon like Wargreymon was standing at the door.

"Look smart, dear." Babamon suddenly ordered as she brought her face only a few inches from Kari's. Kari felt a little bit of anger well up in her at that comment, but she quickly let it go. "Now let me get a look at you." Babamon stated taking hold of Kari's chin with her left hand and maneuvering her face into different positions so she could inspect it. "Clear, beautiful, crimson eyes… a lot of power behind those. And a good color too." The old woman said with a mystic tone.

"Excuse me Babamon. I was wondering if you could…!" Kari tried to begin asking her questions about her group, but a chin jerk to the side made her fall quiet. Apparently Babamon's inspection wasn't finished.

"A cute face. Very soft lily white skin, but not without hints of hard work. The nose is cute and the lips are the perfect level of pouty. Good bone structure. Soft, shiny hair; well taken care of." Babamon listed off one feature after another. At this point Kari was starting to get worried about the weird direction this inspection was taking. "Slender, but strong shoulders and arms. Definitely has seen her share of hard times. Well endowed bust. Hourglass form and toned body; must put in some daily exercise." Babamon continued as she slowly made her way down the ladder without stopping the inspection. In the back of her mind Kari was still trying to get over the embarrassing 'Well endowed bust' comment.

Once she off of the ladder Babamon began circling Kari once more and looking her up and down. Every so often she would poke her with the rounded end of her broom and make a comment. "Very good hips. Legs that go on forever. And cute toes." With that final note Babamon walked back to the judge's bench and disappeared behind it. A few seconds later her head popped up next to Jijimons and they began talking quietly. As the silence continued for what seemed like quite awhile, Kari turned to Gatomon and FlameWizardmon for some form of reassurance. They could only give her a shrug in return. Apparently they were both as confused as she was.

"Then it's decided." Babamon concluded in a loud voice.

"What's decided?" Kari asked surprised by the sudden exclamation. This whole thing just kept getting weirder by the second.

"You my dear will become our Flame Empress." Babamon plainly stated as Kari and Gatomons eyes widened in shock. This was a pretty shocking development, but she couldn't help but wonder what this new development entailed.

"But don't you already have a Flame Emperor?" Kari inquired feeling that she was missing an important part of the picture.

"Of course we do, dear. But we are without descendents to take the throne." Babamon simply rejoined. It was right about this time that the rest of the picture filled in for Kari. "And with a wife and mother like you dear, the royal family of flames strength will grow stronger." Babamon finished driving the point home to Kari.

"Are you telling me you want me to marry the Flame Emperor!" Kari shouted in surprise. While on the inside she was dealing with the idea that she was only sixteen and they were talking about marrying her off to some all powerful digimon. And then there was the whole children thing.

"Yes. You're at that age now where you should be thinking about your future marriage prospects. You're also at the child baring age as well. That body of yours will be able to produce plenty of healthy offspring." Babamon explained as Kari shifted into a mild panic attack at the thought.

"You can't be serious!" Kari asked in an almost laughing tone. All she could think at the moment was that this kind of thing didn't really happen in real life. It only ever happened in stories and anime.

"But I'm afraid we are young one. A disharmony has arisen throughout the ten lands and we now stand at the precipice of a third Great War. So anything we can do to increase our nation's strength and secure its safety, we will do." Jijimon spoke now in a serious tone.

"What generation are you living in? Kari's way too young to be getting married and having children." Gatomon protested on behalf of her partner. She wasn't even going to mention how wrong it was that they expected a human girl to mother digimon children.

"Regardless… FlameWizardmon take her back to her room." Jijimon ordered and FlameWizardmon bowed in compliance before ushering the two out of the Imperial Courtroom. As they walked along the hallways back towards the room they had woken up in, Kari's mind raced to make sense of what had just transpired. She was now essentially engaged in the Digital World to something that had terrified her just by looking at her. But had she really been scared of him or was it something else. She spent her remaining time before drifting off into a restless sleep in the large soft bed trying to figure out how she felt and what she should do next.

To be continued…

So there it is. The start of my third story. I hope you liked it, because now it's time to get down to a few author notes.

First things first, as anyone who's reading my other two stories knows I'm still in the middle of writing and posting for them, so my times already pretty divided as it is. So what I'm trying to say is don't expect to see updates that often. Until the other two finish out you can expect there to be three to four months between updates. Sorry, to say that if you found that you like this story, but I have my other obligations to meet. This one was original meant to only be something to help me work out my writers block, but somehow it developed into a pretty interesting story line, with a world that's as important a character as the Digidestine and digimon in it.

Second, a bit about the backstory of this world. In the first digimon series Gennai mentioned something about Digidestine coming before Tai's group, refering to them as the originals. And when he's talking about them five figures flash across the scene, which reminded me of a certain other group of five. So you've already pretty much guessed who the original Digidestine are in this story, and if you haven't go back and read the story again.

Third, you probably noticed that a lot of this is from Kari's prespective or is focused on her. There's actually a good reason for that. Mainly, because it is. While Crossing Worlds is more of a Takuya, and Kari story. Forgotten Legends is more of a Kari, and Takuya story. If that makes sense to you, you're halfway there. The story will be more about how Kari affects the world and events around her, with Takuya helping out. When he actually get around to showing up. Another thing to note is that this is more of a romance and mystery story so more of the story will focus on character interactions and events, rather than battles and an actaully goal like my other two stories. When the two of them get started they'll have no idea what's going on behind the scenes so they will set out to solve the mystery of Network before it's too late by seeking information and trying to stay one step ahead of those out to stop them.

Fourth, is more of an interesting fact than a note. When I started thinking about this story I actually envisioned Mimi as the female lead, but after more consideration I picked Kari. Looking back I can't help but wonder how different things would play out with Mimi in the lead, with her bubbly no nonsense personality driving the chain of events. I mean try to think about how she would react to finding out she would be queen over more than just a small island this time, and that she would have access to whatever her heart could possibly desire. I'm not saying she is shallow, but I'm willing her reaction would be in sharp contast to Kari's. Not to mention I could have been the first fic writer to do Takuya x Mimi. I actually only considered using Mimi because of a part I was writing for Crossing Worlds, but eventually had to drop because it almost made it look like Takuya and Mimi might have had an interest in each other. It was a fun event to write though, so if I write a fourth story they might get a chance together.

Well, that's enough rambling for this chapter. We'll be back in Network who knows when. Till then, enjoy my other two stories.

Crossing Worlds: The Sealed Digivice

Bound by a Similar Destiny